BBR… Bluff, Baloney and Ramshackle…
This is the second time we’ve seen the Trust undertake a change to everyone’s rota’s, and as it didn’t go so well the first time around (we still have the scars), a group of proactive staff and activists have decided we needed an apolitical, one-stop shop, where staff can exchange information, and feel less ‘out there alone.’ We share a belief that the ‘BBR/building better rota’ mantra is far from being better for us, the staff, and we believe we must together say NO to the unwelcome and unsupportive BBR project.
We know that people power works, thanks to over 2200 people who signed a petition to get decent winter jackets, we now have Keela Munro jackets on the way, albeit it did take over a year to get the Trust to respond to the film/petition.[https://www.change.org/p/east-of-england-ambulance-service-nhs-trust-staffb4cars]
We know quite a few people wrote to the current (recently resigned) CEO, expressing concerns about the rota changes, and some brave soul questioned him on twitter and was told the changes would be continuing and they should stop being ‘naive.’ We don’t think it’s naive, we think it’s being honest about the effects these detrimental changes will have on us, your staff.
We ran a survey, and 663 of you lovely folk in green took the time to give us the evidence (thank you!):
91% of staff said they did not want relief in their fixed rota line.
The yes responses came from staff in NE Herts and South Beds.
We asked if staff wanted to see mass rota changes?
75% of staff said no.
15% of staff said they were not sure.
10% of staff said yes.
The highest percentage of ‘Nos’ came from Central Norfolk, the 2nd highest from SE Essex, the 3rd highest from North Cambs and the 4th highest from West Norfolk.
We also surveyed staff to try and improve life for our relief staff, as we have seen a degradation of relief T&Cs. The Trust has recently offered to write a ‘new’ relief policy (how thoughtful). Below, in order of importance, are the issues that staff wanted to see addressed:
100% asked for fixed rest days
73% asked for further notice of shifts
69% asked for travel time under 45 minutes
67% asked for ring fenced stations close to their home, to limit travel
62% asked for mileage payments
53% asked for travel time payments
31% asked for flexible working contracts
29% asked for self-rostering
You also told us about flexible working:
The highest number of flexible working contracts were in central Norfolk (36% of all flexible working), with the second highest area being North Cambs (13% of all flexible working).
Reasons for current flexible working:
47% child care
23% workaround partners work pattern
12% medical reasons
8% caring responsibilities
5% care for pets
4% support studying
You DID NOT want to have the flexible working agreements ‘reviewed’ and it’s clear from the commentary that this is causing a great deal of anxiety.
174 staff said they’d signed a grievance about the changes, and 65 staff said they’d contacted their MP raising concerns.
We’ve been in discussions with staff from across the Trust on social media and wanted to bring together all the grievances and information in one place. If you have something you want to add to this page, please send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org We’ll redact the names (ie in grievances) and post it so everyone can see.
The activists setting this up are not being named for their own protection, as we have seen representatives being targeted by the Trust.
We understand there have been collective grievances that have been submitted so far are from: Cromer and North Walsham, Longwater, Brentwood, Canvey Island, Dereham, Hunstanton.
So far, all of the collective grievances have been refused by the Trust, and there’s been some worrying commentary in the public board papers about how to reduce collective grievances. Staff have told us that they have written to the CQC to complain as they have no recourse internally. Some staff have also written to their MPs to complain.
Our view is that you should continue to raise collective grievances at station level, even if the Trust will likely refuse to accept them, as this is the ONLY WAY you have of raising your concerns formally with your employer. If the Trust refuses to accept your grievance, then an appropriate body to complain to is the Regulator (CQC), AND your MP.
We are often asked by the media if there are staff willing to speak to them. Our advice is to only ever do this under a condition of anonymity.
We’ve listed some media that relates to these issues here: