The following statement was sent by email to all members on Tuesday 12th May 2020:
Dear UNISON Member,
By the time you read this email the picture may be clearer, but at the time of writing, the Government’s announcements have left us with more questions than answers. Hopefully therefore, this email will at least provide some clarity on what you can expect from your trade union branch.
Wherever an employer makes a proposal to change its instructions to its employees, our response will be guided by your views.
Wherever we wish to make a proposal to employers, we will be guided by your views.
Your commitment to the people you serve and the people you work with means that we trust you to judge the correct balance between safety and service delivery.
We will continue to support our local reps on the ground and we will seek to increasingly involve them in discussions with senior officers and managers. This is because we’re confident that they can reflect your views. If you do not have a rep for your team, we would strongly suggest electing one. If you want advice on how to do this, please get in touch.
If any employer’s intentions differ from the collective view of our members, we will challenge that employer, using whatever means are necessary to keep you safe.
Under Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 workers have the right to stay away from the workplace if – in their opinion – the prevailing circumstances represent a real risk of serious and imminent danger. If you feel you are in this situation, please speak to us immediately and we will make supporting you our number one priority.
As a well as tackling issues specific to particular workplaces or employers, we will continue to campaign for PPE, access to testing and a fair work/life balance. We will fight for the pay and terms and conditions you have demonstrated that you rightly deserve.
We will work to ensure additional support for those who remain vulnerable, whether because of underlying health conditions or – as evidence shows – racial/ethnic background.
Yesterday afternoon, we spoke with our reps about the next steps. Today, our Assistant Branch Secretary and Schools Lead Diane Ogg will host a special meeting for school-based staff. On Wednesday 20th at 4:30pm we will hold our latest Zoom meeting open to all members (log in details to follow). We hope you can join in.
Of course, we will continue to keep you updated before then and you can contact us with any questions.
We aim to represent the views of the public service workers of Salford and to support you as best we can, therefore if you have colleagues who are not UNISON members, now would be a very good time for them to join.
Take care and stay safe.
Branch Secretary, Salford City UNISON