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Unison Scottish Ambulance Branch Stands in Solidarity with #MarchOnTheHomeOffice

As members of the Unison Scottish Ambulance Branch, we are dedicated to serving and protecting the health and well-being of all communities in Scotland, irrespective of their origin, race, religion, or status. We believe in the power of unity, compassion, and action to create a society that respects and upholds the dignity of every individual.

It is with this conviction that we announce our unwavering support for the #MarchOnTheHomeOffice taking place in Glasgow on Saturday, 16 March. This crucial demonstration, called by Stand Up to Racism (SUTR) and the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC), represents a vital stand against the rising tide of racism, Islamophobia, antisemitism, and governmental policies that threaten the fabric of our diverse and vibrant society.

The escalating mainstream government racism against refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants, coupled with the concerning advance of the far right both domestically and internationally, poses a profound threat not just to the targeted individuals but to the principles of justice and equality that underpin our democracy. The hateful rhetoric and actions endorsed by certain political figures and groups only serve to divide us and detract from the real issues that we face as a community.

As healthcare professionals, we witness the direct and indirect consequences of such divisive policies and ideologies on the health and mental well-being of those affected. We stand in solidarity with all those who seek refuge and a chance for a safer, more prosperous life in our country. We are committed to fostering an environment of inclusivity and support within our services and our communities.

In supporting the #MarchOnTheHomeOffice, we join a broader coalition of trade unions, anti-racist groups, and civil society organizations in sending a powerful message: racism and discrimination have no place in Scotland or anywhere else. We call on all our members to participate in the demonstration, to stand against hate, and to show that we are a community that values diversity, compassion, and human rights.

Furthermore, we recognize the importance of addressing and challenging institutional racism within all sectors, including our own. The tragic death of Sheku Bayoh and the subsequent public inquiry serve as a somber reminder of the work that still needs to be done to ensure justice and accountability.

The Unison Scottish Ambulance Branch commits to being an active part of the solution. We pledge to continue our efforts to educate, advocate, and stand up against racism in all its forms. We encourage our members and the wider community to join us in this critical demonstration of unity and resistance.

Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can build a society that truly welcomes refugees, opposes racism, and champions the cause of justice for all.

We look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with you on 16 March at BBC Scotland, as we march towards the Home Office and beyond, in pursuit of a fairer, more inclusive world.

Link to all the information on the March, meeting place and travel

#MarchOnTheHomeOffice #UnityAgainstRacism #WelcomeRefugees

For more information on how to get involved and support, click here

A joint statement from STUC and SUTR Scotland can be found here

UNISON addressing the Urgent Call for NHS Scotland Reform

The Scottish NHS is at a crucial juncture, facing challenges that demand immediate attention and action. UNISON, Scotland's largest NHS trade union, has raised significant concerns about the impact of budget cuts on the quality and safety of healthcare services. The union's letter to the Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health, and Social Care outlines these issues in detail, emphasizing the need for a constructive dialogue and immediate reforms.

Budget constraints have led to overspending accusations, but UNISON argues this is a misrepresentation of the underlying issue: chronic underfunding. The NHS in Scotland struggles to meet rising demand, and cost-cutting measures, such as the reduction of vacant posts and essential services like the staff shuttle bus in Lothian, exacerbate access and service delivery problems. These cuts not only affect patient care but also increase the workload and stress on existing staff, leading to a cycle of inefficiency and decreased morale among healthcare workers.

UNISON's letter highlights specific instances of concern, including the unilateral decision to cancel the staff shuttle bus in Lothian, disputes over cutting vacant posts in Glasgow, and the need to cut unfunded beds in NHS Ayrshire and Arran. These examples illustrate the broader issue of "right-sizing" the NHS—not through cuts but through informed, community-involved discussions about modernizing and adequately funding the service.

The letter concludes with a call to action, urging the Cabinet Secretary to engage with UNISON and other stakeholders to ensure that any reforms are patient-centered, adequately funded, and designed to sustainably improve the NHS in Scotland. It's a call for a balanced approach that respects the needs of both healthcare workers and the communities they serve.

As Scotland's NHS faces these critical challenges, it's clear that open dialogue, comprehensive planning, and a commitment to investment are essential. The health of the nation depends on it.

Please see the links below to documents for further details and for the letter sent to the new Scottish health Secretary from UNISON.

Link to Letter sent to the new Health Secretary from UNISON.

Link to document on the staffing crisis within the NHS.

The 2024 Pay Claim: A Milestone for NHS Scotland’s Agenda for Change Staff

The 2024 Pay Claim: A Milestone for NHS Scotland’s Agenda for Change Staff

In a significant move, NHS Scotland’s staff, covered under the Agenda for Change (AfC), have laid down a comprehensive pay claim for the year 2024. This pay claim, agreed upon and submitted by all trade unions and professional organizations represented on the Scottish Terms & Conditions Committee (STAC), marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing discourse around fair compensation and working conditions within the healthcare sector.

The Essence of Fair Pay in Healthcare

The healthcare industry, undeniably, is the backbone of our society, more so in challenging times such as these. The dedication and hard work of NHS staff have always been crucial, but the recent global events have spotlighted the absolute necessity of ensuring that these workers are fairly compensated. The 2024 Pay Claim is not just about numbers on a paycheck; it’s about recognizing the value of these indispensable members of our community.

Negotiating for a Better Tomorrow

Negotiations for pay claims within the NHS are a complex process, involving a myriad of stakeholders. It’s a testament to the collective spirit of the NHS workforce and their representatives that they have come together to submit a unified claim. Such solidarity is essential, as it sends a clear message about the collective priorities of healthcare workers, emphasizing the need for a sustainable, fair pay structure that reflects their invaluable contribution to society.

The Impact of the Pay Claim

A successful pay claim can have far-reaching effects. Firstly, it can significantly improve morale among NHS staff, leading to enhanced job satisfaction and, ultimately, better patient care. Secondly, it can help in retaining existing staff and attracting new talent, crucial for the sustainability of healthcare services. Lastly, it sets a precedent for other sectors, highlighting the importance of fair work conditions and adequate compensation.

Looking Forward

As we look toward the resolution of the 2024 Pay Claim, it’s important to remember the broader implications of this effort. It’s about more than just the immediate financial upliftment of NHS staff; it’s about fostering a culture of respect, appreciation, and fairness within the healthcare sector and beyond.

The journey ahead may be fraught with challenges, but the unity and determination shown by NHS Scotland’s staff and their representatives offer a beacon of hope. It’s a reminder that when we stand together for a just cause, the path towards positive change becomes a little less arduous.

Let us all support the NHS Scotland staff in their 2024 Pay Claim, understanding that their fight for fair pay is a step towards a better healthcare system for everyone.