April 2017 News for members

Care at Home
The (different but related) service redesigns in North & West and South & Mid are progressing, and still aiming for June for implementation.  Affected members have been contacted direct with brief details of the current state of play, and confirmation of the availability of UNISON support if this is required.  We are broadly supporting the direction of travel, but working to ensure that members' interests are protected, for example in terms of transfer to Agenda for Change, travel issues and training.  There will be further updates as/when required.  Also keep a look out for snippets on Facebook and the Branch website (addresses below).
UNISON Legal Services
Just a reminder, the following legal services are free as part of your UNISON membership:
·        Employment advice
·        Personal injury advice following an accident/injury (whether at work or not at work, including road traffic accidents - you don't need legal expenses cover when taking out car insurance)
·        Criminal law advice (defending work-related criminal charges)
·        Wills
·        Free initial legal advice on any non-related work issue
·        Clinical negligence
·        Special rates for conveyancing
If you want to know more, have a look at the members' guide to legal help, available online at https://www.unison.org.uk/search/members+guide+to+legal+help/ or from the Office (email inverness.office@unison.co.uk or tel 01463 715891).
Other legal tip - if you are involved in an accident/incident at work, make sure that it is reported through Datix (or other workplace reporting system if you are non NHS staff).  If you can, take a photo of the accident/defect, and also make a brief note should this be needed for a future case.
Legal Staff Staffing Levels, Nursing - Consultation
These consultation events are being held on Scottish Government plans to deliver safe and efficient staffing levels. UNISON's Nursing Sector Committee will also devote time to developing the UNISON response.   If you would like to attend one of these events, please contact the Branch (tel 01463 715891 or email highunison@btinternet.com).
9 May - Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow
Glasgow - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/safe-and-effective-staffing-in-health-and-social-care-glasgow-tickets-33427854613
15 May - COSLA Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh
Edinburgh - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/safe-and-effective-staffing-in-health-and-social-care-edinburgh-tickets-33430805439
5 June - Centre for Health Science, Inverness (1.00 pm - 3.00 pm)
Inverness - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/safe-and-effective-staffing-in-health-and-social-care-inverness-tickets-33452779163
27 June - The Curl, Aberdeen
Aberdeen - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/safe-and-effective-staffing-in-health-and-social-care-aberdeen-tickets-33431057192
NEC elections: 5 reasons to vote
UNISON members are electing the union's national executive council (NEC).  Here are some key reasons why you should use your vote and return the ballot paper:

1. The NEC makes decisions that affect your life and the lives of many ordinary working people.
It is the senior decision-making body of UNISON and directs the union's policy and campaign priorities.  As your elected representatives, its members use their judgement to take important decisions on, for example, pay negotiations and industrial action.
Whose judgement do you trust?  Who do you think will best represent you?  Make sure you find out and vote.
2. It champions public services.
Last year, the NEC supported campaigns that got the public behind public services. Considering the government's austerity agenda, this work is vital.
The NHS, education, local councils and other services need UNISON to stand up for them.  The NEC makes sure our public service agenda is prioritised.
3. The NEC ensures UNISON continues to be a member-led organisation.
Unions have accountable, democratic structures that give them the mandate to campaign for working people. Participation is the bedrock of any union.
The late Tony Benn once asked five questions of power.
·        What power have you got?
·        Where did you get it from?
·        In whose interests do you exercise it?
·        To whom are you accountable?
·        How can we get rid of you?
We'd be able to answer Tony.
·        The NEC has power to make UNISON policy (between conferences).
·        Members give it its power.
·        Its members work in the interest of UNISON members.
·        They are accountable to members.
·        And they can be voted out every two years.
So make sure you use your vote in 2017 and participate in our proud, democratic tradition.
4. The NEC's structure ensures minority voices are heard.
There are seats reserved for Black members, disabled members and young members.
This ensures UNISON is an inclusive organisation, where all voices are encouraged and represented.
5. UNISON rules mean the make-up of the NEC fairly represents the wider union.
Since women make up two thirds of our membership, two-thirds of the seats on the NEC are reserved for women and 13 seats are reserved for low-paid women.   Considering women are not proportionally represented in Parliament or on company boards, we should be proud that the NEC is leading the way.  The NEC election is your chance to make sure your voice is heard. It makes important decisions, which affect the lives of many low paid workers and our public services.
All members are eligible to elect candidates to represent their region and their service group.  It's a postal vote and ballot papers have been sent to you.  Voting is open from 3 April to 28 April.   A helpline at 0800 0 857 857 is open from 11 April to 25 April for any queries or in case you don't receive your ballot paper.   Find out more at unison.org.uk/elections.


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