Unhappy UNISON members from the Contact Camden out of hours emergency team got in touch with their union when they were not paid their enhancement for having worked on Easter Sunday. And with UNISON’s help, they eventually got a result.
As we all know, Easter 2013 fell before the “new contract”, eliminating many Green Book allowances, came into force. In any case most ETS (Emergency Telephone Service) staff had not signed up to the new contract. They duly submitted overtime forms in early April, but no additional money was forthcoming.
We were informed by Payroll over the ‘phone that we should have been in receipt of enhanced pay for the Easter Sunday, but our management team had not submitted the forms for that day. When challenged about this, local management told us that they considered Easter Sunday to be a normal working day. As one office wag quipped at the time, “Has anyone told the Pope?”
We were able to produce evidence, which showed that Swiss Cottage Library (where colleagues can be on duty every day other than Public Holidays) was advertised as closed that day. It was also clear that work Easter Sunday had always attracted an enhanced rate since the emergency team was formed, many years ago. But nearly five months later there had still been no movement.
After hitting a brick wall, we asked UNISON to make representations on our behalf and branch secretary George Binette took up our cause. George took the matter to senior officer in HR and although it took a couple of emails and ‘phone calls to resolve, it was finally resolved in September with the outstanding sums at last paid into our accounts on 15 October.
This is not the first time that UNISON has supported the ETS team regarding pay issues, though we live in hope that we will not have to call on the union again. But if we do, we know we can rely on our branch officers’ backing.