In response to plans to change shift lengths in Oxford health UNSIOn stwards worked out that the new proposals would reduce the numebr of staff available to patients on almost all shifts on all mental health and community hospital wards in Oxfordshire.  This would mean staff haviung to work harder to maintain current levels of care, with a greater risk of fatiuge and accidents.

•    Hundreds  ward staff have signed the petition asking management to reconsider their proposals and listen to staff concerns.
•    UNISON submitted a dossier of staff concerns and objections to the proposals to management at the beginning of June.
•    UNISON published a document showing that staffing levels would be reduced by the changes as a result of more time being spent on breaks on each shift.
•    management has since extended the consultation until 27th July due to the “depth of feeling and level of concern amongst many staff members about the impact of the proposals on both patient care and work life balance”
•    management has requested to meet with union reps on 5th July to discuss modifications to the shift proposals

UNISON members should be proud  that their efforts to organise and attend meetings, circulate petitions and gather feedback have made a significant contribution to management’s decision to reconsider their proposal.  We may not have reached the position that many members would like to see but

At the same time we need to be aware that more action by members may yet be required to ensure the outcome the majority of members believe is best.  

One of the best ways we can ensure that we are able to accurately represent members and effectively respond to this and other challenges is for members to ensure elect a steward for their work area if they do not already have one.  UNISON provides full training and stewards have the legal right to paid time off to attend training and carry out their role.