The contact page now has a list of all stewards and officers within Unison Fife. This makes it more easier for members to know who their stewards are in their area.
Pay freezes are driving down living standards, while the rich get richer – UNISON
Public services union UNISON today released a report showing how pay freezes are contributing to sharply declining living standards for workers in vital services.
UNISON contrasted the increasing wealth of the richest with the “triple whammy” of frozen pay, inflation and tax and benefit changes affecting ordinary families.
Dave Watson, Head of Bargaining and Campaigns, said the impact is “bad for families, bad for services and bad for the economy.”
He added: “Any serious economic recovery will involve boosting demand, partly by providing fair pay settlements for workers in public services.”
Stephanie Herd, chair of the union’s Local Government Committee, said: “Council workers across Scotland have in effect had their pay cut through the pay freeze. This report confirms just how much of a hit they are taking. It shows why the current local government pay offer is not enough and has been rejected by our members.
“We need an end to the pay freeze and fair pay for workers, who we know will spend their money locally, boosting the economy in the process.”
She added that only the implementation of Living Wage policies across much of the public sector in Scotland has offered any respite to workers hit by the assault on their living standards.
On pay, median gross weekly pay in Scotland in 2007 was £360.20. This had risen to £396.10 by 2012. If it had increased in line with inflation, it would be £423.22 by 2012. A worker earning median pay (exactly halfway along the income distribution – half earning more, half earning less), is therefore 6.4% or £27.12 a week and £1410.24 a year worse off.
Inflation as it is experienced by lower paid workers is higher than indexed levels and hurts more. Inescapable essential expenditure items like food, fuel and transport have all risen far higher than the CPI in recent years.
Meanwhile the combined impact of tax and benefit changes will mean a 1% drop in income for the bottom 30% of households and 2% for households with one earner and two children.
In sharp contrast the wealthiest, as measured by the Sunday Times Rich List, recorded rises in wealth of 18%, 4.7% and 8.7%, very comfortably above inflation for each of the last three years. Their collective wealth is nearly £450 billion, more than three times the UK deficit.
Dave Watson UNISON Head of Bargaining and Campaigns said: “These figures confirm what our members know from their pockets and purses – wages aren’t going as far they used to.
“While our members struggle to provide services with ever fewer resources and then to pay their bills when they get home, those at the very top are getting richer and richer.”
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Fife NHS Board Agree Integration Proposals
Fife NHS Board has agreed proposals for an Integrated Partnership approach to progress the integration of adult health and social care services in Fife.
At their meeting (30/04) Board members agreed that a Shadow Integrated Health & Social Care Partnership Board be established to oversee developments and to work alongside current Community Health Partnership (CHP) Committees and strategic committees, ahead of Scottish Government legislation next year.
The Board’s decision follows Fife Council’s Executive Committee’s agreement of the same proposals earlier in April.
NHS Fife Chief Executive, John Wilson, said: “We are committed to ensuring that patients and service users have positive experiences which help to maintain or improve their quality of life.
“There are many excellent examples of effective partnership working in Fife, and we are already in a strong position for taking this major initiative forward. In the years to come colleagues from a variety of health and social care disciplines will increasingly work together to deliver more co-ordinated services. This agreement marks an important step as we work towards realising these aims.”
New plans to integrate services for adults will now see Fife Council and NHS Fife come together in a new way, with partner providers to focus on improving outcomes for people. For the first time there will be joint budget management and planning around the needs of patients and service users, this will be led by Clinicians and Professionals at a local level.
The news also follows the appointment of Stephen Moore, Executive Director Social Work and Lead for Health with Fife Council, as Interim Director of Health and Social Care Partnership. Accountable to the NHS Fife Board and Fife Council, and reporting to the Chief Executives of both organisations, Mr Moore took up post on 1 May 2013.
Fife Council Leader, Alex Rowley said: “The approval by NHS Fife Board Members and Fife Council Executive in April marks a turning point for NHS and Social Work Services in Fife. Integration is about putting people first, especially the most vulnerable in our communities. It won’t fix all the challenges facing health and social work overnight but it will be a move to reduce some of the barriers between services and deliver services that are right for Fifers and right for the future.”
Fife Council Chief Executive, Ronnie Hinds added: “We welcome the decision taken by Members of NHS Fife Board. It is an important step in the journey towards ensuring older people and people with long-term health conditions get the right support at the right time, first time around. This comes at a time when both organisations face the pressures of ageing population and pressure on finances, but our joint aim is to encourage and enable people to be as independent as possible at home with a good quality of life.”