Widening Access

If you work for the East of England Ambulance service and wish to sign this collective grievance, please email your name and base station to: WideningAccess@putbacktheheart.com

Collective Grievance: Widening Access Training scheme: refunds for NHS Trust workers.

Early in 2018, the UNISON Branch Secretary (Fraer) raised the issue of widening access, on behalf of members to the Trust, at Director level. The Trust requested this issue came to SPF (Staff Partnership Forum), and the issue was minuted and added to the SPF action log point on 7th February 2018.

Since then the issue has remained on the agenda for SPF, with no outcome. 

In April the Trust suspended SPF until the autumn and then subsequently removed elected senior staff side from attending.

We believe that the widening access training scheme (refunds for NHS Trust workers) does apply to a number of training courses in EEAST and that the financial benefits to staff are considerable. 

There are no costs associated with EEAST, as the refunds of income tax and national insurance contributions come directly from HMCR. It is very frustrating that this issue has taken a year at SPF and has not been progressed by Directors, for the benefit of their staff.

As a result of the delays and the above, we would now like the Trust to deal with this as a formal grievance.

This grievance can be resolved by:

  • agreeing on a process and communication to eligible staff, in partnership with the elected Branch Secretary who raised this issue at SPF, to ensure staff can benefit from this scheme, within a defined timeline;
  • ensuring that any financial detriment due to the Trust’s delay in dealing with this, if not recoverable from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), is covered by the Trust;
  • giving an apology to staff for ignoring this important issue;
  • ensuring in future staff issues are dealt with promptly and that ownership of issues are monitored by the Trust;
  • keeping to the timeline set out in policy for dealing with collective grievances.