Member Briefings

April 2022

Sickness/Investigation Meetings

Always contact your local UNISON Steward to arrange representation as soon as you know a meeting has been arranged. You are entitled to representation at all sickness and investigation meetings and 7 days’ notice to arrange representation. It can stop problems at a later stage.

Wheelchairs

The Trust is considering whether to stop buying wheelchairs. The Trust has been informed that wheelchairs are an essential piece of equipment that have reduced staff injuries. Track chairs are not to be used as wheelchairs and previously, when staff injured themselves using the wrong equipment, the Trust did not support them fully. The Trust may be willing to compromise and have a wheelchair that cannot be wheeled into the back of ambulances, so staff will have to take the stretcher or track chair out of the ambulance and transfer their patient outside, no matter what the patient’s condition or the weather.

Pay Progression Changes

In 2019, changes were made to the Agenda for Change Agreement that allowed for Pay Progression to be frozen in the even that a staff member got a formal warning. NWAS decided not to implement this straight away due to Covid but have now decided that they intend to implement it in retrospect. We do not consider this to be right so are currently having talks with the management.

UNISON Membership

UNISON is the UK’s largest union. Here in NWAS, we are proud to announce that we are the largest growing Branch in the North West Region and our membership topped 4100 members. This achievement has been recognised by UNISON both locally and nationally.

Covid-19 & Bank Holidays

The Trust has decided that you will lose your bank holiday leave entitlement if you test positive for Covid and need to isolate on any bank holiday. However, if you have Covid symptoms and cannot test for any reason, or you test negative, but have a temperature, you still need to isolate, but do not lose your bank holiday entitlement.

Pensions

UNISON Stewards are not allowed to give Pension Advice. Call ELFS on 01254 786006, email to payroll.nwas@nhs.net for your pension questions, or NHS Pensions on 0300 3301351 or 0300 3301346.

HCPC Referrals

We have recently had a few Paramedic members referred to the HCPC and this has highlighted a couple of problems. Firstly, it is important to remember that you do NOT have to self-refer to the HCPC just because you are the subject of a complaint. The only times you self-refer are if you get suspended or put onto restricted duties, if you are arrested or in the event that you get a disciplinary sanction. If you are in any doubt, contact your rep. Professional Services Unit - It is really important that referrals to the PSU are made immediately upon you receiving a letter/email form the HCPC. Delays in doing so may result in a worse outcome.

Overtime

NWAS want to reintroduce the overtime ban for staff who are returning to work. During the first wave of Covid, it was agreed that the 28-day ban that was in place would be scrapped. Now, the newly formed Sickness Intervention Team are making attempts to reinstate this again. UNISON is 100% opposed to this and in partnership with other NWAS unions we are challenging this decision.

Prize Draw Winners

Jan 2022 - Sharon Tonge, Bolton South.

Feb 2022 - Kathryn Benson, 111 Estuary Point.

Mar 2022 - Tia Warren, Student Para LJMU.

Apr 2022 - Racquel Deans, Leyland.

All UNISON Members are entered into a Prize Draw for £50 every month.