Following the Trust’s message ‘Trade Union discussions’ sent out to all staff this afternoon (23rd November), we felt it was important to publicly respond.
We have a meeting planned with the Trust and ACAS on 4th December to discuss recognition and it is encouraging that the Trust has publicly stated they wish to continue to voluntary recognise UNISON.
It was concerning when the Trust gave us notice on our existing recognition agreement. In our experience that is not conducive to improving partnership working, especially when the Trust is also looking to commence large scale change management (ARP). We rightly raised concerns after members got in touch about changes which were being imposed and had not gone through any consultation or change management process.
We have also been asking the Trust for sometime to share with us the modelling data for the ARP changes – as well as the ORH report/modelling from a year ago and the SSG report from earlier this year. We have also not had late finishes/meal break data shared since February and the Information Commissioner is assisting us with refusals to provide information through the Freedom of Information Act. The lack of openness is concerning and something we’re discussing with the support of ACAS.
We have been trying to influence changes within the Trust around a number of key issues that members have raised with us – for example late finishes/meal breaks, culture change and casework delays. These issues have been well evidenced by UNISON, as well as noted in the NHS staff survey, in the ZEAL cultural review and the Andrea Adams report.
We informed the Trust that we are restarting campaigning over some of these issues, due to the delays in dealing with them and we have also sought assistance from the Regulator (CQC).
We will continue as a Branch to represent staff to the best of our abilities, through reasoned discussions, through negotiations, and where needed, through campaigning. Evidence based campaigning is central to a Trade Union – we only do this when needed, but we will always maintain and defend our right to do this as a members led union.
We sincerely hope that the Trust Leadership is reflecting on the long term issues that are not being dealt with, the choices they have made over finances – and that with the support of ACAS, that we can improve and move to a more genuine partnership working relationship with the Trust.
We will keep you updated.
UNISON East of England Branch