Vulnerable Person Risk Assessments (VERA)…

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Your reps have become aware that some employers are using a scoring system called VERA to inform decisions about staff returning to work.

Scores are attributed to individuals based on Age, Gender, ethnicity, and work-based factors.

We are concerned that this is rather a blunt instrument to deal with what could be sensitive considerations.

Any members who are concerned about a potential return to work, whether VERA has been referred to or not, are asked to get in touch with us for support.

Regardless of who your employer is, large or small organisation, they have a duty of care to ensure any identifiable risk is minimised.

#Coventry City #UNISON update for Coventry City Council Staff

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Coventry City Council is beginning to review buildings and services that run from them in light of the easing of some aspects of lockdown.

At the moment they are very broad discussions, not focussing on specific services.  We will ensure that risk assessment are in place before any decisions are made.

If your service area is proposing changes to the way you currently work, please contact the branch to help you review the risk assessments and for further guidance and support. Email office@unisoncoventry.co.uk or phone 02476 550829.

Update for Coventry City #UNISON Members in Schools

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The branch has sent a letter to all headteachers requesting the risk assessments drafted for the increase in pupil numbers that was suggested for 1st June.  Trade union consultation on risk assessments is set in legislation.

We have sent specific advice to local reps about this, particularly if they are asked to be involved. Reps have met with the Local Authority a number of times this week and discussed their guidance to schools.

UNISON is clear that any safe increase in pupil numbers on 1st June or after is based on the Governments National Tests being met alongside the agreed joint trade union tests. Individual schools will need a robust agreed risk assessment in place to safeguard staff and pupils

We are having regular meetings with the Local Authority. Each school and academy has been emailed by the branch and UNISON nationally to engage in a dialogue about risk assessments. Prior to any increase in pupil numbers,  schools must share risk assessments with the branch and employees. 

If you have any concerns or questions about a safe increase in pupil numbers, or if your school has indicated an increase in provision but you have not seen risk assessments, then please contact the branch office as soon as possible. Email office@unisoncoventry.co.uk or phone 02476 550829.

We have requested that the Local Authority provide us with a list of which schools they have had risk assessments from and proposed opening dates.

It is our intention that where we do receive risk assessments from schools, we will be contacting members at those schools to inform them of our response.

We understand that UNISON Nationally will be issuing further guidance to members following the government announcement on the 28th and we will ensure that gets communicated to our members here in Coventry.

PRESS RELEASE – Sickness Absence in Coventry City Council

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Coventry City UNISON note that sickness absence due to stress has risen 10% in the last year.  At a time of austerity with many council jobs having been lost and demand for services ever increasing this is no surprise to us.  Coventry City UNISON are working with our members to try to address the issue of stress in the workplace and the causes of it.  The union will be coming forward with proposals for the council to consider a proper mental health strategy; this is an issue that UNISON has been raising for some considerable time even getting the employer to do some training with MIND but unfortunately for many of our members they have not seen any benefit of this.

 

Sarah Feeney, Branch Secretary said in response to Cllr Mutton’s comments, “We were very surprised to see Cllr Mutton’s comments regarding his belief that an unnamed union has been encouraging its members to go off sick.  The reality is that many of our members who are off sick with stress have needed time away from the workplace to get better.  Our considerable experience tells us that it is a matter for the medical profession to determine whether an employee is fit for work and not a trade union.  What is more have also consistently raised issues of Equality and Diversity that affect the culture of the work place which in turn impacts on absence. These concerns are well known to the employer. 

 

In a number of cases management inaction for a period of months has led to both the absence and the prolonged nature of it and we would be more than happy to discuss these matters with Cllr Mutton.  In respect of his comment about carers taking time off sick for childcare we do not recognise that from our work with our members; in reality a large amount of the sickness total is due to long periods of absence largely due to stress issues. The City Council needs to take seriously the issue of its duty of care to employees that is enshrined in law”

 

Message ends

 

 

Care Workers Seminar for UNISON members

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Friday 5 July 2019 – UNISON Centre, London

UNISON is holding a social care seminar for members from across the UK on Friday 5 July 2019 at the UNISON Centre in London. UNISON members in Coventry who deliver frontline services across the whole range of adult social care settings are invited to attend. 

The seminar is open to all social care UNISON members, whether you work for the council, not for profit community or voluntary organisation, a for profit company or delivering social care in a healthcare setting.     

Members will have the opportunity to hear about UNISON’s future plans for social care, to learn how best to campaign and organise in the sector and to allow people to help shape the union’s work in the area.  There will be a mix of excellent speakers, including talks from inspiring care workers who have been involved in industrial disputes and an update on UNISON’s ongoing legal action over the sleep-in issue.  

Workshop topics currently include:

  • Dealing with violence at work
  • How to try and achieving safe staffing levels in care homes
  • Campaigning and organising in the care sector across the UK
  • Pay and tax issues facing care workers 
  • Establishing career progression for care workers

Places are limited to 90 members.  We are keen for a mix of homecare, residential home, nursing home, supported living workers and all other frontline care workers to come along and to ensure that there is fair representation of members at the event.  We also want to try and make sure that members who work for private and voluntary sector employers attend.

The cost of the seminar will be met by Coventry City UNISON.  This will cover travel, refreshments, lunch and administrative costs for the event. 

The seminar will run from approximately 10:15 until 15:30.  A full and detailed programme of events will be available nearer the time.

If anyone wants to attend this please contact George Sands, Coventry City UNISON Branch Office – phone 02476 521128 or email george.sands@unisoncoventry.co.uk

Anyone interested should let us know before Wednesday next week (29thMay) so we have time to make your booking before the deadline. 

Thanks

Coventry City UNISON

Statement for our members in Coventry City Council ref. Car Parking

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Coventry City UNISON has received a number of queries from members in Coventry City Council @coventrycc about the new arrangements for car parking, the removal of Trade Union Car Park passes and other related matters. 

Please note that the City Council Trade Unions have not agreed to these new arrangements and have disputed this.

The City Council management team have still not resolved the issues we raised. We therefore cannot advise on the arrangements themselves as we are not party to their implementation. 

If you have questions about the arrangements, or there is something you have not understood, we recommend you speak to your Line Manager or to your HR advisor who should be giving you clear guidance and support. 

If you feel you have been treated unfairly and want to discuss this then we recommend you speak to your UNISON representative direct or to Branch Office – email office@unisoncoventry.co.uk