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Branch Secretary

We are the 4000!

Dear Colleagues,

LAS UNISON Branch is proud to announce a momentous occasion, we have reached our 4000th Member!

Not only is UNISON the largest Union in the Country, LAS UNISON is the biggest Ambulance Branch in the Country, we are also the largest Health Branch in London!

4000 Members is not just an accident, it is because of our hard working representatives across our Service that continue to represent all our members interests day in day out.

Our Members have continued to support our Branch and the great things we have done over the years. We recruited strongly throughout the years of austerity to keep UNISON going, but the work will not finish here, we need to keep growing and become stronger and more members make us stronger.

It’s something we should all be proud of, all standing together, all supporting each other, all protecting our public services and especially our precious NHS.

As Nye Bevan said “The NHS will last as long as there are folk with the faith to fight for it”

LAS UNISON will always be at the front leading our fight to keep our NHS Public, the NHS is not for sale

You may be aware there is a General Election coming up!!

Please remember this is not just about Brexit, our public services are in crisis, so “vote for public services”

It’s only a month until Christmas so I would like to wish all our members and your families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Yours fraternally,

Eddie Brand
LAS UNISON Branch Secretary

Categories
Branch Secretary

£3,000,000 – We are simply the Best, better than all the rest!

 

It’s finally happened! LAS UNISON members have received over £3,000,000 in personal injury compensation since our records began in 1999.

Since UNISON was created we have won a staggering £727.5 million in compensation for our members. That is nearly £30 million every year!

It is not right that our members were made unwell or injured for them to rightly receive these payments and perhaps it is something that should not be celebrated?

But, if our members are made unwell or injured, whether it’s large or small, if you’ve been injured the UNISON legal service, delivered by Thompsons, is here to help you to claim with confidence. No legal fees, just dedicated experts to help you through the process and the promise that you will keep 100% of any compensation.

If you’re a UNISON member and you or a family member have been injured or involved in an accident in the last three years, and are considering whether or not to claim, give UNISON a call on 0800 0857 857

What cover do my family and I receive?

As a UNISON member, you receive free legal advice and assistance for:

• Employment law (accessed via your UNISON branch or regional office)
• Personal injury – at or away from work, on holiday or on the roads
• Serious injury at work – including brain injuries and spinal cord injuries
• Industrial disease or illness
• Basic will writing and reduced rates for more complex wills and conveyancing
• Defending work related criminal allegations
• Free initial legal advice on any non-employment issue from UNISON’s lawyers. This service entitles you to receive up to 30-minutes of telephone advice.

UNISON members’ families are also covered if you or a loved one think you have been injured as the result of clinical negligence, we can support you with free initial advice from UNISON’s lawyers.

Speak to your local representative, your Senior Sector representative or just contact your branch via www.lasunison.com

We are simply the Best, better than all the rest!

Our members always say to us you don’t promote our successes, but this is really difficult as we don’t always like to blow our own trumpet! And sometimes because there are confidential aspects that we have to observe!

But over the last few weeks I have spoken to a few London Ambulance Staff in different areas across the Service and asked them if they are in our Union? And a couple have said they are in a different Union, and then I ask them why? And the say “because they are cheaper” and I agree they sometimes are cheaper, but they never say “they are better!”

I would to hate to be a lead in a Trade Union that only has members because they are cheaper! And without a doubt the old saying comes into play here “You get what you pay for”

We might be a little bit dearer for some roles than others but as a member of LAS UNISON you have access to a wealth of experience.

• We have all but one fully trained Senior Sector Representatives across London.
• We have all but one fully trained Senior Health & Safety Sector Representatives across London.
• We have over 120 Elected Representatives and H&S Representatives across the different workplaces from across London.
• Our yearly elected Branch Committee have fully trained specialists in all aspects of working life which includes, welfare, education, equalities & pensions to name a few!
• Our Branch Committee has a one Female & One Male elected representative seat from each sector from across Service.
• We have double the seats within the LAS consultative machinery which includes the Staff Council, Operational Partnership forum, Corporate H&S Committee and other working Groups.
UNISON’S welfare department (There for You) is second to none! Since 1993, UNISON have given over £10 million in financial assistance. Members experiencing financial and emotional difficulties can contact our welfare charity, There for You, which provides a confidential advice and support service for members and their dependants.
• Employment tribunal fees were scrapped after UNISON won a landmark court victory against the government in 2017. The Supreme Court – the UK’s highest court – has unanimously ruled that the government was acting unlawfully and unconstitutionally when it introduced the fees five years ago. anyone who has been treated illegally or unfairly at work will no longer have to pay to take their employers to court – as a direct result of UNISON’s legal challenge.
UNISON (ONLY) are currently involved in a legal case which is a working time regulations & holiday pay and non guaranteed overtime and voluntary overtime, further information will follow when concluded.

Happy Birthday

This year is UNISON’S 25th birthday – since then we have gone from strength to strength, in spite of hostile trade union legislation and attempts to decimate and privatise our public services. Three unions – Nupe, Nalgo and Cohse came together on 1 July 1993 to form one union to represent all public service workers – wherever they work.

We have all benefitted from the work of trade unions. For 100 years and more trade unions have fought for and won many things that we take for granted – weekends off, maternity leave, rights for part-time workers, stronger health and safety laws and more.

Update your details

We need all our members to keep their details updated, so please look out for the “update your details” form arriving at your workplaces in November/December where just a few minutes of your time could result in some great prizes just before Christmas!

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Support Your Union

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Information on all issues can be found elsewhere on our website.

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If you are reading this, work for the London Ambulance Service or are eligible to join, and are not yet a member of UNISON Join Today!

We are stronger together. We are all Frontline.

 

Eddie Brand – Branch Secretary

 

http://imagesource.unison.co.uk/25286_25_years_email_signature.png

Categories
Branch Secretary

Eric Roberts

My great friend and our Branch Secretary passed away a year ago today; Eric is still massively missed, not only by his family but by everyone that was lucky enough to know him.

The great work that Eric did for all health workers will never be forgotten and today I would hope that everyone will raise a glass to Eric and celebrate his life.

Rodney Bickerstaffe

In October we lost another great Trade Unionist, Rodney Bickerstaffe former General Secretary of our former Union NUPE and then UNISON. Rodney was a great friend of us all at LAS UNISON and he is another that will be missed and our thoughts go to his wife Pat and their family.

We are so lucky to be surrounded by passionate UNISON representatives that continue to work hard on our behalf week in week out, not only representing all our members’ needs but making sure our branch moves ever stronger.

Lobby of Parliament

Recently one of our members Laura Barrett, Paramedic at West Ham Station became a UNISON TV Star! Helping UNISON Ambulance operational group at a lobby of parliament to support the private members bill to aggravate violent offences when perpetrated against emergency service workers and those that support them.

The next day Laura appeared on the BBC2 Victoria Derbyshire show explaining about the hideous violent situations that Laura has had to face just trying to carry out her duties looking after the people of London. This is why this bill must be made law – Emergency service workers, including staff working in the NHS providing healthcare must benefit from additional legal protection against assault and violent attacks.

Thank you and well done Laura.

I can promise you that whatever you read from other unions – LAS UNISON is the largest union in our Service and UNISON nationally are the largest Union in the country. Also our Ambulance operations group which represents all the UK’s Ambulance services is the largest in the country.

Presently, it seems that on a weekly basis, one of our Senior Sector representatives get at least one call from a member of another trade union asking for advice or representation – I am sorry but we don’t do that – if you want representation from the largest trade Union in the LAS you will have to join us!

Being the largest is why in July 2017 UNISON was able to defeat this government in our landmark victory over Tribunal fees, UNISON defeated this government in the highest UK court – The Supreme Court, and UNISON took the case on behalf of anyone who’s ever been wronged at work, or who might be in future. Unscrupulous employers no longer have the upper hand. Anyone in England, Scotland and Wales wanting to pursue a case against their employer has had to find as much as £1,200 but these fees will now be refunded.

Pay Up Now Campaign

This is also why UNISON are leading on pay and the “Scrap the Cap – Pay up Now” campaign every single person who works in public services needs and deserve a pay rise. It’s time for the pay cap to be scrapped, for the government to provide additional funding for public sector pay and for employers to pay up now.

Our Branch attended the “Scrap the Cap – Pay up now” (Britain deserves a pay rise) rally in London on 17th October 2017 and I would also like to thank our members that took time out of their busy schedules to support our Branch and our region.

LAS UNISON will continue to do our best for our membership and will continue to grow because our representatives understand what it is like to work in a busy publically funded Ambulance Service and we want many things but the main one is that ALL staff that work in our service are properly rewarded for the great work they do day in day out “Scrap the Cap – Pay up Now”

Eric’s Blog Picture

As Eric used to sign off on his blog –

If you are reading this, work for the London Ambulance Service or are eligible to join, and are not yet a member of UNISON Join Today!

We are stronger together. We are all Frontline.

 

Eddie Brand (Branch Secretary)

Categories
Branch Secretary

El Presidente

Dear UNISON Member,

Let me introduce myself, my name is Eddie Brand and I am the new Branch Secretary for our great Branch, the London Ambulance Service UNISON Branch.

One of the largest Ambulance Branches in the UK and one of the biggest Health Branches in London.

I am very proud to be holding this position as it is something I always have wanted to do, but in the future – it shouldn’t have been time yet.

As you all know, Eric Roberts our previous Branch Secretary, was cruelly taken away from us, from his family, his friends, his work colleagues and our great Union at the end of last year.

Eric was the only Branch Secretary our Branch has ever had in place, since the conception of our Branch in 1995. Before that, Eric was the Branch Secretary for the North-West NUPE Branch.

Personally, not only was Eric a great friend but he was also like a father figure (He would hate me saying that) to us all.

As I recently said at Eric’s memorial which was held at the Trade Union Congress in London – Eric was our Branch, he was a calming influence with a wise head that held it all together.

As you are probably aware, Eric is UNISON’s President (The first Ambulance Worker to hold this position) and I know I am slightly biased but he would have been our best President, he was known to his good friends as “El Presidente”

But I know Eric would have wanted our Branch to grow stronger and stronger and do the best for our members, our service and the Trade Union movement, so that’s what we will try to do.

I am lucky we have a great team in our Branch, the officers, the Branch Committee, the Senior Sector representatives and the workplace representatives and finally our members from all areas of our Service.

Also, the great help and advice that we receive from our Regional Officer and the London region of UNISON.

We made the decision at our January Branch Committee to carry on with the UNISON London Ambulance Service blog that Eric had started “Eric’s Blog” but we all know that none of us have the great humour and creative skill that Eric had, so please excuse me and try and stay awake!


At a recent Staff Council, UNISON added to the agenda “The London Package” this is what Eric first wrote in 2014 to then Chief Executive Ann Radmore then again in 2015 to the next Chief Executive Fionna Moore.

UNISON calls for:

  • All Paramedics at Band 6.
  • A re-think of the Senior Paramedic role.
  • Technicians’ future to be secured.
  • Make it easier, and affordable, for our own staff to study to become Paramedics.
  • Make it financially attractive for all staff to stay with LAS.
  • Create a unique London Package for all our staff that recognises the stresses and strains of working in London.
  • Outside of this we should review all Bandings as a result of ‘Market forces’. London is different. London is unique.

So, some of these issues are still outstanding and we will continue pressing ahead for changes so we can see these matters come to fruition.

It’s a shame that our Senior Management didn’t start earlier with these issues as we may not have had to go the other side of the world just to Staff our Ambulances, although it has been great getting to know them, they have fitted in with us quite well and we welcome them as members of our union.

Also on the Staff Council was the issue of Rest Breaks and Annual Leave that Management would like to see changes.

 

But if we took the same attitude as the Senior Management team did in 2014 and 2015 with Eric’s London Package letter, we may see changes in 2019 if it takes 2 years like the band 6 issue!

But we will talk and meet with them regarding these issues and I can promise we will consult with our membership on both these matters.

We won’t accept changes just for change sake, these must be acceptable to our members.

In addition at the Staff Council and in a recent RIB edition we were informed that The Service was also going to look at the previous Management restructure which will include Clinical Team Leaders.

I wrote to the Director of Operations the next day to confirm that UNISON will be involved in all areas including Job descriptions if necessary.

I was given assurances the same day via email.

I hope to see you at our AGM 17th March 17:00 Start at Unison Centre, 130 Euston Road NW1 2AY.

I will now sign off as the great Eric Roberts did!

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Support Your Union

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 Information on all issues can be found elsewhere on our website.

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If you are reading this, work for the London Ambulance Service or are eligible to join, and are not yet a member of UNISON Join Today!

 

We are stronger together. We are all Frontline.

 

Eddie Brand – Branch Secretary