***ADVERSE WEATHER UPDATE***
Your branch wrote to the Head of HR within Fife Council on Friday March 2nd to start early discussions on how the employer was intending to deal with the issue of members experiencing difficulties in attending work due to the severe weather. Below is the response from the employer as a result of these discussions.
Severe Weather Guidance
Following the unique challenges presented by the unprecedented weather conditions last week, CET have taken a decision to ensure that no employee is disadvantaged. The following information only applies to the defined period Wednesday 28th February to Friday 2nd March inclusive and the current, agreed severe weather arrangements (PY12 and PY13) remain in place for all other time outwith this period and for future periods of severe weather.
CET have decided that employees who lost time during the period of severe weather from Wednesday 28th February to Friday 2nd March will have a special credit of time up to their standard working day granted.
The following principles will apply:-
· The special credit of time will be granted to employees to cover absences from work as a result of adverse weather from 28th February to 2nd March inclusive
· Employees who worked part of any day during the defined period should have special credit of time granted to make up their standard working day
· If employees had pre-planned annual/flexi leave for these days then this will remain as pre-planned leave
· If employees reported in sick, this will be recorded as sick leave
· If employees requested leave during the defined period due to weather/travel concerns then this should be cancelled and special credit of time granted instead
· Casual/supply workers who were scheduled to work during this period and could not attend due to office and school closures, should be paid for the pre-agreed hours
Queries should be directed to your line manager in the first instance.
Dear Colleagues, For those who are enquiring about Fife Council as an employer’s severe weather guidlines for staff, please check this link.
To all members who have recently received a pay uplift.
As you will know some members have received a pay increase as a result of a recent job evaluation exercise. However we recognise that not everyone received the award backdated to April 2016.
UNISON Fife have recently submitted a collective grievance on behalf of our members who did not receive the backdate or increment award. We will keep members updated on our progress.
Damage Series Surveys
UNISON is conducting a survey of members working in trading standards teams in order to support out work campaigning against the cuts. These surveys mean that people can hear directly from workers, in often overlooked teams, about the impact of austerity on the quality of services. If you work in trading standards and want to share your views please use the link below to take part.
While your answers/comments will be used in our report we won’t identify you or your authority.
To all female Unison members wishing to join
UNISON Fife Woman’s Group
Here are the meeting dates for the rest of 2017 meetings.
All venues are at Fife House, Glenrothes, 7pm – 9pm other than our Christmas Social Night in December, date and time still to be confirmed.
Tuesday 29th August – Woman’s Health Information.
I have a pack that provides general information about a range of health matters that affect women, to give us a starting point and have a general discussion on woman’s health issues.
I am still trying to get a specialist nurse to come along to speak about the menopause, if anyone knows of someone in this field of work, send me their details and I will get in touch with them to organise a meeting.
I would also like your support in organising a short Questionnaire to find out what would be of interest to our woman members e.g., future topics/issues, venues for meetings, the timing of meetings.
Tuesday 3rd October – Breast Cancer Now Fundraiser and information evening.
Tuesday 14th November – A speaker from Thomson’s Solicitors to give a general overview about the legal services unison members and your family may be entitled to and how to access them.
Any enquiries to Margaret.firstname.lastname@example.org or Kathleen.email@example.com
Unison Fife Woman’s Officers.
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UNISON VICTORY ON TRIBUNAL FEES AT SUPREME COURT
I am delighted to tell you that UNISON Legal Services has been successful in its challenge to Employment Tribunal Fees. Today, the Supreme Court, the UK’S highest court, ruled that the Government acted unlawfully when it introduced fees to bring claims in the Employment Tribunals in England, Scotland and Wales. Since 2013, workers have had to pay as much as £1,200 plus to have claims for sex discrimination or unfair dismissal heard at Tribunal.
I am so very proud that it is our union which has successfully challenged this great injustice. As the Supreme Court has said Employment Tribunals play a vital role in enforcing employment rights by employees and workers including the low paid. The Court found that UNISON’s evidence showed that the fall in claims when fees came in was ‘so sharp, so substantial and so sustained’ that fees could not reasonably be afforded by those on low to middle incomes. It also held that fees particularly deterred claims of low value which as we know are generally brought by the most vulnerable workers.
This historic judgement makes heavy criticism of the Government’s actions. It found that the system of fees introduced in 2013 infringed constitutional rights. The Court said that citizens’ right of access to the courts which is guaranteed by Magna Carta was effectively prevented by the Fees Order which introduced fees in Employment Tribunals. The level at which the fees had been set contravened ‘elementary economics and plain common sense’.
This decision in our union’s case will benefit all working people.
Our next steps are to call for the Government to
· quash the rules relating to fees,
· reimburse all fees paid since 2013,
· immediately remove all references to fees on ET claim forms and government literature, websites and advice; and
· pay UNISON’s costs in full.
I would like to thank all members of UNISON Legal Services who have worked tirelessly on this case but particular mention should be made of Adam Creme, Shantha David, Ben Patrick, Kate Osborne and Grant Haycock and to Bronwyn McKenna, AGS, who has worked with me on this.
A message from Douglas Black, Regional Organiser…
I can now confirm that COSLA have at a Special Leaders Meeting now agreed the SJC Pay award for 2017/18 and the appropriate agreement for issuing to all local authorities is being drafted and will be distributed within the next few days.
The Leaders have also agreed to a joint approach to the Scottish Government making the case for additional resources for local government and if this was successful they recognise that additional money for future pay awards is a priority.
We will also be meeting with COSLA within the next few weeks to start preliminary discussions on a future Pay Strategy and hoping to conclude this by December this year.