April 2021 Branch News

Just a brief update this month in terms of a few key things that are going on.  As usual, please keep a look out on the Facebook page, Twitter, and the website for other information, as well as emails coming from UNISON direct, in particular with regard to the pay ballot below. 
Pay Campaign 
You will now be aware that a 4% pay offer has been made to all NHS Scotland (Agenda for Change) staff.  UNISON will be balloting all relevant members on this offer.  The ballot will open on 15 April, and close on 7 May, and further information on this will be sent to members nationally.  Please take part in the ballot so a full and accurate picture of members' views can be gathered. 

A riotous time was duly had by all those who managed to attend one of the virtual AGMs, with entertainment provided by the peerless Janey Godley.  We also got through the AGM business, which was perhaps less fun, but is a vital part of running the Branch, so we can now move forward into the new year. 

Branch Officer and other vacancies, current and forthcoming 

Our Branch Treasurer, Neil MacDonald, has advised us that he plans to step down from the role at the end of this year.  This is a really important role for the Branch, and one we very much need to fill.  So far we have always had someone with a finance background/experience in this role, and it's probably ideal that this should be the case.  This isn't essential however - and training is available.  If you think you might be interested in taking on this role, probably the best thing to do in the first instance would be to have a chat with Neil with regard to what's involved.  Please get in touch if you think you might be interested (email: inverness.office@unison.co.uk). 
Other roles which we also need to fill are: 
Minute Secretary (someone to come along and take a minute of Branch Committee meetings) 
Young Members' Officer (to help promote UNISON amongst young members) 
Workplace stewards at Raigmore (unfortunately two of our long standing reps have stepped down, so we definitely need to recruit some new workplace stewards/reps) 
If you think you might be interested in any of these roles, please speak to a local rep or get in touch with the Branch (email: inverness.office@unison.co.uk).  We're an expanding branch in terms of membership and it's vital these roles are filled so we can fully support members.  You will receive paid time off for training and to carry out the role of a workplace rep. 

Staff breaks 
It's worth sharing a little reminder/encouragement on this from NHS Highland, which is reproduced below.  Clearly we would endorse this.  As well as being a legal requirement for every shift of 6 hours or more, breaks are vital to physical and mental health, and also to patient/client care.  If you are having problems getting your break, please speak to your manager, telling them about the information below.  If that doesn't help, please get in touch! 
Taking a break from work is important, even - or especially - during a busy shift. Sometimes it is easy to feel like you can't take the time or mustn't let people down, and then a whole team can get into the habit of working through breaks. Please remember that you need to be rested and hydrated to do a good job, for your own benefit and that of your team and patients. Set a good example and take a break - and encourage others to do the same. 

Vaccination programme

This continues to be rolled out and at the time of writing, about 57% of adults in the NHS Highland region have received their first dose of the vaccination.
Branch Communications Officer


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