Kirklees UNISON E-bulletin

Dear Member

We hope you are well. Please find below the latest news from Kirklees UNISON. If you have any queries, please contact your local rep or the branch office on:-

01484 511826 / branch@kirklees-unison.org.uk

NEW ACADEMIC YEAR 

Schools have now re-opened and we know that this is a nervous time for many of our members – whether they work in schools or have children and other family members who are now back in education. UNISON has been working hard to review the risk assessments that have been sent to the branch by headteachers but we also need to hear from you if things “on the ground” are not working as they should. Please let us know if you need any assistance in raising concerns. You can also find out more information here:

NJC PAY AWARD

As you may be aware, the NJC pay award which covers most local government and schools workers has now been agreed after a consultation with affected members. UNISON’s national NJC committee said the offer fell far short of the pay claim and did not properly reward key workers for their exceptional contributions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic; however, they agreed it was the best result achievable through negotiation.

The results of the local branch consultation that was carried out were that 78% of those voting said that they wanted to accept the pay offer and 22% voted to reject. The Council have confirmed the following in respect of when the award will be implemented in Kirklees for Council and KNH staff:

“An increase of 2.75% has been agreed, applicable to all points on the pay spine, backdated to 1 April 2020.

The new rates, along with arrears from 1 April 2020, will be implemented on payrolls as per the following schedule:-

L1 / LC (4 weekly payroll) – payday 30 September

L2 / LD (4 weekly payroll) – payday 7 October

KM (monthly payroll) – payday 15 October

Please note that, whilst the national agreement also includes an increase of 1 day annual leave on the basic entitlement for some local government employees, this will not apply to Kirklees Council or KNH employees because the leave entitlement is already above the basic level.

If you are employed by an organisation other than the Council/KNH that pays the NJC award then the date of implementation may well be different to that above and you should contact your local UNISON representative for further information if you are not aware of what the arrangements are.

CLAIMING TAX RELIEF – HOMEWORKING

If you have had to work from home as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic then you may be able to claim tax relief. Please see here for further details:

UNISON wants to ensure that none of our members are put at a financial detriment as a result of Covid-19 and, whilst such tax relief may help towards meeting the impact of any additional costs that are being incurred as a result of working from home, we are conscious that, as winter approaches, such costs are likely to rise significantly. We are actively raising this matter with the Council and will do so in respect of any other employers where members are having issues. Please contact your local UNISON rep or, in their absence, the branch office, if you need any support with this.

SELF-ISOLATION AND PAY

UNISON believes that, as part of the nation’s response to coronavirus, it is essential that those workers who are required to self-isolate in accordance with Covid-19 guidelines can afford to do so. Most of the branch’s members work for employers who have already agreed to pay people in full who have to self-isolate due to themselves or a member of the household having Covid-19 symptoms / as a result of being asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace.

However, if you work for an employer where no such agreement is in place then you could be left with only Statutory Sick Pay for any period of self-isolation (and not all workers even qualify for that).  Whilst there is no law in place to ensure that workers receive full pay whilst self-isolating, UNISON will do whatever it can to support members who have to self-isolate and are facing the prospects of a loss of pay – please contact us if you are in this position.

Regards

Kirklees UNISON