Saturday, 24 May 2014

ISS members meeting today

UNISON member's employed by ISS at Hairmyres attended a meeting with the Branch this morning to receive a report on the proposed cuts to weekend enhancements while sick.

They were informed of a letter received by UNISON advising that ISS wished to commence contract-by-contract discussions on cutting weekend enhancements from staff that are ill. ISS originally wanted to pursue these cuts (with an implementation date of 1st June) at a UK level, which was rejected by UNISON's national officer.

ISS subsequently have suggested extending their consultation process until 1st August, which was outlined in their letter dated 7th May 2014.

UNISON has written to the Head of ISS Healthcare, copying in the local Business Manager and the Chief Executive of NHS Lanarkshire, outlining UNISON's position in the event of ISS pursuing these cuts. We are aware that NHS Lanarkshire fully funds the contract at Hairmyres and as a consequence do not believe these cuts are justifiable in any shape of form.

UNISON members endorsed the Branch position that the proposals were unacceptable and that all options should be considered - if ISS decide to go ahead with these attacks on the lowest paid staff in Hairmyres.

We will ensure that members employed within ISS and the wider Branch membership continues to be updated on this attack on staff terms and conditions.

Some links to information on Private Finance Initative's (PFI):
If you are not a member of UNISON you can join by following this link

Thursday, 22 May 2014

ISS members meeting

A UNISON Lanarkshire Health Branch meeting to discuss ISS proposed attacks on weekend enhancements has been arranged for Saturday 24th May at 10.30 am in the restaurant at Hairmyres Hospital.



UNISON Lanarkshire Health branch has received correspondence from our national offices advising that ISS Senior management at a UK level (not Hairmyres) have decided to cut staff’s terms and conditions across their NHS contracts in England and Scotland.
The company propose to withdraw weekend enhancements to all staff who fall ill and as a consequence are not fit for work. Their proposed attack on weekend enhancements and their alternative proposal would mean that staff who fall ill will only receive sick pay based on their BASIC hourly rate.
They confirmed their proposals in a letter dated 7 May 2014.
It is the intention of ISS to have this cut implemented by 1 August 2014.
UNISON has written to Chris Ash, ISS Head of Healthcare, advising that UNISON Lanarkshire Health Branch and its members within ISS will NOT
be accepting this attack on our members terms and conditions.
Mary Samson, UNISON Branch Secretary said “UNISON fought long and hard to get ISS staff at Hairmyres onto Agenda for Change rates of pay, and as such we will NOT be accepting a dilution of those rates.”
ISS stated reason for targeting weekend enhancements when staff are off on sick leave is based on their belief that sickness rates are running higher at weekends than on weekdays. This we believe is a UK wide view and does not necessarily reflect the position locally at Hairmyres.
UNISON urges all its members in ISS NOT to sign up to these changes, this affects all staff within ISS—whether you work weekends or not.
If ISS get away with attacking sick pay and weekend enhancements— there is nothing to stop them attacking other terms and conditions at a later date.
Remember they are in the NHS for a PROFIT!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

NMC Online survey on revising the Code and revalidation now open

Dear Colleague

The online survey for the second part of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s consultation on revising the Code and revalidation is now open.

It went live at 6pm on the 19 May 2014 and will close at midday on the 11 August 2014.

To read the draft revised Code and the media release launching the consultation click here.

Click here for further information on the Code and revalidation.

Please forward this email to your contacts and colleagues who you feel should be either responding to the consultation or helping promote it to their members, networks or staff members.

Kind regards

NMC Revalidation Team

UNISON granted permission to appeal High Court decision on tribunal fees

UNISON has been granted permission to appeal the High Court's decision turning down its Judicial Review application over tribunal fees.

The Court of Appeal decided yesterday that the basis of the issue is of “sufficient general importance to merit permission to appeal”.

In the High Court last year, UNISON challenged the Government’s decision to introduce Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal fees.  The union argued that the introduction of fees would deny access to justice for workers treated unfairly by employers and would therefore be unlawful, and that introduction of fees has a disproportionate impact on women.

The High Court appeared to accept the union's argument, but ruled that because the fees were introduced last year the full impact could not be judged. 

UNISON will ask the Court of Appeal to consider the shocking figures released in March 2014 that revealed Employment Tribunal claims dropped by 79% in the first six months after the Government imposed fees on workers bringing a claim.

Official statistics show that the number of claims received in October to December 2013 was 9,801 – 79% fewer than in the same period in 2012, and down 75% on the period July to September 2013. Sex discrimination claims have dropped by 77% compared to the same period in 2012 and by 82% compared to the previous quarter. And there have been 83% fewer equal pay claims compared to the same period in 2012 - 85% less than the previous quarter.

Figures for tribunal claims lodged between January and March 2014 are expected to be released in June.

Dave Prentis, General Secretary of UNISON, said: "UNISON has always argued that charging people to bring employment tribunal claims is unfair. We are very pleased that the Court of Appeal believes that our case merits further consideration."

UNISON has been successful in securing a significant concession from the Government, in that claimants who are successful will now generally have their fees reimbursed.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

NMC increase in fees

Despite already increasing the registration fees for nurses and midwives in 2012 from £76 to £100 the NMC have announced that they want to further increase fees by 20% to £120 in 2015.
UNISON is opposed to the increase and is campaigning against it. Over 100,000 people have already signed the online petition
UNISON Lanarkshire Health Branch is calling on all nurse and midwife members to write to the MP and ask for their support in our campaign to oppose the increase.
The Campaign
It’s quite simple. over the next few months UNISON will be out and about in every workplace encouraging nurse members to sign up to our campaign.
We will have packs of standard letters for you and your colleagues to sign, if you are a UNISON member we will post them on to your MP for you.
Alternatively you can use the template letter (cut and paste) below and the following web link to write or email, to your MP direct at the House of Commons.
At this stage we are not targeting MSP's because the issue of NMC Registration and Fees is still reserved to the UK Government.
In addition Branch Secretary Mary Samson is writing to every MP in the Lanarkshire area asking them for their support. Who knows one or two might even agree to meet with UNISON members to hear their views - if they do we will keep members on our email list posted.
Not on our email list? You can make sure you are kept up to date with all of the big issues affecting UNISON members simply email us at

with your name, address and email and we will amend your records to make sure that you are included in our regular email communications to members.
You Can Find Your MP here...
Before you start you will want to find out who your MP is. You can use your postcode to find the name of your MP here..
Template Letter
<<insert your name>> 

<<Your MP's name >>
House of Commons,
London SW1A 0AA 

<<insert date>>

Dear  MP

I am seeking your support as a local constituent and one of 670,000 nurses and midwives working in the UK in our fight to scrap further NMC fee increases.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the independent regulator for nurses and midwives on the UK. It is illegal to work as a nurse or midwife without being on the NMC register. In order to be on the register, all nurses and midwives must pay an annual registration fee. The NMC maintains this register in order to 'protect the public'.

The NMC has again proposed an increase in registrations fees, this latest increase will see fees rise from £100 to £120 per annum, a 20% hike. The last increase was in 2012 following a consultation in which nurse and midwives were overwhelmingly against the rise from £76 to £100, a 32% rise, a total increase of 52% in two years. At this time the NMC was bailed out to the tune of £20million by the Government only two years later they state that without a fee increase the NMC will end the financial year with a £7.3 million deficit. This report was tabled at the January council meeting of the NMC. Over 670,000 nurses and midwives pay the annual fee currently totally £67 million. 77% of registrants fees are spent on 'fitness to practice'.

Health Christina McAnea, UNISON Head of Health has said that

“it beggars belief that the NMC should even consider asking nursing staff to pay such a massive increase in fees.  The family budgets of many nurses and midwives are under severe pressure and one more bill to pay can all too easily tip them over the edge, especially as it comes on the back of the recent pay announcement. Public protection is everyone's business and the full financial burden shouldn't fall to registrants alone.”

I write today to ask for your help and support, to ask questions of the NMC and their financial mismanagement.

Kind regards

Contacting your MP is just the start of the campaign, if your MP is in touch with you, let us know what she/he says - send a copy of their letter or email to UNISON at the contact details at the side of this website.

You could even write to your local newspaper or to the NMC direct