Rest Breaks – August Update

Dear UNISON Member,

As you may be aware over the last year we have met with London Ambulance Senior Management about the ongoing issue of Rest Breaks.

The reason it has gone on for so long is because of a number of factors. These include changes in senior managers and the major incidents that have affected London recently. We have been meeting periodically but confirm that these discussions have now come to an end.

Our last meeting was on the 19th July 2017 and LAS UNISON has always maintained if there was any agreement reached we would ensure that our member’s views are listened to and if necessary we would ballot our affected members.

At the 19th July meeting management informed us that there was no more progress to be made.

We were still stuck on one issue – if no break was given during the shift then this would no longer result in a £10 payment. In fact it now would not receive any re-numeration whatsoever. We felt that this was a fundamental change that we were unable to accept.

After all our meetings, there was still no guarantee that we were going to receive a break and by taking the current payment away from us we had no choice but to inform the LAS that if this was enforced we would have no choice but to register a dispute against our service.

This is something that we don’t do lightly and we had been hopeful we would have come to an agreement with something that was acceptable for all.

To be fair to the Service they had moved a lot from the position they had started from, but the underlying issue of NO payment was unacceptable.
Once the meeting had finished I asked Patricia Grealish (Director of People and Organisation Development) to write to me with a decision on which way the service now wanted to go.

On the 27th July, I received an email from Patricia that the LAS had decided to halt discussions and that the existing policy would remain in place.

Lots of you have spoken to me and our Branch Committee members asking what the latest news was regarding this issue and you have given us your full support and we thank you for that.

We have a great membership base and we continue to go from strength to strength in our fantastic Union.

In solidarity,

Eddie Brand
LAS UNISON Branch Secretary

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