Final all members briefing for 11th January Industrial Action

Branch News Pay UNISON News

Following on from the success of strike action we took on the 21st of December, the cracks started to appear in the government’s ignorance to our campaign very quickly in the New Year with early talks taking place today (9th of January).  However we still do not have any firm offer on the table that sufficiently improves this year’s (2022/23) pay.  As planned we will move on to take further action and continue our campaign.  The next strike action for our Branch will take place on Wednesday the 11th of January from 1100 to 2300. On this occasion we have ramped up our action to include EOC members.

Over the past couple of weeks our senior branch representatives have again been busy organising the picket line arrangements and negotiating what emergency cover provisions we can support for our striking members to attend life threatening calls where the LAS are unable to.  In addition to the same provisions agreed for ambulance staff we have set out how we plan for our EOC members to take action as follows. We are calling on all members working within the Newham EOC to strike from 1100 to 1700 and then our Waterloo EOC members from 1700-2300.  After consultation with our EOC reps we believe this gives a sufficient and effective way for EOC members to take strike action whilst still allowing the LAS to provide a safe service to our sickest patients.  At 1100 for Newham and 1700 for Waterloo we are asking all EOC members that work at, or under the umbrella of, that site to withdraw their labour for the allotted 6 hour period joining us on a picket line outside where we hope to persuade any remaining staff to join us and amplify the voice of our Branch.

Any LAS staff not a member of UNISON can join and take part in the action on the 11th. Members of any other Trade Union that does not have a mandate to take action cannot legally take part in this action unless they were to join UNISON.

On Wednesday 11th January there will be 26 picket lines across the LAS at the following locations:

Newham EOC (1100-1700)

Deptford

Waterloo

St Johns Wood

Greenwich

Bromley

Edmonton

Chase farm

Romford

Brent

Friern Barnet

Kenton

Camden

Islington

Newham

West Ham

Cody Road (HART)

Homerton

Hillingdon

Hanwell

Isleworth

Fulham

Putney

New Malden

New Addington

St Helier

Each picket line will be organised jointly by a UNISON rep and a manager as a single point of contact.

We are asking all our members on duty throughout the strike period to withdraw their labour for duration of the strike and, during their rostered hours that cover the relevant time period, attend their local picket line with their allocated vehicle and assist in the emergency cover provisions.  Providing life and limb cover to patients is essential for us to prevent unnecessary harm.

For EOC members the management have asked us that, should the hourly average (mean) call answer delay reach 3 minutes then we would request a minimal amount of striking call takers to return to work (paid) until the call answer delay returns below 3 mins. If this were to be a prolonged period we would look to rotate this between other striking call takers.  Given the evidence of averages over the last 6 months and for this week we believe this is highly unlikely to be required but an appropriate measure for patient safety.  We have also agreed to support the striking centre to retain a minimum of 4 clinical CHUB staff and 1 Navigator for the 6 hour period should they be unable to fulfil this with staff working normally.  Both of these would be on a voluntary basis for striking members if we were asked at the picket line, rotated with other striking staff if over a prolonged period and paid for the time staff were to leave the picket line to undertake the role up to the time they returned to the picket line in the same way striking ambulance staff are when undertaking life and limb cover calls.

At 1100 (1700 for Waterloo EOC members) any members taking strike action and engaged in patient care at the time will complete this as normal.  At this point members at EOC taking strike action should notify their watch manager or general manager in the room and make their way to the picketing arrangements provided outside the building. There will be UNISON representatives on hand in to support them. Ambulance crews taking strike action will then notify PD33 they are now taking strike action. We then ask crews to make their way to their local picket line and assist with emergency cover.  Once a crew then arrives at a picket line for this purpose they will at that point cease to be paid. We will ensure arrangements are made to return crews to their base station by the end of their normal shift time.  Ambulance crew members starting shifts at or after 1100, wishing to take part in our emergency cover provisions, will begin their shift as they would normally preparing themselves and a vehicle to respond and then attending their closest picket line as soon as practically possible informing PD33 immediately at the start of their shift of their intentions so that they are removed from normal working.  We ask EOC members starting shifts during their site’s strike times to inform the reps at the picket line on their arrival and are not required to inform management any further until they cease their strike action.

Emergency cover by striking ambulance crews will only be provided for at the named picket line sites.  We have agreed with management that all calls during this period will be rigorously clinically reassessed to ensure only the most serious life threatening calls, where non-attendance could endanger life or serious illness and injury, will be dispatched to. Any calls requiring attendance will be covered by any remaining provision the service has in the first instance including some other mutual aid. Only calls that the service deems to fall in to the above parameters will then be passed to the single point of contact (SPOC) at the local picket line and a request made for emergency cover. The next crew available and willing to attend the call will then be promptly dispatched. After completing the job, the attending crew will then inform PD33 and return to the picket line. Striking UNISON members will not be paid during strike action with the exception of the time they are responding to an emergency cover call. From the point of dispatch to the point a crew returns to the picket line they will be paid the normal rate for the shift. This will be logged manually at the picket line by the rep/management SPOC.

Any ambulance crew members taking strike action that can’t form a fully crewed ambulance at or after 1100 will need to make their own arrangements should they wish to attend a picket line and assist in providing emergency cover.  At worst, any member taking strike action will be returned to their starting base station where any other mutually agreeable arrangements can’t be made.  Any issues or requests for assistance please contact your Senior Sector Rep (phone numbers below) for your area for advice.

 

 

Picketers are allowed to peacefully encourage non-union members to join so they can legally be involved in the action.  Conduct at picket line will be respectful and courteous.  Bearing in mind some members have been given an exemption from strike action on this occasion and other LAS staff that are only members of the GMB are not able to take part in this strike action.

Any media requests on the day should be directed to the nominated reps organising the picket lines.

All members who take lawful Industrial Action (and lose pay which will show in the end of Febuary 2023 pay) on 11th of January will be eligible to receive strike pay from UNISON. This will be up to £50, unless your normal take home pay is reduced by less than this. Details on how to claim this will be made available in due course.  We know it’s a tough time for people to take strike action and lose pay. We don’t want our members in hardship so please speak to your local branch rep if striking would put you in considerable financial difficulty. In certain circumstances you could be exempted from taking action or receive a further hardship Ambulance Industrial Action payment from your branch. These hardship claims will be dealt with confidentially, and you should speak to your UNISON branch rep for further information.

For those not scheduled to work on the 11th January there are many ways that you can support the action and campaign. On a strike day you could visit a picket line, maybe take your colleagues some refreshments, your striking colleagues would really appreciate your support. You can also contact your local UNISON branch rep to see if there are other ways you can help.

Finally the LAS UNISON branch committee wish to extend a message of unity and solidarity to all UNSION members fighting for the NHS and our pay both here in London across the country.  Many other branches, individuals and other organisations have also sent us messages of solidarity in to LAS UNISON and want us to know we have their support.

Should you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact your workplace UNISON rep or one of the senior reps listed above for your area.

Solidarity to all our members and see you on the picket lines!

LAS UNISON

If you take any pictures on the picket line then send them to our twitter or instagram accounts.

Find us @lasunison

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