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UNISONnews UNISON news South West Yorkshire Partnership Health Branch


October 2016

South West Yorkshire Partnership Health

• There For You UNISON Welfare • Attention all women Know your pension entitlement

Free flu jabs for NHS staff Members working for our main employer South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust (SWYPFT) may have already seen signs of this year’s campaign around the various sites and on the Trust Intranet. Our very own branch Treasurer and Welfare Officer Evelyn Beckley is featured heavily in the advertising campaign and as a UNISON branch we are keen to support the initiative. Apart from the usual factors of protecting our own health and the health of those we care for, this year there is added significance to the flu campaign. The NHS has set a target of 75% of frontline staff having a flu jab as a CQUIN. In simple terms if the Trust does not meet the 75% target they will be fined £380,000 of funding they would have otherwise received. We can argue all day about whether or not that’s a fair way to do things, but we need to make clear UNISON does support staff having the flu jab to protect ourselves, our families and our patients. When many people pay for their own flu jab it seems odd that so many of us don’t take advantage of a free one! For more details click on “Flu” under “F” on the Trust Intranet index or contact the branch.

Branch Treasurer Evelyn Beckley promoting the SWYPFT Flu Campaign

• The Kinsley Three – Supporting three brave cleaners • Are you ex-COHSE? Check your entitlements

• Branch Socials – Join your branch for a Christmas shopping trip to Chester and a visit to the Pantomime!

Worrying times The last few months have been far from happy times for this branch and our members. Following controversial decisions from local councils, groups of our members in Wakefield have been made redundant while others in Barnsley have been forced to leave NHS employment. At the end of July Wakefield Council told SWYPFT it wanted them to stop running the Health Trainer Service, the Community Food & Health service and part of the Safe at Home (domestic violence) service by 30th September. The jobs of around 40 NHS staff have now gone and just as our members are devastated to be forced out, we are devastated to lose them. Similarly in Barnsley, around 20 of our members have been transferred to work with Barnsley Council following a transfer of responsibility for providing the 0-19 (School Nursing & Health Visiting) services in the town. Obviously this isn’t quite as bad as the Wakefield Health trainers because at least these members have a job to go to. The difficult thing for the members to accept was whilst

there is no doubt Barnsley Council are a responsible public sector employer, when people come to work in the health service they do so because they want to be part of the NHS and they are proud of that. It’s not easy for dedicated staff to leave that behind, particularly when some of them have decades of NHS service. In the current climate of transformation, cost improvements and retendering exercises, perhaps the lesson here is we all need to be ready to face change but at the same time ready to ensure that all processes are carried out in a fair and appropriate manner. UNISON is here to support you and if the time ever arrives when you need support through difficult circumstances, we will be there by your side when you need us.

UNISON Health Trainers hand petition to Councillor Pat Garbutt


UNISONnews UNISON Welfare – There For You UNISON Welfare is UNISON’s registered charity offering FREE and confidential services, benefits and support including: Financial Assistance – if you are in financial hardship due to unforeseen circumstances. Other help includes: • Small grants – including school uniform and winter fuel grants • UNISON Debtline – a free, impartial and confidential debt advice service provided in partnership with Payplan, who are experts in helping people in financial difficulty. Please call 0800 389 3302. • Credit unions: a network of 40 credit unions to help members save and tackle debt • Wellbeing breaks: these can include family holidays; get well breaks, breaks for a carer or following bereavement. • Other assistance: There is also help for other difficult situations members may find themselves in, the list above does not cover everything we can help members with. If you find yourself in difficulty and are wondering if UNISON can help you please don’t hesitate to give your branch a call. “THERE FOR YOU” – How our welfare arm is reaching out to members A couple of weeks ago our Branch Office received a call from a steward who had been asked by a member if we had a welfare fund for members in difficulty. They went on to explain that the brother one of our members had passed away suddenly and that she couldn’t afford to travel to the funeral because it was in her home country of South Africa. A phone call to the UNISON branch office started the ball rolling. We realised that we had to act quickly because the funeral was in a few days’ time. A meeting took place with the member and all the necessary paper work was completed. Within 24 hours There For You awarded the member £500 assistance towards the airfare and other travel costs in order to attend the funeral. The member was very grateful for the support and was able to say her ‘farewell’ to her brother. Our Member was one of over 4,000 cases that UNISON’s charity There for You responded to in the last year. The charity was set up to help members and their families in financial difficulties.

Tel: 01924 327316

Attention all women members! Do you know at what age you will qualify for your state pension? Would you like to know how much you will be entitled to so that you can plan your retirement? You may be aware that in recent years governments have increased the state pension for all women born on or after 6 April 1951. The changes were implemented with little or no notice, faster than promised and leaving women no time to make alternative plans. Retirement plans for some women have been shattered with devastating consequences. If you would like to know when you will receive your state pension and how much you will be entitled to go to check-state-pension Many women up and down the country have felt so aggrieved by the changes that they have come together and set up a group called WASPI. WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) is a campaign group who are fighting the injustice done to women born on or after 6 April 1951 regarding the changes to their state pension age. You have probably heard of this in the media. WASPI agrees with equalisation, but does not agree with the unfair way the changes were implemented.

To access support: Contact your local branch welfare officer Evelyn Beckley on 01924 327463 or email her: (All contacts are confidential) • UNISON Direct: 0800 0857 857 • There for You: 0207 121 5620

2 Email:

WASPI women after meeting Wakefield Council in September

They are currently campaigning for improved transitional arrangements to be put in place. They do not ask for the pension age to revert back to 60. There are three local WASPI groups locally in Castleford, Barnsley and Huddersfield. If you live in Castleford and are interested in finding out more please contact Lynne Bell at They hold monthly meetings for all interested women. For more information on the South Yorkshire WASPIs which is based in Barnsley please contact Elaine Newcombe at elaine1903@ Valerie Pears is currently setting up the Huddersfield WASPI Supporters Group and she can be contacted at For more information on WASPI nationally please go to their website Lorraine Morgan, Branch Women’s Officer Tel: 01924 327316 @WASPI_Campaign

Why not follow us on Twitter @swyp_unison

We support the Kinsley Three! You may not have heard of them but Leslie Leake, Marice Hall and Karen McGee are cleaners at Kinsley Academy in Wakefield in West Yorkshire. They used to work for Wakefield Council but when Kinsley primary school became part of an independent academy last year it moved out of local authority control, and it appears the managers have decided they can do just about what they want in relation to treatment of staff. For whatever reason the school made the decision to not employ the three cleaners themselves and they bought in a local private company C&D Cleaning Group, and gave the firm the contract to clean the school. On April 10th, the cleaners’ jobs were transferred to C&D and since then the company has cut the three workers’ wages from £7.85 an hour to £7.20 — the minimum wage. The company also abolished the sick pay agreement which the cleaners’ union, UNISON, had with the council. Despite being a main sponsor of Wakefield Trinity, C&D doesn’t believe in trade unions and when the union contacted the firm on behalf of the three workers, C&D made its views plain. Leslie, Marice and Karen have reached that point and are doing

something about it — an indefinite strike, for as long as it takes to win. Good luck to them. They’re setting an example which millions more workers should follow, and we have the utmost admiration for them. If we all support them there are enough of us out there to make sure they don’t suffer financially during the strike and they deserve our support in their struggle. UNISON has set up a fund to help these three brave workers. The branch have already sent a significant donation and you can donate by making a cheque out to “Wakefield Unison” and sending it to 18 Gills Yard, Wakefield, WF1 3BZ.

Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group is looking closure of this service and are looking at ways of providing this service via local GPs. The Walk-in Centre offers urgent care to residents and provides appointments with nurses and doctors to people who may find it hard to see their GP. Originally, this meant closure in April 2016 but this has been extended until September 2017 while the CCG carry out a wider review. The closure of the Walk-in Centre will be a huge blow to the community and will have massive consequences. Latest figures show hospitals are struggling to meet targets for patients who arrive at A&E to be seen within 4 hours. This branch is concerned that this closure will put even more pressure on Pinderfields A&E. Mary Creagh MP for Wakefield has started the petition below. We urge all our members to sign the petition which you can find on Mary Creagh’s website

Follow the Kinsley Cleaners on Twitter @KinsleyCandD

Free 2017 members diaries – order yours now! UNISON branch diaries are free to members on request and will be arriving shortly. To order yours either return the enclosed form or email the Branch Office: If you email us please state your full workplace address. Joint Branch Secretary David Pickersgill handing cheque to Wakefield Local Government Branch Secretary Jack McLeary

Ex-COHSE members Were you in COHSE at the time of the creation of UNISON on 1st July 1993? If you were and you have retired in the past year you may be entitled to some EX-COHSE retirement benefit.

Wakefield Walk-in Centre threatened with closure

Claims must be made within 12 months of retirement. Please call the branch office for more information if this applies to you.

New number for Branch Office Due to a change in contractor the telephone number for our main branch office at Fieldhead will soon be changing. We will be writing to you all individually to let you know the new number once everything is in place so this is just a head’s up for you to store the new number in your contacts when you receive it sometime in the next few weeks.




UNISON Branch Trip to Chester Saturday 26th November 2016 UNISON Branch Trip to Chester Christmas shopping trip to Chester – Saturday 26th November 2016 Our traditional Christmas shopping trip to Chester is running again this year on 26th November. There will be coaches from Fieldhead – Wakefield, from Barnsley (Digital Media Centre, County Way) and also Folly Hall, Huddersfield. Coaches will leave at 9am prompt and return from Chester at 5.30pm prompt. We expect be back around 7pm. This year we have reduced the cost of our seats to £4 for members and £4 for their first guest. Additional guest places are £10 each. To book please return the enclosed form with your payment.

Book using the enclosed form

Pantomime – Sleeping Beauty Saturday 10th December 2016 11am and 2.30pm, Theatre Royal, Wakefield We are continuing our tradition of a trip to the pantomime with a visit to Sleeping Beauty at the Theatre Royal in Wakefield on Saturday 10th December for the 11am and 2.30pm performances. Tickets are £8 for adults and £4 for children, with a limit of 4 adult tickets per member. To book please return the enclosed form with your payment.

Book using the enclosed form



UNISON SWYPH Newsletter Oct 2016