UNISON HIGHLAND HEALTHCARE
UNISON HIGHLAND HEALTHCARE

July 2021 Branch News

UNISON meet new Cabinet Secretary for Health
 
This week UNISON Scotland health activists Wilma Brown and Cathy Miller, along with Willie Duffy, Head of Health, met with the new Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Humza Yousaf.  Areas discussed, in this positive first meeting with the new cabinet secretary, were:
 
·         Pay 21 and the implications of the Barnett consequentials from the pay offer from the UK Government 
·         Pay 22 
·         Collective bargaining 
·         Changes to NHS staff pensions 
·         PFI in Lanarkshire 
·         Current challenges - self-isolation in health workforce 
·         Challenges of remobilisation 
·         Partnership working and collective bargaining 
·         Feeley Review 
·         UNISON's recent Nursing Survey 
 
The Cabinet Secretary recognised the importance of UNISON in terms of both our high membership numbers and the breadth of staff groups we represent in the NHS in Scotland.  He therefore agreed it was important to continue to meet with UNISON regularly.  Significantly he also agreed that when visiting health settings, he would ensure he met with staff representatives as well as the management teams who usually show him round.  Further feedback and discussion will take place at the next Scottish Health Committee meeting.
 
Voluntary return to work from self-isolation
 
New Scottish Government guidance has recently been issued regarding the above.  UNISON has expressed opposition to this approach.  NHS Highland is currently considering the guidance.  Irrespective of both of these, it is very clear that in these circumstances any return to work would be voluntary.  In the (hopefully unlikely) event you should in any way feel pressured to return to work when you don't feel safe in doing so, please get in touch with the Branch straight away, and UNISON will fully support you.
 
NHS Pension Scheme changes
 
Briefly, in April 2022 (and it will come before we know it!) everyone in the NHS Pension Scheme will automatically be transferred into the 2015 scheme.  This will mean potential changes in benefits and retirement dates.  Contributions (and benefits) accrued up to April 2022 in various scheme(s) will be protected.  Then at the point of retirement you will have the choice of service to be either in your legacy scheme or in the 2015 scheme if you were a member prior to 2015.

There will be more information on this between now and then.
 
Robert Gordon University Long Covid survey of NHS Scotland workers
 
If you are interested in finding out more about this survey, and perhaps in taking part, please see the link below.
 
LoCH: Long COVID in Health Workers | RGU
 
ADAM PALMER
Branch Communications Officer 
UNISON Highland Healthcare 

 

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