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What we stand for

This is not a campaign, but we are posting here as there is currently no obvious alternative area of the website to in which place our updates.


Please note the most current updates are at the top of this article


4. 14th September 2015: In response to Colm Donaghy, Chief Executive, announcing that the Admin Services Review has been paused, UNISON has written an open letter outlining our views:


Dear Colleagues,


Re: Trust Decision to Pause Work on the Admin Services Review


We welcome the recent decision by the Trust to pause their  work on the Admin Services Review. We believe this to be a sensible decision which will allow for a period of reflection and less pressured feedback.


Unlike many previous Trust wide reviews and consultations where there have been diverging opinion amongst staff, the feedback and concerns we have received and passed on have been universally consistent. This isn’t the criticism of a few UNISON members in pockets around the Trust, this is the workforce saying as one that the current plans for clinical administration systems and processes do not feel right and will not work. Latterly, the admin staff have been joined by clinicians in providing this feedback, after feeling they had been left in the dark about the plans.


Furthermore, some of the decisions, actions and communications made by the Trust pushed staff into feeling that the review was fairly irrelevant and that that the outcome of the consultation, when it came, was fait accompli.


We now have to be fair and recognise that by pausing the work, the Trust has demonstrated it has treated the review seriously. This is an important shift in the culture of our Trust and one that deserves credit.


In UNISON we recognise that the Trust has a right to review its services and suggest changes to improve quality, safety and efficiency in a drive to always better our service users’ outcomes. However, we feel that the vision for services was too ambitious, too corporate, too convenient and felt like an off the peg solution more attuned to a private commercial company than a complex NHS provider.


Instead we feel that the Trust should back itself and its staff to finding solutions in an organisation of large geography, multiple services and challenging and rewarding clinical work and relationships. The Trust has already made moves through its Listening into Action initiative and Care Delivery Services to devolve decision making to those nearest their stakeholders. UNISON believes that these mechanisms - already at the Trust’s disposal – can be utilised, rather than the bought in, top down approach that seemed to drive the Admin Review.


We are pleased that the key resource and experts in this stage of the Review, the administration staff, have been given a voice and listened to. This is valuable in meeting the 20/20 vision goal of being ‘the employer of choice’.


UNISON will be pleased to continue its role alongside the other staff side unions in being a critical friend in this process now and when it restarts.


3. 11th September 2015: We are ware of the recent communication from Trust Chief Executive Colm Donaghy, who has announced that the project has been paused to give the executicve team  time to rethink how best to take their review forward. This is in light of a huge amount of critical feedback from staff, individual members and of course UNISON and staff side. There is now acknowledgement of the widespread concern about the rationale for and implementation of the review.


We will be realeasing a more thourough reponse soon.


2. 25th June 2015: Questions and answers on role of Staff Side in the Admin Services Review


What is Staff Side?
Staff Side is made up of a number of unions that have a recognition agreement with Sussex Partnership. They are: BAOT, BMA, GMB, RCN, Unite and UNISON.

The Trust recognises the unions’ role in representing the interests of their members and working for improved conditions for all staff. The Trust also recognises the need for its employees to express their views and concerns in relation to conditions of employment and service delivery and that it is of the mutual benefit of the Trust and its employees that the unions should play an active part in representing them.

How does Staff Side represent employees?
During a review such as this, and in any consultation, Staff Side can be another avenue to feedback questions, comments and concerns to management. You do not need to be in a union to use this route. We are currently attending as many meetings as we can and are already passing on much of your feedback to management.

If we move into a consultation, we can continue to be the voice of all staff, passing on feedback and attending group meetings. However, it is during the 1:1 stage when unions only represent their own members. If you require or request a 1:1 you have to be in a union in order to have union representation. Any other employee can either attend alone or have a colleague attend for emotional support only.

Where are we currently?
We are aware that the current process can be anxiety provoking and worrying for some staff and we are receiving many questions that Staff Side simply cannot answer at this time. The reason for this is that until a formal consultation paper is produced (once it is seen and approved by the Board) we cannot take a definitive position. However, rest assured we are aware of the many issues and ideas being discussed and we are feeding your concerns and comments back to Trust management.

If there is a consultation, what we will do?
During a consultation the role of Staff Side is to be both a critical friend to the Trust and a robust representative of its employees. Stewards of individually recognised unions will consult with their members and will both advise and take direction from them. It is the employees that are affected by the change that are often best placed to give feedback and it is, therefore, only right that stewards take the lead from their members. A stewards role is to guide their members through workforce policies and make sure they understand the options available to them.

If you are interested in joining a union please speak to a local work based steward or check out their individual websites.

If you wish to give feedback on the admin review please contact: AdminServices.Review@sussexpartnership.nhs.uk

Alternatively, please contact a local steward or a divisional staff side lead:

Peter Atkinson: West Sussex and Hampshire
John Ottley: East Sussex and Kent
Nick McMaster: Brighton and Hove


1. 18th June 2015: The Trust is currently engaging in a comprehensive Admin Services Review. Senior Trust management wish to make a significant change into how administration function is carried out. Currently the Trust is facilitating drop in sessions for staff potentially affected by the changes and is preparing the business case to present to the Trust Board. 


This is naturally a period of great anxiety to many of our admin members and we have recently received requests for more info from UNISON.


Firstly, let me reassure you that UNISON through the three divisional staff side leads (Peter Atkinson, John Ottley and Nick McMaster) has representation at the highest level of the Trust and is working on your behalf. We attend a number of meetings where the Admin Service review is discussed. We also have a UNISON staff side admin rep, Shan Orr-Ewing, attending many of the actual staff meetings/project meetings and doing invaluable work both in feeding back to us and raising issues.


We are aware of a number of concerns already raised by staff including:


  • Where are the new job descriptions?
  • Which admin staff are included?
  • Where will admin functions will be based?
  • Why are admin jobs still being advertised?
  • Why are there admin jobs being advertised as permananet rather than fixed term?
  • Will anyone be down banded?


These have all been fed back. However, please note that until the review turns into a consultation we cannot give a definitive view or response on the proposals. Also remember that UNISON is a member led organisation and we will need to know the views of members, which again will be sought when the consultation is launched sometime in September. We see our admin staff as the experts in this situation and so your contribution during the consultation will be vital for us in representing the views not only of our members, but all staff.


If you have any further concerns please contact your local UNISON steward or your divisional UNISON lead.


Please also check your work emails for messages from Branch as well as this website and our other social media outlets.

Worth It – Welcome to the campaign for better pay


UNISON Sussex Partnership Campaigns


UNISON has launched a major new campaign to boost the pay of public service workers.  Members have had their pay capped and frozen whilst prices have continued to shoot up.  All workers have seen a huge chunk taken from their pay packets (a 16% reduction in public services since 2010) and many are simply no longer able to make ends meet.  The message of the ‘Worth It’ campaign is that with UNISON, you can fight for better, fairer pay  and  we can help members make ends meet.  In doing so we are making the case for why fair and decent pay is important for members, service delivery and for society.  For more details of our campaign messages, see our campaign webpage here.


Over the coming months we will be spreading the ‘Worth It’ message in every UNISON workplace, in the media and online.  We are determined to break down the myth that holding down workers pay is a necessary or even an effective way of tackling the deficit and getting the economy back on track.  The current  policy of pay caps and continued pain for public sector workers is unjust, damaging and self-defeating. 


In the initial stages of the Worth It campaign there are three things you can do help:


1.       Follow the campaign on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/WORTHit_UNISON


2.       Like our Page on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/WORTHitUNISON


3.       Forward this email to all of you branch contacts, asking them to sign up to our email list by emailing  worthit@unison.co.uk  


In future months we will be asking those who have signed up to the campaign to get involved in further campaigning activities. 


Best Wishes,


Karen Jennings

UNISON Assistant General Secretary

Bargaining, Negotiating & Equalities


On Saturday 20th October 2012, hundreds of thousands of trade unionists and their supporters marched against the ConDem government's austerity measures that are crippling this country's chances of economic recovery. 




Austerity isn’t working


Our country faces long-term economic problems. But our political leaders have failed to face up to them.


For the next five years or more, unless policies change the economy will not grow, incomes will not rise, and there will be almost no new jobs.


If the government keeps on with big spending cuts and austerity  we face a lost decade. Even on their own terms government policies are failing. To close the deficit we need a healthy growing economy that generates tax income. But austerity has led to a vicious circle of decline.


Instead of just letting the banks go back to business and bonuses as usual, we need policies that promote new and old industries.


This new approach would create jobs, especially for young people.


It would encourage companies to raise average pay, penalise big bonuses and invest in training and new industries. It would crack down on tax evasion by big companies and the super-rich. It tackle the growing inequality between the super-rich and everyone else.


Rather than deep, rapid spending cuts, we need to reverse our decline and build an economy that works for ordinary families.


We need a future that works. Will you join us? 




On the 20th October, Branch took over a train carriage and brought over 50 members and supporters to the TUC mass demonstration in London to show this government that their austerity agenda is standing in the way of delivering the jobs and growth that this country needs.


UNISON believes that investing in good public services that save, protect and enrich lives will boost our economy and strengthen our communities.


David Cameron talks about the Big Society. 


UNISON at 1.3 million members is the Big Society.




To find out more about the continuing campaign go to http://afuturethatworks.org/ or talk to your local steward or branch officer.


Nick McMaster

UNISON Branch Communications Officer




This website is full of wonderful images from the day of action on November 30th 2011. With up to 2 million people on the streets, this was the biggest national strike in a generation where every major public sector union joined forces with anti cuts organisations to hold hundreds of rallies and marches around the UK.


On the back of this the government made some concessions to their original proposals. This final offer has been rejected by a number of unions, some of whom intend to strike or protest on the 10th May.


UNISON have recently announced the result of our national ballot with a low turn out narrowly voting to reject the Tory offer.


This is a complex issue and to keep up to date look out for further communications from your branch or check out the national UNISON website pages: http://www.unison.org.uk/pensions/news.asp