September 2016

This is now rolling out further in Raigmore, in South and Mid, and in North and West.  Awareness sessions are taking place for managers and staffside reps, and then managers are expected to cascade the information within teams in terms of what iMatter is about, and encourage staff to participate etc.  We are also keen to promote your participation in this.  iMatter is a tool to survey how things are in teams, and then for the team to develop a brief action plan based on the results of the survey.  It's about getting involved and making things better in the team you work in.  The survey is completely anonymous, and only takes a few minutes to complete.  Please join in - but let us know if there are any problems in your area which you would like our help with.
Care at Home Redesigns
These are now well under way in both South and Mid and North and West.  New job descriptions have been developed, and information on banding outcomes will be circulated.  For example, the Enablement Worker job in South and Mid has been banded a Band 3.  Some staff have already transferred to the new redesigned jobs, and also Agenda For Change (NHS) terms and conditions.  Information on this will be sent out to all affected members of staff, individually, as this process moves forward.  Training plans are also being developed (and implemented) for staff.
The main messages on terms and conditions are straightforward - on pay, you will either be pay protected, for as long as you remain in the job, or (for the lucky few, unfortunately!) you will receive a pay increase; on hours of work, these will either be unchanged, or a change to hours will be agreed with you; on pensions, there is no impact, you will continue in the Council pension scheme (unless you are in the NHS one already - in which case, no change).  There are one of two other small benefits (for example some people will see an increase in annual leave).
The 'opening hours' for the service in South and Mid are likely to be changing (start at 8.00 am instead of 7.00 am).  The consequence for this for staff may be different shift start/finish times (but the same number of hours work, a week).
Band 1 Review
If you are affected by this, you will either have now received, or will receive very shortly, the fourth newsletter giving an update on this.  Things are now progressing faster, and the first groups of staff are now being offered new jobs at Band 2, which we hope members will wish to sign up for.  For others, this will be happening soon.  Please get in touch if you have any concerns.
Student Nurses
We were delighted to recruit over 50 new student nurse members at the recent freshers' event in Inverness.  We are pleased to welcome you into the Branch.  In other news, UHI will take over responsibility for student nurse courses from next year, which is also a welcome development locally.
Private/Independent sector care homes
Work continues in negotiations, locally and nationally, around implementation of the Living Wage for members employed in private/independent sector care homes.  We hope to be able to report positive news here, soon.
Paid As If At Work
An audit is taking place this month to look at whether this has, or has not, been correctly applied in various sample areas throughout NHS Highland (including in Argyll and Bute).  If not, management actions will be identified, and monitored through the Board's Audit Committee.  We are also in discussion with Raigmore about how calculations are being made for this.
Stonewall Survey
We want to encourage all members in NHS Highland to complete the Stonewall equality/diversity survey.  NHS Highland is working in partnership with Stonewall to improve the approach toward promoting equality and diversity, and this will include developing 'equality champions' throughout the organisation.  A first step in this is to get views from staff about where we are in terms of this - and this is the purpose of the survey.  Click the link here - this only takes a few minutes:
Please note, this link only works if you are connected to the NHS Highland network.  If you are not, you need to go to the link below, and you will need to enter the code 1839:
Raigmore Coffee Lounge
At the time of writing, we have no further update on this (written commitments still awaited from management regarding proposed temporary arrangements and future guarantees relating to the coffee lounge on a long term basis).

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