A large part of this year has been spent supporting members with TUPE because of the Government cuts as OHFT has to tender/bid for work.  I don't believe that when the NHS was set up in 1948 it was ever expected to become a "business".  Too many services and more importantly jobs are being trimmed to the bone so that it becomes unsustainable and the workload becomes unmanageable.  Staff are burning out and there isn't enough funding to deliver a service that the staff and patients can be proud of.

These cuts not only cause physical issues for members but also their mental health suffers.  This year our workload has increased and we've tried our best to support our members.  We have represented members with anything from disciplinary hearings caused by "burn out" to helping members to apply for welfare to fund some of their every day bills, this is a service Unison supplies but it's a disgrace that this has to happen in 2014.
We've recruited new stewards who will be trained to support members in the next month so we'll become a louder voice when dealing with issues that members need support with.

We are still negotiating with management over the thorny issue of staff car parking, we don't object to the issuing of permits but we strongly object to paying for this, members cannot afford more to be taken out of their earnings.   The joint union petition against charges has been supported by hundreds of staff.
We have spent a considerable amount of time campaigning for a pay rise and so far have had two successful strikes with members giving strong support to the picket lines.  There was a lot of anger at the few well paid members who scabbed on the strike, leaving the lowest paid to fight for their wage rise.   Over a hundred Unison members have had more than 4 hours pay deducted for the Oct 13th strike.  Union Stewards in OHFT have lodged a collective grievance demanding the full amount owed to staff is returned in good time for Xmas.

The recent letter from the Chief Executive about the downgrading of the Trust’s financial status (see back page) will no doubt increase pressures on staff.  We will need more new stewards to defend ourselves in 2015.

Jane Lacey - joint convenor

Download no charging for parking petition

 

Ask anyone who works at any of the Oxford health Foundation Trust main sites about car parking and then brace yourself for an outpouring of frustration. Staff and managers alike report difficulty finding places to park, often impacting on their ability to get their work done in the limited time available, stressing staff out and undermining the trust’s drive to ever greater efficiency.

UNISON, with the joint staff side in Oxford Health Trust, has written to the Trust managers following concerns raised by members about the changes in community teams following a organisational change and dangerously low staffing levels in the Crisis team. In particular staff are worried about the risk to patients who will need new care coordinators as a result of the implementation of the new model requiring some staff to move to other teams.

A review of equality statistics in Oxford Health Foundation Trust has raised questions as to the effectiveness of the Trust’s Equality monitoring procedures. By comparing the ethnic make up of the Trust with the proportions who are subject to disciplinary procedures UNISON has uncovered a worrying picture that stewards believe requires action by the Trust in order to comply with its duties under the Equalities Act.

Plans to stretch ward based front line staff thinner by changing the shift and break patterns in OHFT have been pushed back by UNISON members organising against the proposals.

The Trust has announced it is dropping plans for an imminent full scale implementation of a scheme that would reduce nursing hours by the equivalent of 40 full time staff. Instead the Trust now plans to run trials on 2 wards only from March to July next year. The plan is to then extend the scheme to all other wards by Nov 2013.

Plans to stretch ward based front line staff thinner by changing the shift and break patterns in OHFT have been pushed back by UNISON members organising against the proposals.

The Trust has announced it is dropping plans for an imminent full scale implementation of a scheme that would reduce nursing hours by the equivalent of 40 full time staff.   Instead the Trust now plans to run trials on 2 wards only from March to July next year.  The plan is to then extend the scheme to all other wards by Nov 2013.

The decision to delay the implementation is a testament to the strength of feeling staff have expressed against the changes, especially at the last round of meetings with the Director of Nursing Services where ward managers and Modern matrons joined front line staff in criticising the cuts as bad for patient care and increasing risks to staff.