Thursday, 29 January 2015

UNISON members in the NHS to be consulted on latest pay offer

UNISON health members in England are to be consulted on a new pay offer from the government following talks with the Department of Health.

This means that the 12-hour strike scheduled for tomorrow (29 January) has been suspended to allow the consultation to take place - along with the month-long action short of a strike and the 24-hour strike planned for 25 February.

The offer includes a consolidated pay rise for staff on all pay points up to pay point 34, but with a one year increment freeze for staff on pay point 34 and above..

UNISON head of health Christina McAnea, who is also lead negotiator for the joint health unions, praised the commitment of UNISON members, saying: "The two strike days staged by health workers last year have moved the government to negotiate with the unions.

"These new proposals deliver pay rises of between 5.6% and 2.2% for more than 200,000 of the lowest paid workers in the NHS.

"On top of that, we got additional important concessions for ambulance staff.

"While the offer doesn't go far enough to meet our claim," added Ms McAnea, "the changes are not insignificant - it is important that our members get to decide to accept or reject them.

"If they choose to reject them, we will move to further industrial action."

UNISON is preparing detailed briefings on what the offer would mean for members and how they can have their say, which will be available on the health pay web pages over the next few days.

Read The offer from health secretary Jeremy Hunt

Saturday, 24 January 2015

UNISON Lobby of North Somerset Council Budget Meeting on 17th February

North Somerset Council will meet to approve it's budget for 2015/16 on 17th February 2015. Their budget includes another £15 million of cuts to jobs and services, on top of £63 million of cuts made since 2010. Proposals include:

  • More job cuts - 18 definite including school crossing patrols, 10 -15 management posts, and more job cuts to come as a result of reviews of Training and Human Resources - all on top of 400 job cuts over the last 4 years.
  • 120 full-time equivalent staff transferred to the private sector on 1st February 2015
  • 52 full-time jobs from the START reablement team to be outsourced by 2016
  • Reductions to overtime, unsocial hours working, call out and standby payments, and travel allowances for staff
  • Increased charges for Community Meals
  • Further cuts to Supporting People Services
  • Further cuts to budgets for care packages
  • Cuts to school transport and crossing patrols
  • Cuts to funding to the voluntary sector
  • Cuts to budgets for road safety and sustainable transport

Members of North Somerset UNISON will be lobbying the meeting from 5.30 pm outside the Town Hall in Weston super Mare - all members and non-members are welcome.

Friday, 23 January 2015

NHS workers at Weston Hospital to strike on 29th January

UNISON members working in the NHS in England will walkout for 12 hours between 9am – 9pm on Thursday 29 January. They will then work to rule between Friday 30 and Tuesday 24 February, which means they will be working their contracted hours and will take their breaks, and not do unpaid overtime. This will be followed a 24-hour strike on Wednesday 25 February.

There will be picket lines at Weston General Hospital from 9 am on 29th January. 

Please support our NHS workers as they strike for a 1% cost of living increase for all NHS workers, and the Living Wage of £7.85 an hour for the lowest paid staff. 

North Somerset Council's proposal to cut enhancements for unsocial hours working

In August 2012 North Somerset Council put on hold their proposal to reduce pay enhancements, such as overtime and unsocial hours working payments, callout and standby allowances, pending a cost of living pay increase. Because the 2014 pay claim has now been concluded the proposals are back on the table.

The proposals include: all overtime to be paid at plain  time, removal of Saturday enhancements, reduced payments for working Sundays and Bank Holidays, and evening and night work (Mondays to Saturdays) to be paid at plain time. In addition standby payments will be removed, but there will be no change to call out payments.

The proposals aim to save approximately £150,000 annually from the staff pay bill. The council argue that this is necessary because of the current financial situation and because our levels of enhancements are higher than in other local authorities. The council are proposing that the changes will begin from 1st April 2015, and they are offering 12 month’s pay protection or an equivalent lump sum in compensation for the reduction to your enhancements.

North Somerset UNISON members will soon be receiving consultative ballot papers asking them if they are prepared to accept the cut to enhancements or whether they are prepared to take industrial action, or action short of industrial action, in order to protect them.

We have also arranged meetings so that you can come and find out more:
  • 3rd February at 12.30 pm in the Rickford room at the Town Hall
  • 10th February at 12.30 pm in room 2.07 at Castlewood
North Somerset UNISON opposes any reductions to our members’ terms and conditions, and we will be lobbying the Council’s meeting on 17th February from 5.30 pm outside the old Town Hall in Weston super Mare - all UNISON members affected by these proposals need to be at our lobby.