07899715085 or 07899713498 unison1@wirral.gov.uk

Coronavirus update 10.11.20

Dear Member

We hope you are well. Some brighter news this week is that a vaccine may have been found, that will help provide protection. We welcome this, but firmly believe it should be available free of charge, not just here but around the globe.  Also today it has been confirmed that the 15 minutes swab test, that has been piloted in Liverpool will now be extended to Wirral. Whilst these do not mean an imminent return to normality; they do perhaps present some light on the horizon.

Woodchurch Road Primary School – Staff Facing 20% Pay Cut

School support staff at this school are facing substantial pay cuts after Christmas. Please come to our online meeting tonight at 6:30pm and show your support. https://www.facebook.com/events/980574229091740/

By cutting hours the School, backed by the Council in effect, are providing a double hit – cutting Staff pay, and damaging the education the pupils receive. We call on the Council to work with us to find a solution.

Care Workers Sick Pay

The government yesterday increased the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund by a further £546 million. This can, and in our view should, be used to provide full sick pay for care workers off for Covid related reasons. Specifically the guidance states that it can be used for “ensuring that staff who are isolating in line with government guidance receive their normal wages and do not lose income while doing so. At the time of issuing the grant circular, this includes:

  • staff with suspected symptoms of COVID-19 waiting for a test
  • where a member of the staff’s household has suspected symptoms of COVID-19 and are waiting for a test
  • where a member of the staff’s household has tested positive for COVID-19 and is therefore self-isolating
  • any staff member for a period of at least 10 days following a positive test
  • if a member of staff is required to quarantine prior to receiving certain NHS procedures

We will be writing to the Council to seek assurances care workers will receive this sick pay. Our understanding is that normal pay means the pay you would have recieved in work including overtime, sleep ins etc.

However the government have specifically excluded staff who are shielding This is disgraceful; those who are most at risk will not have their pay protected. We will be writing to the Council to ask them to cover the cost of full pay for those who are shielding, over andabove what the government provides for.

Please do contact us if you are a care worker not receiving full sick pay.

Real Living Wage

The Living Wage Foundation yesterday announced that the Real Living Wage is increasing to £9.50/hr, and increase of 20p an hour. That is a small increase but one that can make a significant difference to low paid workers. You may recall that Wirral Unison ran a successful campaign to fund the Real Living Wage to Care Workers in Wirral. Our pressure forced the Council to listen and act. Sadly a significant number of providers have kept their hands in their pockets and refused to implement the Real Living Wage. We now call upon the Council to work with Unison to find (and fund) a way to ensure all care workers get paid this level of pay. We will of course also be asking the Council to confirm that they will continue to fund the Real Living Wage as agreed, and increase the pay to £9.50.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns or require support.

As always, please do pass our updates on to colleagues and encourage them to join Unison if they haven’t already. Here’s the link to join up! JOIN UNISON

We’ll be back in touch with further updates next week. Enjoy your weekend.

In solidarity!

Your Wirral Unison Team
Central email: unison1@wirral.gov.uk

Published on: November 11, 2020