0151 666 3040 unison1@wirral.gov.uk

Coronavirus update 27.07.20

Dear Member

Hi All! We hope you had a good weekend and a rest from the work place. We’re sure you will have seen over the weekend, the announcements in relation to foreign travel and that’s where we start this evenings update…

Holidays Abroad and Quarantine

Many people will have been caught unawares by the government’s snap announcement that travellers returning from Spain will now have to quarantine for 14 days. This includes people who have travelled to the Canary Islands and the Balearics, where the foreign office currently has no restrictions on travel. We do understand however, that following public pressure over this inconsistent approach, the government are in talks as to whether the quarantine will continue to apply to the Islands.

It is clear that the government may impose quarantine restrictions at little or no notice on various destinations. We all need to be aware of this and the impact it may have upon our work situations when making holiday plans. We do know that some of our members will have been holidaying in Spain at the time of this unexpected announcement and hope that employers will take a flexible rather than punitive approach to people caught in this. We would advise anyone who has a foreign holiday booked to talk to their manager about arrangements that would be in place should travel advice be changed whilst they are on holiday. If anyone has any concerns after speaking with their employer, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Pay Ballot: Have You Voted Yet?

We are now in to the second week of our pay consultation ballot, it is important that as many people as possible make their voices heard on the offer. If you haven’t yet voted, please do so now- it will only take you a minute. We have had some members contact us to say that they have not received their electronic ballot paper. If you haven’t received yours, please drop us a line. Everyone who has contacted us so far will be sent a duplicate. We would point out that a number of email systems, including outlook offer a ‘focused’ inbox and an ‘other’ inbox these are both listed at the top of your main inbox folder. If you haven’t received a ballot, please check your ‘other’ inbox as it may well be in there.

Understanding Public Sector Pensions

The Local Government Pension Scheme is offering a Free, Accredited, Distance Learning Course for Unison members.

This course aims to help you:

•            Understand different types of pension schemes
•            Understand state and occupational pension schemes
•            Understand your own pension scheme
•            Understand how to improve your pension
•            Answer your pension questions

The course has two component parts:

  1.  A course book to read (with supporting handouts and internet links)
  2. A question booklet to complete within a 2 week period. You work in your own time and at your own pace. There are no online meetings.

To start the course, you will need to complete a number of forms: 1) a College enrolment form 2) a course registration form for the tutor.
The course will be supported on email by DAVE McMONNIES your pension’s tutor and you will be able to ask your own specific questions and get a personalised answer.
To enquire about enrolling on the course please email:

To complete the course, you will need:
a) easy access to email
b) ability to download Microsoft WORD documents

Covid-19 Death in Service Grant

At the end of April, the government announced that the families of NHS and social care workers who have died after contracting corona virus would be entitled to a £60,000 death in service payment. It is estimated that at least 540 health and social care workers have tragically died during this crisis. The latest figures show that only 19 families have been approved for the payment with a further 32 applications received; no applications have been rejected to date. It is concerning that such a small number of the families of these key workers have benefitted from this scheme, this appears to be partially because of the vagueness of the guidance and the difficulty in finding the claim form. The scheme applies to NHS workers and those working in adult and children’s social care and the death must have been due to Covid-19, contracted in the course of their work.

Whilst no amount of money can compensate for the loss of a loved one, we do not believe that families should miss out on this financial support. We sincerely hope that none of our members will ever have the need to use this scheme but attach the paperwork here should the worst happen and in recognition of the very low levels of application to the scheme so far.


Be on the Safe Side: We Need Health & Safety Reps

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted why workplace safety is so important. Our Branch Officers are working to ensure workplaces re safe; but there is nothing better than a Health and Safety Rep in the workplace who knows the job and knows the building. Employers have a duty to protect your safety and wellbeing; however it is important that this duty is subject to scrutiny and challenge. In fact the legislation specifically provides for the active role of Health & Safety Reps.

Can You Be A Workplace Safety Rep?
Being a Safety rep means you will be playing a crucial role in making sure your workplace is safe, secure and clean for all your colleagues and service users. You’ll also gain new skills and meet others who are passionate about workplace safety. What do Safety reps do?
*talk to members about their health and safety issues and work together with management to resolve these issues.
*investigate potential hazards
*raise concerns with your employer to improve safety in the workplace and deal with specific problems that arise at work
*promote better health and safety in the workplace and encourage everyone to get involved in the union – UNISON is the union that gets things done.

We don’t expect you to be an expert from day one, we’ll train you in every aspect of the role. Safety reps are entitled to time off for training and for undertaking the role.
UNISON provide various online options including a short introductory course, or a course of six 90 minute classes, once a week. There’ll be a chance to chat with other new safety reps and get more one to one time with the tutor if you need it. There are also other specialist courses, including one on COVID-19. We also have an online community, our Organising Space, where you can chat with other Health and Safety reps around the country.
IF YOU CAN BE A WORKPLACE SAFETY REP email unison1@wirral.gov.uk

We do hope you enjoy your evening and we will be back in touch on Wednesday with a further update until then….

In solidarity!

Lois and Dave

Branch Office: 0151 666 3040
Central email: unison1@wirral.gov.uk


Published on: July 28, 2020