Just wanted to email you all to let you know some of the things going on at the moment.
Hopefully this will be the first of regular updates from me.
As some of you are aware, previously I have set up reps meetings to varying degrees of success in attendance. I am now proposing that going forward we do this online with MS Teams, as well as face to face meetings (when we can again).
To be able to attend the meetings you must have access to MS Teams. I have a ‘user guide’ in the union office to help you download it on to your electronic device, if you need it.
However, I must confess, actually setting up a meeting I am finding a challenge but I will persevere. Until I achieve this, Simon is going to set up any meetings and invite us all. To actually attend the meeting is quite straightforward (even I can do it ha ha) and just click on the link in your calendar at the time of the meeting.
Last month, PlymouthinUNISON branch held our branch meeting on MS Teams and it was the biggest attendance I have known. This is very encouraging and once you have MS Teams there will be nothing stopping you actively participating in your union in future.
The College of Operating Department Practitioners is part of UNISON, and this year is celebrating 75 years since it was founded. On 14 May UNISON in Derriford marked National ODP day by sharing photos of ODPs at work in UHP and thanking them on-line for all they do as front-line professionals. As the event successfully raised the profile of ODP’s UHP included a section about it in the Trust bulletin. We are also posting special anniversary CODP pin badges to ODP members if they request one. See the photos and write-ups from ODP day here:
Health and Safety
Here are two UNISON Health Bulletins. There is a blueprint for staff returning to work, and is very useful.
Wendy Jamie and myself attended the virtual Health and Safety meeting on Wednesday. This was the first one since March after the Trust decided to stand them down. Concerns were raised about this with management and we were informed that some consultation went through JSNC but was wholly insufficient.
There is a new online case form that you can give to members instead of a paper version – particularly helpful to avoid unnecessary face to face contact and passing materials from person to person. All you need is the member’s name and email address, and click ‘Send a Case Form’ on this website: https://www.activisthub.co.uk/. Both you and the member will receive a copy of the completed form, and they can upload additional documents and they can complete and send the form from any device.
The number of UNISON members has grown at Derriford by 34 since 23rd March. Our fulltime officers Danny Barnes and Simon Wintle with support from our own UNISON rep, Chris Dempster, have been calling these new members and welcoming them to the union. If any other reps would like to assist with this please let Simon Wintle or Danny Barnes know – there is a simple script, and the reception from members has been very positive.
COVID-19 Easing of lockdown
Some workplaces are re-opening, and schools starting to return – this may affect members. Refer to guidance & respond to any concerns. UNISON has produced useful guidance for members on ‘How to Work Safely’ – the leaflet can be downloaded from this link: https://www.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/2020/05/26089.pdf
Contact myself / branch if further advice needed.
Other relevant guidance available here: https://www.unison.org.uk/at-work/health-care/big-issues/covid-19-advice-health-workers/
As you are probably aware, there are a disproportionate number of BAME people dying from COVID-19, together with the strength of the anti-racist movement growing, now could be the time to ask any of our black members if they want to become more involved in UNISON. There are Self Organised Groups, not only for black members but also for, women, disabled and LGBT+
If you, or anybody who contacts you, wishes to become more active in any of these four groups, together, we can direct them to the appropriate person.
Although the last three months has been a challenging time, I must share with you all that even though we are trying our best to keep up to date with the new information coming out from all the various official sources, we are still taking on cases not related to COVID-19. We have had some really fantastic results too and managed to ensure the members we have represented have had such positive outcomes from their cases.
If you have any success stories that you would like to share for any future newsletters please let me know.
I have started two COVID-19 folders and these can be found on my desk in the union office. One has the Trust bulletins and the other is miscellaneous, consisting of UNISON, GOV.UK, NHS Employers, etc. updates. Hopefully these will help you answer any questions members might ask.
There will be much more to do going forward and I look forward to working with you all. We are doing a fantastic job within this Trust and I feel privileged that you are all there to give me your support.
Lead Unison Rep & Health and Safety Rep
Plymouth In UNISON UHPT
01752 439276 int 39276
My facilities days are Tuesday and Wednesday