Where you work - Sheffcare

UNISON has more than 100 members in the service including carers, domestics, cooks and managers in 11 care homes across the city. The major issues for our members are hourly rates of pay and securing enhanced payments for members working at weekends or at night. UNISON has negotiated average pay rises for SheffCare staff of 2.5 per cent this year. In a climate of pay freezes and job cuts we feel we have negotiated a fair and reasonable offer and have recommended members vote yes in the ballot.

The more active stewards we can recruit, the more effective we can be in negotiating protection and improvements to pay and conditions, so please consider getting involved. We will provide all the training and support you need.

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Letter to Sheffcare Members - T&Cs (3rd April 2012)

SHEFFCARE “TAKING CARE OF OUR FUTURE”

Further to our previous letter to you dated 14th February regarding the above. As you will be aware a joint consultation exercise with the GMB was carried out with union members.  The concerns of UNISON members were fed back to management at our meeting with them on Friday 2nd March.  This resulted in further negotiations taking place at the Joint Negotiation Committee meeting held on 12th March. 

We are pleased to be able to inform you that both meetings were amicable and productive.  We have now reached a position where we feel management’s revised proposals can be shared with our members. 

I enclose a joint letter from the three parties, SheffCare, Unison and GMB which outlines the revised proposals.  I think you will agree that the employer has moved significantly away from their initial proposals.  UNISON believe this is as a direct result of the strength and influence we now have in SheffCare with our ever increasing membership.  It just goes to show the more members we have in UNISON the more influence we have with the employer.

UNISON continues to act on behalf of our members and must stress that the contents of the enclosed letter are still only proposals.  We would like to know your thoughts on the revised proposals so please would you let us know whether you are willing to accept: -

  1. The proposed change to pay frequency
  2. The proposed change to shift patterns for Care Support Workers, Team Leaders and Deputy Managers
  3. The general staff issues outlined in the letter.

We have enclosed a pro forma which I would ask you to return to us in the pre-paid envelope provided by Tuesday 10th April 2012. 

The consultation period ends on 11th May, therefore if further negotiations are required any meetings need to be held early in April. 

Yours sincerely

Gill Robinson/Louise Hoare
Local Organisers

Joint Letter can be downloaded here...


 

Letter to Sheffcare Members - Proposed Change to T&Cs (14th Feb 2012)

Dear UNISON Member

SHEFFCARE “TAKING CARE OF OUR FUTURE”

Further to our letter to you on Friday 10th February regarding the above, we have now had sight of the correspondence sent to you by Belinda Gibson, Chief Executive, dated 9th February 2012.

Although this letter states that if you accept the changes to your terms and conditions you should indicate this by completing the document enclosed with the letter and return it to Merewyn Scafe, via your manager by 29th February 2012, UNISON is writing to advise that you may wish to refrain from returning this form until we have had an opportunity to consult with you on the proposed changes to your terms and conditions. Alternatively if you feel you want to return the form you could do so anonymously. 

As our letter to you sent last Friday stated, UNISON is now entering into a period of consultation with your employer on behalf of you, our members.  This has a timescale of three months (13 weeks) starting from Friday 10th February, the date the employer met with the trade union. There is, therefore, no urgency in signing and returning the form agreeing to a change in your shift patterns and a move from weekly to monthly pay.  Throughout the consultation period the views of our members will be fed back to your employer through the correct negotiation mechanisms. 

Following further discussions with SheffCare UNISON can now confirm management have agreed that:

  1. There is no urgency to return the form enclosed with their letter. Any member of staff who does return the form will only be providing the employer with an indication of the general feeling of staff and no staff member will be bound by their response. As mentioned above you may choose to return the form anonymously.
  2. That the offer of a 2% pay award is only linked to an agreement from staff to alter their shift patterns and not to the move to change from weekly to monthly pay. Therefore, if the majority of staff agrees to a shift pattern change, but not to go onto monthly pay, the pay award will still be granted.
  3. That the two proposals are completely separate and that staff agreeing to one element of the proposals does not mean that they are duly accepting the other. This can be indicated on the form sent to you from your employer.

UNISON have asked that a notice be sent out to all staff from the employer confirming the above.

As your UNISON representatives it is our job to act in your best interests throughout this period of consultation. We can only do so by being made aware of your concerns so please get in touch if we miss you when we visit your workplace.

It would be particularly helpful if you could make sure you inform us of any issues you wish us to raise with management, or of any changes you would like to the current proposals. It is imperative that if you inform management or HR of any proposals/changes you want to be considered that you inform us as well.  

The unions will be making arrangements to visit each care home over the next two weeks and this will be your opportunity to raise any issues or concerns with the proposals that you have with your trade union.

Yours sincerely
Gill Robinson, Louise Hoare
Local Organisers


 

Letter to Sheffcare Members - 12hr shift proposals (10th Feb 2012)

Dear UNISON Member

SHEFFCARE “TAKING CARE OF OUR FUTURE”

UNISON had visits scheduled for five SheffCare Homes this week (7th February – 9th February) to update members on various campaigns that UNISON are currently running, for example:-

  • A Million Voices for Public Services
  • Save our Care Homes
  • Pensions
  • Health and Safety

When visiting one of the SheffCare Homes we were made aware of staff meetings that were being held on Wednesday 8th February across all the 11 homes.  We can assure you that UNISON knew nothing about any proposal to change your terms and conditions discussed at these meetings until our members made us aware.

We received an email from SheffCare HR on 30th January inviting the recognised unions to a meeting with the Chief Executive Belinda Gibson and Merewyn Scafe from HR. This was explained to us as an opportunity to present and discuss the SheffCare strategy for 2012.  We were made aware that Employees of SheffCare will have seen the presentation during week commencing 06/02/12, and that it is also being repeated at the Employee Forum meeting on Monday 13/02/12.  We had no idea at this stage that the “strategy” included proposed changes to staff’s terms and conditions.

We have just returned from the meeting with the Chief Executive and HR where our concern over the lack of consultation with the trade unions was raised. 

At this meeting the employer made us aware that a letter will be sent out to all staff by close of business today and that staff have till the 29th February to return the letter expressing their preferred option to the proposed changes.

Can we emphasise that these are proposed changes and the staff trade unions are now entering into a three month consultation period. 

It is important that at times like these employees of SheffCare are a member of a trade union.  As you are aware UNISON is the UK's largest public service union and represents more than 1.3 million people providing vital services to the public.  With this number of members you can be sure that when UNISON speaks, people take notice, not just Nationally or Regionally but in every workplace. 

UNISON is the largest union representing employees in SheffCare. This means that when we speak to your management we are more likely to be listened to, thereby making it easier to influence management and achieve the outcomes we desire.
The unions will be making arrangements to visit each care home and this will be your opportunity to raise any issues or concerns with the proposals that you have with your trade union.

Your Branch are currently operating a recruit a colleague scheme so if you are aware of any colleague that is not a member of UNISON please encourage them to join you in membership and remember to include “recruited by” and your name on the top of their application form.  Once they have been in membership for 13 weeks you will receive a £10.00 reward.  We have enclosed a leaflet explaining this together with three application forms.  Remember, our strength is our numbers.

Yours sincerely
Gill Robinson, Louise Hoare
Local Organisers


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