I have really enjoyed working for this Service over the last 32 years. I started at Hackney on day work, then re-graded and started on the Edmonton complex working out of Tottenham where a few years after I became the Station Representative. Some years later I moved to Romford to be nearer home and then continued to be the representative for UNISON.
Some years after this I took on the role of Staff Side Chair and UNISON Branch Chair where I was now getting involved in all kinds of consultations within our Service with my great friend Eric Roberts before his untimely death in 2016.
Along with our Senior UNISON Representatives at our Branch Committee we dealt with the introduction into the LAS of Agenda for Change, Rest Breaks amongst many other issues and did we get them perfectly right, no, but we did the best for our members.
These all came about after consultations with managers that knew this Service, that knew the pressures of working in Ambulance Services and most of them knew what it is like to work in the NHS, Can I say the same now? No, sorry, I can’t!
I now feel this is going to get a lot more difficult with Paul Woodrow Director of Operations to be leaving later this year. Paul has worked in this Service for 29 years working in all our roles across all areas and all grades.
Paul has been a pleasure to work with during the time I have known him and I know he wants the best for this Service and the Staff in our Service, I wish you all the best Paul in whatever you do.
Where does this leave us now? I fear for the worse, I am fed up having to explain to new directors how our Service works, and how our LAS consultation machinery works.
Tim Stephens (Staff Side & UNISON Branch Chair) and I used to laugh every time we were told that there would be a new interim director, or substantive director coming in to the LAS, knowing that we would have to sit down and explain all that I have mentioned above, but it is getting a little boring!
Also having to explain to consultants the same issues and challenges, and remember that a lot of these people are on more a day than most of us are on a week!
But let’s get back to the majority of the directors and interims in the London Ambulance Service, I am sick of writing to them and being ignored, I don’t expect you to jump when I write or when our Senior Sector representatives write, but please just be a little bit courteous!
I don’t know why I expect anything else because even when I am walking towards some of them on Waterloo Road they look at the floor and continue walking.
Gone are the days when you would get a knock on the door and one of them would like a chat about what’s going on in our service or even a chat about the footy or other news!
Please, when reading this don’t feel that I am a “snowflake” I would rather be told to bugger off, at least you know where you stand.
You may have seen our news last month that the full job evaluation panel took place on the request for re-evaluation of the EAC job description; the result being that the job role is now valued at band 5 according to the NHS Job Evaluation scheme.
Our Branch wrote to the service on the 13th May, an email that our Chief executive was included in, stating that UNISON require urgent discussions on the disparity between EAC’s current pay at band 4 and the result of this evaluation.
As we want to communicate this development to our affected members, can we now meet as soon as possible to progress our discussions to resolve this issue? We would also like to know if, when and how the LAS intend to transition pay for our EAC’s from Band 4 to Band 5? We are still waiting for a reply…
But don’t worry the consultants will continue to be paid obscene daily rates!
Our work continues.
If you have moved, changed workplace, surnames can I ask that all our members update their details ASAP. This is really important for our branch and required by law for any future industrial relation difficulties.
This week I was informed that I have been elected to UNISON’S National Executive Council, if you voted for me a “big thank you”. My period of election is 2019-2021 and I will do my best to raise issues for public sector workers in London.
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Eddie Brand – Branch Secretary