Unison Glasgow Clyde & CVS Branch 

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Health Pay Campaign 2020

UNISON has written to Jeane Freeman Cabinet Secretary for Health to outlined members’ feelings about this year’s pay award. We have called on the Scottish government to reopen this year’s pay deal with a view to agreeing an additional pay rise this year.

In order to secure a pay rise this year UNISON needs to demonstrate to the Scottish government, just how strongly members feel. We are therefore organising a campaign to get members to email their MSPs and the cabinet secretary.


There will also be a COVID safe demonstration on August 18th. Further details of the demo and materials for social media will follow as we build up to the event.


We are asking all members, family and friends to email ministers directly.


However there are some key points to remember:

• Identify yourself as a constituent
• Be polite and concise
• If writing, keep the letter or email brief but do enclose any relevant reports
• Ensure the information you provide is factually accurate
• Stick to one issue to avoid over burdening or confusing the receiver
• Be clear about what you are asking them to do
• Request a reply
• Make sure you include your name, address and telephone number in any correspondence
• Write in your own individual style, as personalised communications have more impact than standardised responses than circulars.


Who is my MSP?
https://www.parliament.scot/msps/current-msps.aspx


Standard email to Jeane Freeman Cabinet Secretary for Health: ministerial email contact is scottish.ministers@gov.scot.


If you are a constituent then use her MSP address: Jeane.Freeman.MSP@parliament.scot


If we don’t have your current email address please contact the branch on 0141 331 4450 or email us at: nhsbranch@unisonglasgowclyde.com

Proposed Email Texts

While writing your own email is more effective some members may be pushed for time so there are templates below to support them in writing their emails. The line where its states “I am a committed” ... can also be amended by supporter to state “I am a mother of a committed” etc

Email templates


Standard email to Jeane Freeman:

I am writing to ask you meet with UNISON to agree an urgent pay rise for health staff. 

 

I am a committed Job Title

 

Like my colleagues, I do whatever it takes to keep the NHS delivering for the people of Scotland. I need you to understand how angry I am about the lack of a decent pay award this year. Health workers only received a pay increase of 2.95%. This was less than other public sector workers. 

 

The reason we agreed to the pay deal three years ago was that it contained a clause that would allow us to come back to the table if things changed. 

 

This pandemic is a change, but claps and thanks won’t pay my bills.

 

We have lived through years of austerity, pay freezes and rising bills. My money runs out earlier each month. I need a pay rise that begins to reduce the real pay cuts that I have experienced.

 

COVID19 crisis highlights how crucial our service is and how much people value the work we do. We were essential workers before COVID19 and we will be essential workers long after this crisis has passed. 

 

We need action from the Scottish government on pay, to back up the thanks, warm words and clapping.

 

Please organise an urgent meeting with UNISON to agree a proper pay rise for health workers this year.


Sign off with your Name, job Role address etc

 

Standard email to SNP MSPs

As a constituent and health worker I am contacting you as an MSP of the party of government asking you to support UNISON’s call for reopening of talks on this year’s pay deal. I want you to ask the Cabinet Secretary for Health to meet with UNISON to sort out an urgent pay rise for health staff.


I am a committed Job Title

 

Like my colleagues, I do whatever it takes to keep the NHS delivering for the people of Scotland. I need you to understand how angry I am about the lack of a decent pay award this year. Health workers only received a pay increase of 2.95%. This was less than other public sector workers. 

 

The reason we agreed to the pay deal three years ago was that it contained a clause that would allow us to come back to the table if things changed. 

 

This pandemic is a change, but claps and thanks won’t pay my bills.

 

We have lived through years of austerity, pay freezes and rising bills. My money runs out earlier each month. I need a pay rise that begins to reduce the real pay cuts that I have experienced.

 

COVID19 crisis highlights how crucial our service is and how much people value the work we do. We were essential workers before COVID19 and we will be essential workers long after this crisis has passed. 

 

We need action from the Scottish government on pay, to back up the thanks, warm words and clapping.

 

Please urge the Cabinet Secretary to meet with UNISON to agree a proper pay rise for health workers this year.


Sign off with your Name, job Role address etc

 

Standard email other MSPs

As a constituent and health worker I am contacting you asking for your support for UNISON’s call for a pay rise for health workers this year.


I am a committed Job Title

 

Like my colleagues, I do whatever it takes to keep the NHS delivering for the people of Scotland. I need you to understand how angry I am about the lack of a decent pay award this year. Health workers only received a pay increase of 2.95%. This was less than other public sector workers. 

 

The reason we agreed to the pay deal three years ago was that it contained a clause that would allow us to come back to the table if things changed. 

 

This pandemic is a change, but claps and thanks won’t pay my bills.

 

We have lived through years of austerity, pay freezes and rising bills. My money runs out earlier each month. I need a pay rise that begins to reduce the real pay cuts that I have experienced.

 

COVID19 crisis highlights how crucial our service is and how much people value the work we do. We were essential workers before COVID19 and we will be essential workers long after this crisis has passed. 

 

We need action from the Scottish government on pay, to back up the thanks, warm words and clapping.

 

Please call on the Scottish Government to meet with UNISON to agree a proper pay rise for health workers this year.


Sign off with your Name, job Role address etc

 

In order for us to get an idea of how well the campaign is going it would be helpful to ask members to either blind copy or forward any emails sent to the branch



UNISON is aware that a number of members have contacted us through Facebook and social media regarding the recent government announcement on pay for Doctors and Dentists.  This announcement deals with Doctors and Dentists for 2020/21 following the Pay Review Body (PRB) recommendations and this should not be seen as a special payment for Doctors and Dentists. This is essentially the same pay rise that Agenda for Change staff received on 1 April 2020. You will also be aware that UNISON Scotland conducted a recent survey of members regarding the reopening of pay discussions for 2020/21.

UNISON has already formally requested that the Scottish government reopens discussions about pay this year. We have informed them of the results of our members survey where 87% agreed that there should be a pay award this year.  It is also important for you to know that UNISON are the only trade union/professional organisation who continue to support the re-opener clause and we continue to do so.
In order to ensure that the Minister understand how strongly members feel about this issue branches will be contacting members with details of our campaigns and actions that we will be asking you to take to demand new pay talks.

UNISON Scottish Health Committee at their meeting yesterday decided to organise pay demonstrations at NHS workplaces and these will comply with social distancing.  The proposal is that members will congregate( safely)  and clap for 2 minutes to support UNISON’s demand for the re-opener clause and further details of the date of those events will be circulated.


@WaverleyCareFanPage was once Scotland’s flagship of care for vulnerable and marginalised people. Since 1989, their specialist teams have gone above and beyond helping people with HIV, Hepatitis C and Sexual Health.

Here's 10 ways Waverley Care’s Board and CEO has thanked it’s staff during #COVID19, and how you can give their staff a voice in one simple step:


1. Staff were left without death in service benefit, for a period of four weeks at the beginning of the #COVID19 pandemic, while their staff continued dropping food parcels, essential medication and baby milk to vulnerable people across #Scotland.


2. Waverley Care gave staff a verbal restructuring summary during a ‘company wide meeting’. Staff weren’t allowed ask questions during the meeting. Waverley Care says it values: ‘Respect - we embrace equality and diversity, and conduct our work in an open, honest and inclusive manner’


3. Waverley Care’s Board and CEO thanked some of their staff by keeping them in post using the job retention scheme, until they decided to make them redundant mid #COVID19. 4 months before job retention scheme closes. @scottishtuc tell Waverley Care what you think.


4. While some staff move from furlough to joblessness, Waverley Care thanks other staff who worked throughout #COVID19 by making them redundant – all while the nation celebrates it’s key and essential workers.


5. Waverley Care specialist teams have changed to generic teams – without consulting anyone impacted by the changes. The charities Board and CEO make decisions about the charities future alone, yet say they value: ‘Believe - we value, listen and respond to the reality of each persons experience’


6. For example, why do Scotland’s children and young people living with HIV need specialist support? @CHIVAProjects @edinburghcouncil @nhsggc tell @WaverleyCare what you think – their staff and service users need your support, while their voices are denied.


7. Waverley Care’s Board and CEO thanked their staff during #COVID19 by refusing @jeanefreemanmsp’s plea to consult – they don’t agree with @TheScottishGovernment’s #FairWork agreement. Can you help the charities staff and service users @jeanefreemanmsp?


8. Waverley Care’s staff have only one ask – to have a voice. They know financial decisions must be made, but want the charities Board and CEO to conduct transparent and meaningful consultation. They want people who deliver and receive services to be included in shaping the charities future.


9. Waverley Care’s staff want to know why the charities reserves are not used to meet costs as advised by @ScottishCharityRegulator. According to OSCR, reserves are ‘Funds to allow for unforeseen emergencies or other unexpected needs…’. Is the #COVID19 pandemic an unforeseen emergency @ScottishCharityRegulator?


10. Waverley Care’s staff want the Board and CEO to commit to addressing institutional racism within the charity - respecting the charities value: ‘Inspire - we are dedicated to breaking down barriers & working creatively towards a healthier future.’ Waverley Care provides services by and for people from African communities – people of colour should have a say in the charities future. #BlackLivesMatterUK


Here’s how YOU can help:


Post on @WaverleyCareFanPage’s wall – let the Board and CEO know what you think about how they’ve thanked their key workers and staff during the #COVID19 pandemic.

Read more about @WaverleyCare and how you can help the charities staff and service users here:

https://www.waverleycare.org

UNISON believes that all NHS staff deserve to be rewarded for their hard work and dedication in response to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

The Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee Staffside, recently wrote to the Cabinet Minister for Health to discuss re-opening the clause in the current pay deal to negotiate on your behalf. 

Whilst we welcome the sentiment in her response, we are dismayed by the tone of the letter seeking to avoid further discussion of this current pay deal and move forward to next years pay negotiations for 2021-22.

All staff working on the front line delivering our amazing NHS service deserve our admiration and respect for the danger they have faced to provide care, protect the public and fight to save those who have faced this dreadful virus.

We are One Team and we recognise the important part you all play in keeping the service running. It is also fundamental to UNISON that your Health and Safety is of vital importance as we move into recovery and a return to the provision of full NHS services.

UNISON is conducting a survey of our members to support our campaigns to ensure that the efforts of the health team are recognised and rewarded.

The survey asks about the impact of COVID-19 on you and for your views on pay awards this year and next. Please take the time to take part as your opinions are important.

Many Thanks
Cathy Miller

Click the picture for the link which will take you direct to the survey it should take about 10 minutes to complete.
 
STAC address Cabinet Secretary on reopening clause in pay deal to reward staff for efforts during covid-19 outbreak

Here is the response from Jeane Freeman

UNISON NHSGGC and CVS NEWS – COVID-19

17 March 2020


Dear member,


These are unprecedented times as the world struggles to cope with the impact of Coronovirus (COVID-19) with the impact most keenly felt on our NHS, care workers and the most vulnerable in our community.

I wanted therefore to drop you a short email saying thanks for all your work and commitment and to offer some initial advice.


So firstly – THANKS! Wherever UNISON members are, they work hard giving their time and commitment to public making our communities safer and ensuring that people are cared for in their time of need.  I am proud to be a public service worker; a member of UNISON and your Branch Secretary.


Secondly, I’m not going to copy and paste all of the various pieces of advice out there. Our membership is too diverse and the picture is changing quickly, sometime by the hour. What I can say is that UNISON members should continue to take advice from their employers; Gvt websites https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance


and other official sources such as



Because UNISON NHSGGC and CVS Branch is an employer too we have taken steps to reduce the risk of infection and minimize unnecessary travel for our members of staff.  Therefore our local resource centers, including our site at QEUH will be on reduced opening hours for the foreseeable future. If you need advice and assistance contact your local steward or reach out to UNISON by phone 0141 331 4450 or email nhsbranch@unisonglasgowclyde.com


The union is also engaged in regular talks with Gvt and major public sector employers to ensure that their response to the crisis has an appropriate worker focus.


Finally I want to talk about last nights announcement by the UK and Sct Gvt that vulnerable people should socially distance themselves. This advice has caused some confusion with people who fall into the category of ‘vulnerable’ unsure about what this means for work.


To the best of our knowledge the advice, currently, does not suggest that people shouldn’t go to work (unless they have; or live in a household where someone has symptoms)-if you are a ‘vulnerable’ person speak to your line manager in the first instance – take advice from HR and ask for a risk assessment if you are unhappy. At this stage, as an absolute minimum people who are vulnerable should be having their potential for exposure to COVID-19 limited. This might mean a temporary move to another department or if you are able working from home.


I have copied some of the UK guidance note and a link to the page.


Finally, I am sure that the next few weeks and months will be challenging. Be assured that your union is with you every step of the way and I remain committed to ensuring that services to members continue to be as normal as possible.


Yours

Cathy Miller

Branch Secretary


Social Isolation – Vulnerable People- summary


The UK Gvt guide advises:

We are advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.


This group includes those who are:

  • aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
  • under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
  • chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
  • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
  • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
  • diabetes
  • problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
  • a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
  • being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)
  • those who are pregnant

Note: there are some clinical conditions which put people at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you are in this category, next week the NHS will issue advice on the more stringent measures you should take in order to keep yourself and others safe. For now, you should rigorously follow the social distancing advice in full, outlined below.


People falling into this group are those who may be at particular risk due to complex health problems such as:

  • People who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
  • People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
  • People with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
  • People with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)

What is social distancing?

Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

They are:

  • Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough;
  • Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible; 3.Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information;
  • Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
  • Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
  • Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.
  • Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic.

For those who are over 70, have an underlying health condition or are pregnant, we strongly advise you to follow the above measures as much as you can, and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible.


This advice is likely to be in place for some weeks.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

 

Update on impact of pensions following firefighters pensions legal case

UNISON reponse to media coverage at QEUH

Background

• On 20 December 2018, the Court of Appeal in Lord Chancellor v McCloud (and others) held that in relation to the judicial and firefighters’ pension schemes, transitional provisions introduced in 2015 gave rise to unlawful age discrimination. The matter is now being discussed at Employment Tribunals to determine a remedy for claimants.

• During December 2019 case management discussions (CMDs) have been held in respect of the judiciary, police, fire fighters and Ministry of Defence police.

• The government has agreed an interim declaration with claimants in the case management discussions for the judicial, police and MoD police claimants. The declarations mean that the claimants are entitled to be treated as members of the appropriate pre-2015 schemes.

• The government intends to extend the same treatment to all members of the public service pension schemes (whether claimants or not), including the NHS Pension Scheme, who are in the same legal and factual position as the claimants. However, this is not straightforward as simply returning all relevant members to the pre-2015 schemes would cause detriment for some members of public service pension schemes as there are hundreds of thousands of individuals who were in post as at the 31 March 2012 that are expected to be better off in the new schemes. This will particularly be the case in the NHS Pension Scheme.

• It’s important to remember that the courts found that the transitional protections that were introduced as part of the move to the 2015 scheme were discriminatory not the scheme itself. Hence, it is entirely possible that NHS 2015 scheme members who have been discriminated against and are potentially allowed the opportunity to move back into their previous 1995 or 2008 Section could find that at some future point they will still be required to move to the 2015.

• Changes to legislation will be required in order to eliminate the discrimination identified in the public sector pension schemes. These changes will be subject to consultation prior to implementation.

Next steps

• The NHS scheme advisory boards that cover the England and Wales scheme, the Scotland scheme and the Northern Ireland Scheme are due to meet over the coming weeks.

• The process for compensating NHS scheme members who have been discriminated against will be discussed at these meetings.

• Once more information is available on how compensation will be applied this will be circulated to branches.

When we have more information, we will advise if any decisions affect our members and keep you informed of any actions members may need to take.

In response to the frequent high profile reports in the media of issues at the QEUH, our Assistant Branch Secretary Frances Carmichael has made the following statement:


“The trade unions are working with management to support the staff as much as possible but the constant media attention and political football is having a significant impact on staff morale.


“Our staff work very hard to deliver the best care they can to patients as that is first and foremost their priority but when you wake up every morning to another report in the media or the politicians using their place of work to score points against each other it makes their job even harder to reassure their patients that they are safe to come into the hospital.”


Frances added, “There is a lot of good work going on with great outcomes for patients and we need to get that message out there.”

UNISON Reacts to removal of drinking water fountains

Matt McLaughlin UNISON Regional Organiser, has contacted the director of estates for clarity on the current drinking water situation. Below is a copy of the email. We will update members when we receive a response:


Dear Tom,


I have received a significant number of contacts from UNISON members and activists concerning the Boards decision to remove drinking water coolers from the workplace, on the basis that the ‘tap’ in these coolers represents a risk to health from infection control and the nature of stored, uncirculated water similarly presents risks to health.


Further we expect that NHSGGC will work with UNISON to identify areas where water is safe but not palatable to ensure a sensible outcome.


I look forward to hearing from you.


Matt McLaughlin

UNISON Scotland