Update – Benefits of being a Unison Member – and FAQs


Please see below general advice and FAQs which may be of use to you. If you have any queries please no not hesitate to contact Claire Bruus via the internal email system.  These updates are sent out to subscribing members – if you are a subscribing member and do not receive them please email branch12388@aol.com

Pension Advice – We are not allowed to give advice on pensions, should you need advice relating to your Local Government Pension Scheme  – https://www.staffspf.org.uk/Home.aspx

Meetings with management – During this pandemic it is very much business as usual and we are here to support you 24/7. Should you need support/advice/meetings please contact Claire Bruus, Branch Coordinator, on 07753 229775 so you can be directed to the most appropriate person. You are still entitled to representation at meetings with management even if they are conducted virtually.

You do not need Unison attendance at every meeting you have with a manager, however if you feel that the meeting is developing into a discussion about your performance, competency or conduct you have the right to halt the meeting until such time as a union representative becomes available. An example of where we would attend with you is in all stages of capability, attendance support meetings, disciplinaries, ethical interviews and grievance/resolution meetings. It is the duty of the member to inform us of any such meetings but management should give you adequate notice to arrange representation

Financial Advice (Free of charge for Unison members) – Lighthouse Temple offer a financial advice service, free of charge, for our members. If you wish to have a complimentary Call 08000 85 85 90 or email appointments@lighthousefa.co.uk to arrange a complimentary, no obligation appointment with one of our professional financial advisers.


Short Notice Shift Changes / Rest Day Changes Explained

If it is more than 5 days’ notice you are not entitled to any additional pay.

If it is less than 3 months’ notice you can say no to the change.

If it relates to changes of rest day, they can say no unless there is 1 year’s notice.

Unless there are ’exigencies of duty’ which we are not, you can always say no to any change of start and finish times with less than 3 months’ notice. If the change being asked for is more than 3 hours difference and less than 5 days you can still say no but if you agree you are entitled to the additional pay for the hours worked up to 7.4 hours.

Stand Down on Bank Holidays  – The decision to not have staff working bank holidays is because legally all staff are entitled to bank holidays off work or a day off in lieu of it as the starting point. In some peoples contracts it states that they may be required to do bank holiday working. By default DMS automatically gives everyone the bank holidays off and then they can be reinstated if it would normally be their working day, if their contract allows bank holiday working and if there is work they can only specifically do on that day.

Unison Legal Services (Free non work legal advice / Wills / Injury Claims etc)  https://www.unison.org.uk/get-help/services-support/legal-services/for-you-and-your-family/

Unison Subscriptions – Unison subscriptions are based on income. The responsibility is on the member to ensure they are paying the correct amount and should email myself at the branch if circumstances change. For your reference please see below the subscription rates per month based on your basic annual salary.

Unison Subscriptions whilst on maternity – Colleagues are reminded that those on maternity leave do not have to pay Unison subscriptions. However, the onus is on the member to notify us as Payroll or any other Department heads cannot let us know if you are going on maternity leave. If you are going on maternity leave please email Claire Bruus via the internal email system with the start date of maternity leave and the intended return.

Unison (Full list of membership benefits) – https://benefits.unison.org.uk/all-benefits/

Annual Leave Carry over 31st March 2021 – On 1st April 2021 Origin will automatically apply the carry forward up to the standard maximum of 5 days (pro rata’d for part time colleagues) to all accounts. Further carry forward (of up to a maximum of 10 days agreed by the Exec) will have to be done by a manual calculation and credit process. This will be carried out by HR Systems and Corporate Resource Unit teams. As you will appreciate this work will take time. The teams aim to have all accounts updated no later than the end of April.

Rapid Lateral Flow Testing kits update – Many of you will be using the Rapid Lateral Flow Testing kits to check if you have a covid infection before and after your working week. Unison would like to issue a reminder to members that it is vitally important to record the results of the tests. This includes registering a local county test result as well as recording the tests on the Government website.

It is essential that that the results are recorded whether they be positive, negative or inconclusive. We are now approaching the time where the initial test kits are running out and more kits will need to be issued by the County Council. As there is a limited supply, they will only replace kits where they can see the kits have been used and the results registered. If the results are not registered correctly then those kits will not be deemed to have been used and as a result no replacements will be given.

The continuing success of the RLRT program is dependent on us doing the tests, registering the results and getting replacement kits as we move forward. We will not be given more kits to continue the success of the testing unless we register the use of the kits we have already had.

We are one of the few forces that have been afforded the opportunity for widespread RLF testing for officers and staff and we need to make the most of this opportunity to help us keep each other and our families safe. If anyone needs reminding of the process to be followed when registering the results then an online training package is available on NCALT which takes you through the process as a reminder.