Tuesday, 31 July 2012

My MP's response to my letter on Regional Pay

The following link takes you to a copy of my MP John Penrose's response to my letter on Regional Pay: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5j2lWfRXcIfdUpxdkxNUmloLTA/edit

A number of staff at Weston General Hospital have written to Mr Penrose and received the same reply. We will be asking for a meeting.

North Somerset Labour, Independent and Green councillors will propose a motion opposing regional pay at their next full council meeting on 25th September. North Somerset UNISON members will be lobbying the meeting from 5.30 pm outside the Town Hall in Weston super Mare.

Local Government Pensions Ballot starts today

UNISON members eligible for the Local Government Pension scheme will be receiving ballot papers from 31st July to 24th August, asking them whether they want to accept or reject the latest deal on pensions. The full details are available on the national UNISON website: http://www.unison.org.uk/pensions/lgps.asp and we strongly encourage members to look at them carefully.

The decision is up to you. Make sure you look at the full details of the pensions proposals on the UNISON website, and also attend one of the following meetings:

7th August at 12.30 at the Town Hall - New Council Chamber

21st August at 12.30 at Castlewood, rooms G8/G9/G10


A Future That Works - TUC Demonstration, London, 20th October

The TUC is organising a mass demonstration against Austerity in London on Saturday 20 October 2012. A march through central London will culminate in a rally in Hyde Park. It is hoped that this march will be even bigger than the 500,000 that marched for the Alternative on 26th March 2011. We will be marching to protest against the cuts to public spending, which are not only having a massive impact on the most vulnerable members of our society, but are also having a negative impact on the economy. If you want to book your free place on the coach please go to the following link: http://marchforafuturethatworks.eventbrite.co.uk/

Further information on the march can be found at: http://afuturethatworks.org/

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Integrated Care Organisation - Latest news

Although the business case for the proposed Integrated Care Organisation has gone to the Strategic Health Authority, North Somerset Council have put their plans to transfer Adults' and Children's Services into a brand new organisation on hold for financial reasons. In the meantime they will be looking at what they have described as the Alliance model of Integrated Care, which is closer partnership working between those organisations providing Health and Social Care in North Somerset. This is the model that UNISON have been arguing for, so at least for now, and as far as our local government members are concerned, we can claim this as a victory. But the future for our members at Weston Area Health Trust remains uncertain, and the branch will continue to do all it can to protect their interests. We will continue to hold regular meetings to keep members updated. The next meetings planned are:

25th July at 1.15 pm at Castlewood, rooms G9/10

31st July at 12.30 at Badger House, First Floor, room 2

7th August at 12.30 at the Town Hall - New Council Chamber

14th August at 12.30 at Weston Hospital – Academy, Waverley room

21st August at 12.30 at Castlewood, rooms G8/G9/G10

29th August at 12.30 at Badger House, First Floor, room 2

Tolpuddle - pictures

Here's some pictures from this year's Tolpuddle. Our retired members Pat Barrett and Jean Long represented the branch, along with Jean's dog Barney. Next year we will organise a minibus so that as many of our members as possible can attend Tolpuddle.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Sign the Petition against Regional Pay in the NHS

No to postcode pay

Responsible department: Department of Health

The NHS that we know and love is under threat. One of the biggest challenges is the pressure to cut costs and make savings. This has resulted in 20 Trusts across the South West collaborating on radical changes to pay and conditions and the creation of a regional pay system.

Plans published by these employers envisage changes which could cut pay, terms and conditions for nurses, doctors and other healthcare staff by up to 15%.

This will be bad for the NHS, bad for patients and bad for all NHS staff across the UK. Local pay hurts the local economy, compromises patient safety, seriously damages staff morale and creates instability in the workforce at a time when the NHS is going through unprecedented

We need urgent action from the Government to get these 20 Trusts to roll back on these plans and instead focus on protecting patients, staff and our economy.

Only by stopping these plans will we ensure the continuation of the NHS that we all know and love.

Please sign the petition by following this link: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/36063

Youth Services Legal Action Failed but Appeal is being looked into

The legal action over cuts to North Somerset Youth Services has unfortunately failed, but both the claimant and Public Interest Lawyers are keen to appeal the decision, and are looking into it with the possibility of going to the Appeal Court in September. The Judge's full decision can be viewed here

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

South West NHS Pay Cartel - Motion to be debated at North Somerset Council meeting 25th September

The following link takes you to a motion which North Somerset Council's Labour Group will ask to be debated at the Council meeting on 25th September. Here's the document: Council Motion on Fair Pay

In order for this motion to get a full debate 9 councillors have to stand up to say that they agree. As a result we need you to write to your local councillor using the template letters below encouraging them to support the motion:

Letter to Councillors on Regional Pay Word version

Letter to Councillors on Regional Pay PDF version

UNISON will be lobbying the council meeting outside the Town Hall from 5.30 pm on 25th September. It is really important that as many of our members as possible attend the lobby to make their views known.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Results of Consultative Ballots - Enhancements and Flexi Time

Enhancements Consultative Ballot Results

27.7% turnout
86% reject proposed reduction in enhancements
14% accept proposed reduction in enhancements

Flexi-Time Consultative Ballot Results

6.6% turnout
67% reject new Flexi-Time policy
33% accept new Flexi-Time policy

Due to low turnouts for both ballots, the branch cannot go on to a formal ballot for industrial action.

For the future (and this includes the forthcoming pensions ballot) it is vital that members take part in ballots, in order to have a voice in their union and their workplace.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Motion for North Somerset Council to debate Fair Pay

North Somerset UNISON have asked Labour, Independent, Green and Liberal Democrat councillors to ask for the following TUC model motion (slightly amended) to be debated by North Somerset Council. The motion asks the council to oppose regional pay, including the recent news that Weston Area Health Trust are part of the South West NHS Pay Cartel, which is looking to break away from national NHS terms and conditions.

Here's the motion: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B5j2lWfRXcIfNHpyYzU0MWozaVE