AGM 2017

Branch Treasurers Report 

Andrew Stuart

East of England Ambulance Branch 20106

AGM 2017

This is my first year in the role as your Branch Treasurer and it has been a very steep learning curve indeed. 

 

Although the elections took place at the beginning of the year, I only received the historical accounts on 22nd April and the Treasurers Computer on the 18th May, for which I would like to thank Steve Beckley for his assistance in organizing. 

 

I attended an Education Weekend for Officers on 20th May to receive training and have been responsible for the Accounts for May – December 2016. At the AGM on 24thFebruary 2016, a decision was made to have Wendy Senter and Jackie Robinson takeon the role of Internal Auditor. However, Unison rules will not allow a Treasurer making payments to self audit the accounts they are responsible for. Therefore the Branch decided that since no official handover had taken place and payments had been made for several months of 2016, a similar procedure should take place with the 2016 accounts and these have been sent to National. As the Accounts are unlikely to be returned before the AGM, these will be posted on the Website upon their return. 

 

The year has been very demanding, learning the role as I went along and using the services of national, particularly Barry Lyons to guide me when I had no understanding of Unison procedure. 

 

We suffered some months of delay in trying to move from cheque payments to BACS payments and the relative “slow” speed at which our bank UNITY TRUST BANK seem to work! Both payment systems are now in place. 

 

The Treasurers role, along with my full time job as a Specialist Clinician is more time consuming then I realised and half way through the year found myself almost doing some kind of accountancy work every day. With this in mind we recently agreed at RBC that all claims should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This will avoid the emails sometimes getting buried in the numerous daily emails and spam I get as I had originally given out my personal email account. Moving forward for 2017 can I please ask that this account is used and any other matters you can always get me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Some members post their claims forms, which I am more than happy to accept, some give them to me at RBC and others scan the form and receipts. Payments will be loaded around the 1st of each calendar month and around the middle of the month as RBC is usually at a similar time. 

 

So what can you do to help your Treasurer?

 

1. Send in claims promptly, claims greater than 3 months old should not be paid. This allows us to avoid unexpected, large claims which has an effect on our budget and working balance.

 

2. Fully complete the forms please, Base Station, Mileage travelled to work, sign them and fill in Bank Details. I have had to return several and even had members arrange a new bank account but OLBA was still holding the old one. 

 

 

3. There are new rules for claims from National, after all our funds are made up of members money in the form of subscriptions so we need to spend it properly. With this in mind I have designed a new claims form (attached) as one of the major changes is around an increase in the working day before some claims can now be made and whether or not its a rest day or abstraction. You will also need to record the time you start and finish working. On a work day you would normally fund your own mid day meal so its no different if you are doing Unison work instead. 

 

Our accounts may not be subject to Freedom of Information Act requests but we do always want to be able to happily justify what we our spending OUR MEMBERS money on. We would never want to be in a situation like the MPs expenses with the rights and wrongs of every claim being questioned. 

 

So how have we done this year? 

 

Funding throughout the year is always based on the number of members we have, the more members the more funds, but is also capped by our balance. There is a formula based on a value per head so ironically, if we have greater than this in reserve, the funding goes down, hence the recent spending on projects for our members benefit. 

 

Secondly, funding was also made up of an estimate plus an underpayment from the previous year when the actual numbers were known. Earlier this year Unison has been able to fund in “real time” so this has had an effect on a reduced monthly payment and I expect any underpayment from 2016 to greatly reduce or even disappear in 2017 so recruitment is a must. 

 

Our Branch Secretary Fraer was able to obtain an additional £11000 from FDO which has greatly helped our image within the Trust via recruitment and advertising.

 

 

The attached spread sheet gives you the main categories we have been spending money in. From the figures it is clear to see that rather than “running our branch” and meeting those costs, we are a very “pro-active branch”, spending money to benefit our members and seek out new ones via recruitment and keeping the Unison name in the forefront of what we do. 

 

I have also attached a Budget for 2017. As there was no budget loaded on OLBA at the end of 2015, we have spent most of the year deciding what we would do at RBC as and when the issue arose and then deciding if we could afford it. Hopefully, this way we will have some idea of what we would like to fund throughout the year and as the Budget is updated and ongoing, various areas can be merged or balances on estimated expense can be more easily obvious. 

 

Changes to expenses will be discussed as part of the Branch Rules Changes. 

 

Proposals :

 

1. The AGM accept the unaudited accounts as at 31st December 2016
2. The AGM accept the proposed Budget for 2017

 

 

Andrew Stuart

Branch Treasurer

East of England Ambulance Branch 20106

 

Communications Officer’s Communications Officer’s Report for the A. G. M. 2017 of the UNISON Branch 20106.

During 2016 there was little change in the factors associated with poor practice or leadership from Government levels forhelping Industrial Relations as the ‘establishment‘ was increasingly forced to concentrate and focus on a backlash to its own problems. With help of UNISON Campaigns the Anti-Trade UNION Bill was significantly defused with some of its elements including DOCAS. All of which designed to weaken the Pay & Terms and Conditions of NHS Staff; our members and the Public Sector in general, with no consideration on its effects for Localised Partnership working.                             Ambulance Service delivery targets along with the rest of the NHS deteriorated as the year went on. At April our own Trust awaited the visit from the CQC, the Report published at August. Predictably it highlighted all the same issues that the UNISON Branch had consistently campaigned for; and surveyed it’s staff with the increased use of Social Media; including addressing the worsening of ‘Late finishes’ and repeated failures to deliver the Student Paramedic programme with any consistency.  At year end increasing proportions of Trusts in all sorts of trouble lacked the explanations consistent with common sensewith little or no confidence for any alternative identifiable government performance /funding strategy.                                                                                            The CQC, also have noticeably started to report the emerging crisis for staff within managing their own workload and infrastructures as they begin to encounter the historical stored up problemsrepeatedly stated by UNISON and others.             By year end pressures escalated with splits emerging between NHSEngland and Government over resource and funding.

NHS Culture” Nationally has still figured high on all the meeting agenda’s with seemingly no idea how to diagnose or address the problem which still seriously impacts on the staff retention and service delivery. Agency and private arrears building up are still compounding the financial problems of the NHS finance towards implementing patient care without risk.The annual paradox of ‘patient satisfaction’ reports regularly used to disguise the chronic failures existing to the infrastructures available to deliver them.   The accent is still very much on leadership and transparency needing to be seen to cascade downwards.  The worse things get, the more Government retreats into refusing to communicate, preferring a pathway of denial, citing 7 Day working, blaming GP’s and A&E overload, as opposed to why the NHS has been allowed to deteriorate due to erratic expensive policy reversal as a result of swathes of historical instances of poor decision making.                                                                                                                                                                             

The turnover in NHS Trusts of CEX’s continueswe are no further being told what those influences are that determine their responsibilities, or safe funding levels, and more importantly where the corporate accountability and responsibility for that actually lays. The worst examples of accountability are ‘retention of its staff,’ and as to why this service’s Staffing resource was allowed to deliberately deteriorate in the way it has, and been able to impact to such a degree on Patient Risk, and its Staff with ridiculous percentiles of ‘late finishescoupled with the huge incalculable financial legacy left over for years of retraining to this Trust over flawed policy decisions taken up to July 2013 to which still remain unexplained.                                                                                              

Communications are critical for recruitment and retention It is equally important to report back the content of the meeting, as the number of meetings attended. The Branch direction, as agreed at RBC has reflected the past 12 editions inthe Monthly Newsletter and Website, they have kept the Branch Membership fully informed and up to date month by monthwithin the content of the Branch Secretary’s Reports with additional articles and use of the Freedom of Info Act to produce Graphs and evidenced information to the membership including membership surveys using the Social Media on a number of important topics. Branch Officers and C/ Leads attendance at RBC their activities and reports throughout the year are recorded. Health and Safety Law is another vital area under attack from government: sources requiring up to date information which was fed back promptly to the membership on issues concerning their daily working conditions at a time when resource is under pressure due to generated understaffing. Surveying the Staff has again been evidence based.                                

 

I will repeat what I said for the last 2 years The systems in place to monitor what we all say we want to aspire to and preserve in the NHS are a frustrating contrast. Genuine communications from above would encourage more respect and acceptance from what can be delivered from the system or not, until then Staff and the general public are left with no choice but to rely on their Union’s, the Local Health Watch Groups, and their Media or MP’s to conduct their own monitoring and communicating to compensate for the invisible unaccountable influences/ agenda’s that consistently fail to communicate properly what the long term plans for the NHS actually are, and what standards of service against their own localisedfunding that they feel they are able or prepared to provide under those circumstances. It is in everybody’s interests to be aware, and able to work towards that goal. The UNISON Branch Committee remains committed to working openly in Partnership with the management of the Trust, and in doing so, ensure that the same level of transparency of communications to its membership goes with it.  With an updated Website, Communications is a two way event and as constantly stated within the Branch Newsletter, would benefit from a variety of articles/opinions from all departments of the Trust including the Trust Board. I would again like to thank all those who have made the time to contribute during the past year.                     Many Thanks   Eric Miller   Communications Officer. for the A. G. M. 2017 of the UNISON Branch 20106.

During 2016 there was little change in the factors associated with poor practice or leadership from Government levels forhelping Industrial Relations as the ‘establishment‘ was increasingly forced to concentrate and focus on a backlash to its own problems. With help of UNISON Campaigns the Anti-Trade UNION Bill was significantly defused with some of its elements including DOCAS. All of which designed to weaken the Pay & Terms and Conditions of NHS Staff; our members and the Public Sector in general, with no consideration on its effects for Localised Partnership working.                             Ambulance Service delivery targets along with the rest of the NHS deteriorated as the year went on. At April our own Trust awaited the visit from the CQC, the Report published at August. Predictably it highlighted all the same issues that the UNISON Branch had consistently campaigned for; and surveyed it’s staff with the increased use of Social Media; including addressing the worsening of ‘Late finishes’ and repeated failures to deliver the Student Paramedic programme with any consistency.  At year end increasing proportions of Trusts in all sorts of trouble lacked the explanations consistent with common sensewith little or no confidence for any alternative identifiable government performance /funding strategy.                                                                                            The CQC, also have noticeably started to report the emerging crisis for staff within managing their own workload and infrastructures as they begin to encounter the historical stored up problemsrepeatedly stated by UNISON and others.             By year end pressures escalated with splits emerging between NHSEngland and Government over resource and funding.

NHS Culture” Nationally has still figured high on all the meeting agenda’s with seemingly no idea how to diagnose or address the problem which still seriously impacts on the staff retention and service delivery. Agency and private arrears building up are still compounding the financial problems of the NHS finance towards implementing patient care without risk.The annual paradox of ‘patient satisfaction’ reports regularly used to disguise the chronic failures existing to the infrastructures available to deliver them.   The accent is still very much on leadership and transparency needing to be seen to cascade downwards.  The worse things get, the more Government retreats into refusing to communicate, preferring a pathway of denial, citing 7 Day working, blaming GP’s and A&E overload, as opposed to why the NHS has been allowed to deteriorate due to erratic expensive policy reversal as a result of swathes of historical instances of poor decision making.                                                                                                                                                                             

The turnover in NHS Trusts of CEX’s continueswe are no further being told what those influences are that determine their responsibilities, or safe funding levels, and more importantly where the corporate accountability and responsibility for that actually lays. The worst examples of accountability are ‘retention of its staff,’ and as to why this service’s Staffing resource was allowed to deliberately deteriorate in the way it has, and been able to impact to such a degree on Patient Risk, and its Staff with ridiculous percentiles of ‘late finishescoupled with the huge incalculable financial legacy left over for years of retraining to this Trust over flawed policy decisions taken up to July 2013 to which still remain unexplained.                                                                                              

Communications are critical for recruitment and retention It is equally important to report back the content of the meeting, as the number of meetings attended. The Branch direction, as agreed at RBC has reflected the past 12 editions inthe Monthly Newsletter and Website, they have kept the Branch Membership fully informed and up to date month by monthwithin the content of the Branch Secretary’s Reports with additional articles and use of the Freedom of Info Act to produce Graphs and evidenced information to the membership including membership surveys using the Social Media on a number of important topics. Branch Officers and C/ Leads attendance at RBC their activities and reports throughout the year are recorded. Health and Safety Law is another vital area under attack from government: sources requiring up to date information which was fed back promptly to the membership on issues concerning their daily working conditions at a time when resource is under pressure due to generated understaffing. Surveying the Staff has again been evidence based.                                

I will repeat what I said for the last 2 years The systems in place to monitor what we all say we want to aspire to and preserve in the NHS are a frustrating contrast. Genuine communications from above would encourage more respect and acceptance from what can be delivered from the system or not, until then Staff and the general public are left with no choice but to rely on their Union’s, the Local Health Watch Groups, and their Media or MP’s to conduct their own monitoring and communicating to compensate for the invisible unaccountable influences/ agenda’s that consistently fail to communicate properly what the long term plans for the NHS actually are, and what standards of service against their own localisedfunding that they feel they are able or prepared to provide under those circumstances. It is in everybody’s interests to be aware, and able to work towards that goal. The UNISON Branch Committee remains committed to working openly in Partnership with the management of the Trust, and in doing so, ensure that the same level of transparency of communications to its membership goes with it.  With an updated Website, Communications is a two way event and as constantly stated within the Branch Newsletter, would benefit from a variety of articles/opinions from all departments of the Trust including the Trust Board. I would again like to thank all those who have made the time to contribute during the past year.                     Many Thanks   Eric Miller   Communications Officer.

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