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East of England Ambulance Branch 20106
Branch EOC Annual Leave Grievance Update
On 2nd April 2016 Unison submitted a formal grievance on behalf of EOC members to address concerns about leave caps being applied to EOC staff annual leave levels. These leave caps were preventing staff from taking the statutory and contractual annual leave entitlements which they were entitled to.
After experiencing significant Trust delays in hearing the grievance, the hearing took place on the 21st September 2016, attended by senior staff side colleges and was upheld.
The following points and outcomes were highlighted by the Chair;
· Recognition that there was a cap in place and for an apology to be given.
· Trusts governance pathways were not followed and sufficient information was not evidenced through the Trusts LPF and SPF forums to put the caps in place
· For the collective grievance to be upheld and an urgent recommendation of the panel that the Annual Leave Policy is reviewed by the Policy Review Group. (this work has already started)
· Annual leave limits to be agreed up to the 100% and anything above to be escalated to management.
· If staff feel that they have a case in not being able to take their annual leave, it is recommend that any staff affected should, in the first instance, bring this to the attention of their management team in order to resolve. Where local management are unable to reach a resolution then this should be brought to the attention of the SPF. The number of individuals that come forward will then be reported back to SPF along with the resolution.
· Annual leave to be monitored for a period of 12 months Trust wide, to ensure statutory and contractual annual leave is being taken and reported back into SPF.
The Chair of the panel took the time to issue the following statement in the outcome documents;
“As Chair of the panel meeting I would like to record that if any member of staff in EOC was unable to take annual leave during this period as a result of the cap, then I would like to unreservedly apologise for this and for the potential impact this may have had on members of our EOC teams”.
This result is good news for all staff in EOC centres across the Trust who are under ever increasing pressures, and allows the opportunity to have a work life balance.
Darren Jones - Branch Chair Fraer Stevenson- branch Secretary Barry Jarvis- Branch Convenor
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Dear EOC Staff,
Over the last 12 months Unison has been campaigning in an effort to remove caps from the EOC annual leave limits which were discovered through FOI last year to be set at 75% for all Trust EOC sites. Because of these caps not all EOC staff had managed to take all of their contractual and in some cases statutory leave entitlements.
Unison feel these caps sit outside of trust policy, does not meet current EU legislation, and were put in place outside of the Trust governance processes.
The Branch Committee felt that the Trust had bypassed normal governance procedures and that this was unacceptable and therefore supported the submission of a collective grievance.
A grievance date has been set for 21st September 2016 to hear the case put forward by Unison on behalf of its EOC members.
On 12th September 2016 Senior Staff side met with Gary Morgan Deputy Director of Service Delivery (EOC) to discuss the issues raised within the grievance and although it was a positive meeting we were unable to resolve all the issues contained within the grievance.
Unison hopes that once the grievance has been resolved that we can work in partnership with the Senior EOC management team to ensure that annual leave is managed in such a way that supports EOC staff.
Unison would like to thank all the EOC staff who took part in our survey in December 2015/January 2016. Your evidence has been vital in the preparation of this grievance.
Moving forward Unison will continue to monitor Trust policies to ensure that they are followed both in word and spirit, and will continue to challenge where necessary.
Darren Jones -Branch Chair, Fraer Stevenson –Branch Secretary and Barry Jarvis - Branch Convenor
UNISON East of England Ambulance Branch 20106