Southend UNISON Newsletter August 2021
Follow these links to individual articles:
Local Government & Schools Pay
Unions recommend REJECT in consultative ballot
The trade union side of the National joint Committee (NJC) met on 28th July to discuss the Employers’ Side’s final pay offer, and to agree next steps.
The offer is for a 1.75% pay increase from 1 April 2021, with 2.75% for those on spinal column point 1. The offer also included commitment to complete the term time review, discussions on joint guidance on homeworking and mental health, and incorporation of new statutory provisions of neo-natal leave and pay into the Green Book.
This offer affects local council employees, most schools staff and other organisations which follow the NJC pay award.
This offer falls far short of what members need and deserve. Local government staff have suffered years of real terms pay cuts, and inflation is now 3.9%. So the 1.75% for everyone above pay point 1 will cause local government pay to fall further behind the cost of living. Our members have shown how indispensable they are throughout COVID, often putting their own health and safety at risk so as to continue to provide services. This pay offer is far less than they deserve.
There is more informstion about the pay claim and the consultation here: https://www.unison.org.uk/news/article/2021/08/now-is-the-time-have-your-say-on-pay/
The trade unions have agreed to launch a consultation of members on this pay offer. On 6th September, you should receive an email with details of the electronic consultation. Check your spam folder as well as your inbox! Please make sure UNISON has the right contact details for you, including the email you want us to use – you can do this yourself at https://www.unison.org.uk/my-unison/
UNISON and the other unions agreed strongly to recommend that members vote to reject the pay offer.
Mandatory Vaccines for Care Staff
New legislation covering care homes comes in to being on November 11th 2021. If you have not had your second Covid vaccination in time to be effective by this date you could be subject to having your contract with your employer ended unless you have a valid medical reason for not having the vaccination.
UNISON will where possible support our members in negotiating with the employer to secure redeployment if that is practicable. If you feel you are not being treated fairly by your employer let us know and we will offer support and advice wherever we can.
UNISON believes that employers should offer staff paid time off to get the vaccinations as part of the national effort. They should also support their employees to enable them to abide by the new legislation while continuing to do their jobs. We would also encourage employers not to count any time off due to any side effects of the vaccine towards sickness.
We understand that some people have concerns about vaccines, but UNISON urges all employees who are called forward to be inoculated to ensure that they take up the opportunity as soon as possible. We have always opposed compulsion, believing that persuasion is a much better way of increasing vaccine take up. However, we will be working to support and protect members who are affected by the new legislation.
Remember although the vaccines are effective, they do not completely stop the infection transmitting from person to person so all appropriate health and safety measures should still be taken by your employer. These measures will include personal protective equipment (PPE), for instance masks and aprons and also continued social distancing where it is appropriate. If you believe any of this support from your employer during the pandemic is not forthcoming – let UNISON know!
You can download further information here (Word documents):
SBC Business Support Restructure
UNISON has been supporting members in ‘Business Support’ across Southend Council, where a loss of 28 FTEs (Full Time Equivalents) is planned and 157 staff are having to reapply for their jobs.
The ‘consultation’ gave no information about the new jobs. This was completely unacceptable and the unions have now obtained an extension to the exercise. The Council will issue new information on the 6th September.
Will this be enough to make the consultation ‘meaningful’? We have met councillors to point out that the information for staff has been poor and that the plan to cut 25% of resources overall will impact services. Watch this space!