The UNISON campaign to ensure that shift based staff are paid properly when they go on leave is finally nearing the end of a process that has taken years to complete.
In a paper tabled to staff unions (below) managers confirmed that the vast majority of staff had now been paid and that there was now a plan and mechanism to ensure that similarly mistakes would not be made in the future.
The paper also accepted that for some staff (who had moved around NHSGGC in recent years) there was still some sweeping up to be done.
Cathy Miller said, "UNISON refused to let this go and when other unions were willing to accept explanations that were not right, we argued on behalf of our members and won. There is still work to do and this wont be off my 'in tray' until I am satisfied that our members including those classed as needing swept up are properly paid. That said, I am pleased that once again UNISON has delivered for our members."
The purpose of this paper is to detail the following:-
The number of individuals paid as at October 2014.
The plan for completion of this project.
The development of the Scottish Standard Payroll System (SSTS) to automatically calculate Paid as if at Work (PAIAW) entitlements for Staff.
1. Following discussions with Staff Side Partners the Board in the October 2014 pay run paid the vast majority of outstanding areas with outstanding queries in relation to PAIAW. The payments were made to individuals within all wards and departments that had previously indicated that there was an issue. The database that has been developed over the last few months included the vast majority of the Acute Division areas.
In addition, payments due to staff for the period 2008/2009 will be processed as the data has been sourced from ATOS - this is the Data not available within the SSTS historic data files as it exceeded the agreed storage time limit. The PAIAW calculation for the financial year ending March 2014 (April 2013 to March 2014) has also been concluded ad this payment along with the 2008/09 payment will be made in November 2014.
2. As detailed above the retrospective payments for 2008/09 and 2013/14 are being calculated and processed.
3. In addition there are individuals who have not as yet had full payments made to them due to various factors such as break in service, internal moves, more than one pay number. These cases are being worked through on an individual basis to collate any missing data and so that outstanding payments can be processed. It is recognised that this work requires to be completed timeously. HR and Payroll will continue to ensure that the required data is sourced and payments processed as quickly as possible.
4. As advised in previous papers developments to the SSTS system was commissioned to provide functionality that automatically calculates holiday payments in line with the Agenda for Change terms and Conditions of Service as it relates to PAIAW.
The required functionality has been developed and is now available on SSTS.
The proposal is that the SSTS system will calculate any holiday pay that may be due based on the previous 12 month working pattern. This 12 month working pattern is the same reference period used to identify outstanding payments due as part of the manual PAIAW exercise and therefore provides a consistency in the calculation.
The software within SSTS will mirror exactly the calculation process agreed by Staff Partners in relation to the manual calculations and will go back for a period of 12 months immediately prior to the annual leave period. The Payroll Department have the ability to turn this function on when required however agreement will be sought from the Area Partnership Forum within NHS GG&C.
The new SSTS functionality will only be activated once these agreements have been reached. The addition of the new facility within SSTS will have no impact on front end users as the calculation will be undertaken behind the main pages automatically and paid automatically to staff. This will avoid any future exercises such as the one just completed where we have been unable to accurately reflect annual leave payments in an individual’s salary due to the complexity of the calculation that is now required.
In submitting this paper to the Area Partnership Forum we are seeking approval for:-
1. The actions taken to date in relation to payment of staff.
2. Agreement that the individual calculations that require to be completed as detailed in point 2 continue and are completed as soon as possible.
3. The development of the SSTS system as detailed in point 3 is accepted thus allowing the functionality to be activated. The Board after approval from both the Area Partnership Forum will ensure the additional SSTS functionality is activated and undertakes staff PAIAW work calculations in line with the agreed configuration (i.e. 12 Month reference period).
NHS bosses have confirmed that they are hopeful that the final round of payments will be in staff wages by the end of Nov and have committed to meeting with UNISON to ‘wash up’ any outstanding anomalies before the end of the year.
Payments for the period 2008 are also expected to be in wages by the end of the year and the employers have invested in a software fix to the payroll system which will ‘average’ annual leave when staff take a holiday.
Cathy Miller said, “UNISON members and activist have led on this issue throughout and whilst there is still a lot to be done, I am pleased that we have secured millions of pounds in unpaid holiday pay for our members.”
UNISON continues to campaign and negotiate on behalf of members around pay as if at work.
As predicted progress slowed down as the Board approached the end of the financial year. But to date almost 3000 members have received payments owed to them totalling in excess of £2m.
UNISON has successfully argued for additional admin, HR and finance support and the ‘work plan’ released by some unions – which was not accepted by UNISON has been amended to take account of this. As a result, the Board now plans to have all wards and claims processed no later than Nov 2014.
Whilst UNISON welcomes these resources and improved timescale the union remains concerned that despite the high profile of this issue – some wards are still not getting it right.
Regional Organiser Matt McLaughlin said, “The payroll systems don’t help and we have some sympathy for local managers who are trying to get it right but cant. Staff rostering has always been an Achilles Heel in the NHS and the complexity of flexible shift patterns doesn’t help, but staff are legally entitled to be paid correctly and it is not good enough that some areas continue to blatantly ignore their legal obligations.”
The employers side are trying to devise a ‘system’ solution to meet the future challenges, but have struggled to get support from other health boards in Scotland meaning that a solution is more likely to be a local fix, rather than a wide sweeping technical investment.
Still outstanding is the level of payment due for the period Oct 2008 –April 2009. The pay information for this period is stored out with the NHS by their IT contractors and there is some concern that it may not be in a usable format.
UNISON has rejected an offer from the employers because it did not believe that the method proposed was fair to all staff.
Matt added, “The employers side initially suggested that they might look to avoid asking for the historical data, because they felt it would not be in a usable format. UNISON and other unions indicated that we were willing to consider an offer, but that it had to be fair and recognise our members losses.
At a recent meeting the employers proposed that they would extend the percentage payment (11.58%) which was applicable before the introduction of Agenda for Change. Whilst some unions were willing to accept this, UNISON refused. It is our opinion, based on pay modelling we had seen, that the proposal could see as much as ¼ of affected staff paid less than they are entitled to. Whilst for some that would have been a small figure, for others it was large enough for us to say that the offer was not good enough.”
NHS bosses have now gone away with agreement to try and source the historical data and base a payment on that figure. Talks continue.
The campaign to secure holiday for nurses and nurse assistant members across NHSGGC continues, although as predicted progress stalled over Christmas and the employers have been slow to get moving again in the first two months of 2014.
A recent meeting with UNISON drew and angry response from the union after the employers suggested that it could take more than 12 months to complete the exercise.
Matt McLaughlin, Regional Organiser said, “We’ve told NHS bosses that this simply is not acceptable, they’ve known about this for ages and still they seem paralysed by the scale of the mess that they have created.”
UNISON is now demanding that the employers need to bring in more HR and Payroll staff to deliver this programme. NHS bosses have agreed and a paper is to be prepared for the Chief Exec. Matt said, “Lets hope they write the paper and get an answer faster than they’ve moved so far.”
Despite employer briefings and union information, some wards still seem unable to get this issue correct. UNISON has called for NHS bosses to take urgent action if a local ward continues to make these contractual payments wrongly.
Matt said, “Yes this is a complex issue, but payroll and HR have issued a number of briefings and everyone should know by now what the obligations are. Its getting to the stage that UNISON has to question whether its deliberate that some areas continue to pay wrongly. If that’s the case, then someone needs to take action against people who continue to refuse to implement the national agreement.”
Almost 2500 Nurses and Nursing Assistants employed by NHSGGC have now received payments which they were owed as part of the UNISON Pay as if at Work Campaign as we approach the Christmas deadline for payroll.
Cathy Miller said, “It’s been a slog but we are making progress, after the holiday period UNISON will be pressing to ensure that the employers don’t take their eye of the ball or try to wriggle out of their commitment to check every ward area across NHSGGC.”
A similar campaign has secured a commitment from NHS bosses at the National Waiting Times Centre/Beardmore Hotel to pay an estimated 400 staff what they are owed early in the new year.
UNISON estimates that NHSGGC have paid out in excess of £1million so far with the exercise around half way finished. Cathy added, “Not everyone is entitled to a payment, because some areas did manage to get it right, but its a testimony to the UNISON campaign that NHS nurses and nursing assistants are already over a million pounds better off.”
By the time the Christmas pay run is complete almost 2000 staff across NHS Glasgow and Clyde will have recieved payments from the 'Pay as if at Work' campaign initiatied and driven forward by UNISON. Branch officials have welcomed the announcement, but are calling on more to be done to ensure that the analysis and number of payments speeds up in the new year.
Cathy Miller said, "Of course I am pleased that almost 2000 NHS workers are better off as a result of our campaign and work, these are staff who we were told were' paid properly' working in wards where managers said there was 'no problem'. But I am concerned that months on and we havent hit the half way mark yet. There are still thousands of sets of data to be analysed and I want the money paid and in my members pockets."
UNISON has also drafted a 'standard grievance' for members who have retired of left NHSGGC before April 2013 after NHS bosses said they would need to apply for any monies due.
If you retired/left NHSGGC - or if a colleagues has retired or left NHSGGC and they are a UNISON member - they can get a copy of the standard grievance at email@example.com
Following a recent update meeting with NHS bosses, UNISON can advise members that
· NHSGGC expects to have paid out around 1000 staff by Nov
· There is concern that the shorter deadline for the Dec pay run will affect their ability to process circa 500 records but they will try and provide an update by email
· The IT mechanism that they have developed to review wards and staff has been modified – it can now run in or around 10 wards each session (a session takes about a day – that data then needs to be analysed and sent to ward managers for confirmation of accuracy etc etc, before going to payroll for calculation) – this is a positive step.
There is an initial list of wards and they seem to be on time – the list is not published because it is not a full list of all wards and is only a first wave – publishing of a ‘list’ would create tension between staff groups as one group might perceive that another was before them in the running order –
This job is too big to do in one sitting and so a running order (for good or bad) is necessary.
Work is still ongoing to review other wards with around 100 identified for the next wave and then a sweep up review after that for ward areas which have not been ‘highlighted’ in previous complaints or grievance or the employers think are safe.
UNISON has asked for and received an assurance in writing that ALL wards will be checked
Members will be aware that the employers side are not able to easily access the data for the 6 month period Oct 2008 – April 2009. At the meeting they proposed that they would pull down the payroll data for this period and pay staff at 12.5% (this is the pre A4C arrangement – which was introduced to ensure that the service was Working Time Regs compliant).
UNISON has asked for workings for specific examples and for these to be compared to the ‘actual’ payments that people have received (2009 onwards) under PAIAW to compare what if any difference there is - NOTE we have NOT accepted this proposal at this stage.
Going Forward – SSTS have been asked to design a change to the system which automatically calculates the members entitlement based on a 12 month rolling average – UNISON is considering this proposal and will respond in due course.
Cathy Miller, Branch Secretary said, "This is taking longer than we would want, but it is still faster than relying on court and we are starting to see the fruits of our hard work. There is clesrly still some way to go and the critical issue of making sure that NHS bosses dont make the same mess again, is still a hot topic of debate, but UNISON is determined that our members will get their dues."
The process to evaluate and pay all Nursing (including nursing assistants and midwives) is back on track after UNISON raised a formal complaint with the Chief Executive.
The complaint was raised after NHS bosses advised that they would NOT evaluate every ward and clinical area where 24/7 services are provided but would only look at a small number of areas.
UNISON Branch Secretary Cathy Miller said, “UNISON reacted strongly and decisively when the employers side decided to move the goal posts as a result the process is now back on track.”
The confirmation that every area will be reviewed does mean that the process will take some time – hard pressed payroll members are only able to calculate and process about 500 people per month – with an estimated 4/5000 people affected it could be after Christmas before the exercise is complete.
Cathy said, “I am not happy that the NHS have taken over two years to get this sorted, but I am pleased that thanks to UNISON we are now making headway and around 600 staff have now been paid with a further 500 in the pipeline for October.”
UNISON has successfully argued for all staff in affected areas to receive a letter breaking down the hours that they are owed (or not owed) and a detailed calculation in the payslips.
Cathy added, “UNISON members will need to bear in mind that this is not free money, it is based on how many enhanced hours an individual worked between now and 2008. It is perfectly conceivable that staff working side by side will have different back pay.”
If you think your payment is wrong you should take your payslip and calculation letter to your line manager in the first instance – then if you are still unhappy speak to your local UNISON steward or get advice on 0141 331 4450.
Our recent members newsletter updated members to the latest developments in our campaign to secure the correct pay for thousands of nurses, nursing assistants and others across NHSGGC.
At the time of going to print the union was engaged in tough discussions with the employers side, after they advised that not all wards would br reviewed in accordance with the process that had been developed.
UNISON is pleased to advise that our argument has won the day, with the employers side conceding that their approach was unfair and would put NHSGGC at risk of litigation.
With around 500 staff paid in the September pay run, tangible progress is now being made although there are still some fine details which need solutions.
Cathy Miller said, “We’re not there yet, but we can now at least see real progress and it’s nice that members have been phoning in to confirm that they now have the money that they are owed. However there are still thousands of staff who have not been paid and UNISON is determined that they will receive what they are due.”
UNISON expects the employers to make an offer for the period 2008 (6 months) for which they are unable to easily access data and has welcomed the news that any staff who have now retired/left (after 1 April 2013) will automatically be paid. Staff who left before 31 March 2013, will need to write to their line manager and ask for payment.
Regional Organiser Matt McLaughlin said, “I am not happy that the NHS has dithered and dallied on this issue and as such there are some staff who have now left the service who wont be paid automatically, however we need to be realistic, this issue has been going on so long that some of these staff may have moved house, changed their bank accounts or even died, so the NHS cant automatically stick money into their bank accounts. The solution is for these workers to write in to their former line manager and ask for their money.”
UNISON will of course support and assist any current members who have retired/ left employment, to find out how to become a retired member contact Janice on 0141 331 4450
What is pay as if at work
UNISON has been campaigning for some time on the issue of ‘pay as if at work’. The NHS terms and conditions state that nurses should be paid ‘as if at work’ when they go on annual leave. That means that for staff who work ‘enhanced’ hours they should receive a portion of their annual leave at an enhanced rate.
If you work permanent night shift – all your leave should be paid at nightshift rates.
If you work 30% or your shift at nights then 30% of your annual leave should be paid at enhanced rates etc etc
I have received a payment – I did not ask for this – why
UNISON has been campaigning for some time on the issue of ‘pay as if at work’. The NHS terms and conditions state that nurses should be paid ‘as if at work’ when they go on annual leave. That means that for staff who work ‘enhanced’ hours they should receive a portion of their annual leave at an enhanced rate.
Many UNISON members raised concerns with us and our campaign and negations have secured agreement that all staff who are affected by this will get paid – irrespective of whether they complained or not. We've secured this agreement because its the right thing to do.
I have heard that some staff have received payment – when will I get mine?
As part of the negotiations with unions it was agreed that we would test the process that has been devised, this will allow us to make sure that payments are accurate.
My ward has been paid out and we’ve all got different sums of money ?
That’s what we would expect. Because the payments are based on hours worked everyones calculation will be different. What is important is that you review the letter and calculations that you should have received from NHSGGC.
I think my payment is wrong what should I do?
If you think your calculation is wrong then you should speak to your line manager in the first instance and your local UNISON steward if you are not happy with the answer you have been given.
You will need to provide FACTS to support your concerns i.e. rota information, payroll information and or a diary of hours worked/paid.
My payment does not include any hours from 2008
NHS bosses are currently unable to pull down proper information from the 6 month period from 2008 that is relevant to Pay as if at Work. UNISON has made it clear that we want our members paid in full. We are awaiting NHSGGC coming forward with a proposal.
I worked in another wards and have only received a payment for part of the period concerned.
Because of the system we have had to develop with the employers, the calculations are based on a ward by ward basis. That means that some staff who have moved from one ward to another might receive two payments – on an aggregate basis as each ward is evaluated and payments made.
I have received a payment but I think the tax / NI / pension payments are wrong
Current UK employment law means that all payments (because they are wages) are liable to tax, national insurance and pension payments.
Current UK tax/NI law and the terms of the pension scheme are such that deductions are taken at the CURRENT rate of deduction. There is nothing we can do about this and had we taken the employer to court – tribunal this is consistent with the decision that would have been applied there.
I have received a payment – am I not due interest on the payment for the length of time it has taken to pay me.
No – the agreement is based on ‘actual loss’ which is what you would be entitled too if you pursued a legal claim. There is no provision in the current legal framework for ‘interest’ in these circumstances.
I work in Mental Health – partnerships – Learning Disabilities – I have heard that the employer are delaying payment for us
UNISON has led negotiations for all of our members and we are angry that despite assurances some areas are slower than others – however we have identified a number of areas across ‘partnerships’ etc where we believe that staff might be due payments. There is work being done NOW to evaluate that.
The Chief Executive has confirmed that all staff who are owed money will get paid. We would hope to have a specific communication on this in the next few weeks.
I work in Mental Health – partnerships – Learning Disabilities – I have heard that the employer are delaying payment for us – should we lodge a grievance
Not at this stage – we are still working through this issue and staff who are owed money will get paid. UNISON will communicate with our members in mental health (etc) if we need to proceed to grievances.
Does the agreement include staff who were on sick pay
Not at this stage, but UNISON has secured agreement with NHS bosses that they will look at a number of staff who were on sick leave to see if there is a similar problem. If there is we will pursue payment – we would hope to have a specific communication on this in the next few weeks.
NHS union UNISON has welcomed the news that the first ‘Pay as if at work’ payments will be made to staff at the Beatson in July. At times UNISON has been a loan voice in this campaign and it has taken an incredible amount of hard work to get NHSGGC to the point where they not only accept there is a problem and to reach a solution which is robust and sensible.
Branch Secretary Cathy Miller said, “I am pleased that we will finally see some members aid what they are owed in the next pay run. After that ‘pilot’ exercise is completed I want to see NHSGGC commit and deliver for everyone else in the next few months.”
Commenting in the time it has taken to secure payments, Cathy added, “I am not happy that it has taken NHS bosses so long to get this sorted, I appreciate that the calculations are complex and that we need to get them right, but this is money owed to hard working UNISON members, now that we appear to have a mechanism and process, I want it paid without any further unnecessary delays.”
There are still some points of discussion taking place with NHS bosses. This includes a period of time in 2008, where records are not available; areas already paid – but not using the agreed mechanism; sick pay and members who are not in the ACUTE Division.
Regional Organiser Matt McLaughlin said, “In some areas local ward managers seem to have pressed on and paid staff, without waiting on the NHSGGC process. There is now concern that these ‘local’ calculations may be wrong, we have raised this with NHSGGC and await their response. There are also some fine details around 2008 values where money is due to staff. We have this as an outstanding action and should be able to update in the next few days.”
On sick pay Matt said, “It looks like most staff were paid the correct sick pay, so the focus has been on annual leave payments for now. However I have asked NHS bosses to do a random sample of long term sickness and UNISON will be communicating directly with our members on pay whilst sick in the early autumn.”
UNISON and GMB met with the employers side 19 June to discuss and review the final pieces of work which are being done to ensure that UNISON members get paid properly when they are on leave.
Management side have now completed testing of the data collection system which will be used to gather information about staff work hours and holiday pay from 3 different sets of data (they don’t actually speak to each other) gathered by NHSGGC.
The system itself is able to work out how many hours were worked in a leave year and how many were worked at an enhanced rate. It then uses other data to evaluate whether the member of staff has received enhancements when on leave and whether they are correct.
NHS bosses have now agreed to use the system to evaluate EVERY ward in the Acute Division across NHSGGC. Local Managers will be sent data and asked to confirm that it is accurate, a governance system has been built up to ensure that reports are not 'lost' or 'forgotten'. Even with this it is estimated that it could take up to 5 months for every single Nurse and Nursing Assistant in Acute to be evaluated and payments put through.
Regional Organiser Matt McLaughlin has led for the trade union side on this issue he said, "This was never going to be a quick fix and we've had to do some fairly robust negotiating as we've gone through, but were just about there and the system looks as if it will do what it says on the side of the tin."
All staff should in time receive a letter from NHSGGC which sets out the hours worked at enhancement v/s the hours annual leave paid at enhancements this will allow them at a glance to see if they are due a payment and it will give them the chance to speak to their line manager if they think that it’s wrong. At the point of payment staff should then receive a clear record within their pay advice slip which will take the hours owed and convert them to an equivalent cash payment (this bit is still being worked on).
Commenting on timescales and levels of payment Matt said, "UNISON appreciates that it might seem like the timescales are still too long, but if we'd gone straight to employment tribunals we would have been lucky to have judgements by next spring. This approach means that all staff, who have been underpaid will get what they are actually due. I am not going to guess at how much this will be worth to UNISON members. Because of the nature of individual shift patterns and holiday entitlement it is likely that some staff will appear to do well, others will do less well. It’s important to remember that this is not free money and its linked directly to what you would have earned had you been paid at a specific point in time."
UNISON would remind members that any payments due are liable for deductions of tax, national insurance and pensions - in the case of NI and Pensions the regulations require these deductions to be taken at the 'current' rate
UNISON has welcomed the NHSGGC briefing for staff on Pay as if at Work. The full briefing note is listed below.
Cathy Miller, Branch Secretary said, "I am pleased that NHS bosses now feel confident enough to brief staff affected by this - of course UNISON members have been kept in touch by their union throughout and we will continue to do that. This is good for non union members and staff who might not be as aware as our member."
As you may be aware, there was concern raised within NHSGG&C in relation to how pay is calculated for some members of staff who work unsocial hours. The Agenda for Change Terms & Conditions Handbook defines full pay as including regularly paid supplements, including recruitment and retention premia, payments for work outside normal hours and high cost area supplements.
As we indicated in our previous communication there may be discrepancies in relation to how full pay, as defined in the Agenda for Change Handbook (Part 3, paragraphs 13.9 Annual Leave and 14.4 Sick Leave), has been applied.
Since our last communication we have been working constructively with staff side representatives from Unison, RCN, GMB and RCM as key parties to find a solution. We are now at a stage of identifying all affected individuals and determining the most appropriate way to calculate the arrears of pay. The Board’s Finance and Payroll teams have provided excellent technical support to achieve this aim.
There are a significant number of grievances in the system and we do recognise that employees are concerned by the fact these have not been processed. Our staff side colleagues, in particular Unison and RCN, are ensuring we have captured all grievances and we have compared them with the ward areas under current analysis.
Further discussions are taking place week commencing 22nd April 2013 to agree the final payment methodology, following which we will aim to pay all outstanding arrears as soon as possible, supported by local management teams and Payroll colleagues.
Further guidance is under development, in partnership to ensure that prospectively the matter will not arise in the future.
Please cascade this information to local ward areas.
Associate Director of Human Resources (Acute)"
UNISON has welcomed recent progress on the issue of pay as if at work.
Following sustained pressure from UNISON the employers side have been able to ‘build’ an IT solution which is able to pull together information from payroll, finance and ward rosters into one data set, which is then able to ‘calculate’ the amount of hours worked at enhanced rates and the amount of holidays taken where enhanced rates were paid.
UNISON Regional Organiser Matt McLaughlin has led these discussions and has been the only union person to attend all meetings with the employers. He said, “This is a real step forward, because it takes away the need for dozens of sheets of paper which then need to be cross referenced within a relatively complex mathematical equation. Doing this work ‘long hand’ took about 40 minutes per member, this new system should drastically reduce that time and minimise errors which occur when people are asked to do the maths.”
Matt is still reluctant to commit to a time frame for final payments but said, “UNISON will continue to prioritise this issue, there are about 2500 grievances in the system now, and we could flood it with more any day we choose, but now that we are making tangible progress. We want to focus our energy on pushing this issue over the line and securing payment for our members.”
UNISON expects to have more information for members in the next 7-10 days.
UNISON continues to lead negotiations with NHSGGC over their failure in some areas to pay staff properly when on sick or annual leave. NHS bosses produced a draft paper this week, which has been rejected by UNISON because it did not meet the unions aspirations.
Branch Secretary Cathy Miller said, “We know that this is a massive job, but the way to deal with it is not to embark on another half cooked exercise. NHS bosses have accepted they got it wrong in some areas, now they need to commit to get it right everywhere!”
Responding to the employers concerns that not everyone will have been underpaid and that it could take months to separate, identify and resolve every case of underpayment, the union has proposed the NHS bosses and UNISON could design a ‘self assessment’ process where staff are provided with the core information and a guidance sheet to work out whether there is a potential underpayment.
Cathy added, “UNISON will not let this go, the vast majority of our members will be able to work out for themselves whether they have been underpaid. We should be able to easily develop some guidance and an agreed self assessment mechanism.”
For some time UNISON has been concerned that some staff are not recovering the correct pay when they go on annual leave.
We have made a number of attempts to identify the reasons for, staff affected and scale of the problem. Interventions have had mixed results.
We believe that the vast majority of staff who are affected by this non application are nursing staff (bands 2 - 6) who work in ACUTE and are required to work ROTATIONAL shifts. Although we think that there may be other groups of members affected by this under payment also
At the stage we do not think that staff on 'fixed' shifts are affected or that the 'problem' extends beyond nursing staff in wards.
Prior to A4C nursing staff were paid ' plain time' when on leave or sick, with some but few local ' trust' variations.
Under A4C staff are entitled to be paid 'as if at work' when they are on sick leave and annual leave.
This means that's staff who received enhanced payments for working shifts which attract additional payments under A4C are entitled to be paid at an enhanced rate when they are on sick or are on annual leave.
What is UNISON doing
UNISON has campaign on this issue for more than 2 years, raising concerns locally when our members have been in touch with us. We have tried to highlight the issue with a series of news stories and web based contributions.
In some areas we have succesfully secured correct payments for members. In others we remain in discussion with the employers - focusing on the need for correct payment and 'back pay' where it is due.
UNISON has and will continue to lead on this issue. Because of our hard stance the employers have now offered to discuss the introduction of a reference period, to ensure that staff get the 'average' enhancements when they are on leave.
UNISON will be writting to all of our members who we think COULD be affected by these underpayments alerting them to the problem and when we have the detail - explaining how they can calculate whether they have a claim for back pay.
What can members do now -
· Think about whether the circumstances above apply to you – do you work rotational shifts, which attract enhanced pay – does the off duty ALWAYS put you down for ‘day shift’ when you take holidays. Look through your off duty sheets and personal diary and start to make a list of your annual leave (and sick leave – because the same ‘principles apply),
· If you have a concern that you are being underpaid – raise it with your line manager/ ward sister – show them the letter if it helps. They should be able to fix it.
· Speak to your colleagues – alert them to the problem and encourage them to join UNISON if they are not members of a trade union
· Keep yourself up to date by regularly checking the Branch website or speak to your local steward
UPDATE - 22 JAN - NHS bosses have asked to meet union urgently to agree a mechanism for ensuring that staff are properly paid when on leave - updates to follow!