Date: Weds 14 December 2005
UNISON launches charter for Occupational Therapists in Scottish
UNISON, Scotland's public service union, will today
(Wednesday)launch a charter that outlines the need for action to
be taken to tackle issues faced by Ocupational Therapists (OTs)
working for Scottish Local Councils. The launch will take place
in Committee Room 1, Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 14 December
Hosting the event will be Michael Mathieson MSP, SNP
spokesperson on Culture and Sport, and himself a former council-based
OT. Also speaking at the launch will be Kirsten Hey, of UNISONScotland's
OT working group and Gail MacNamara, from the Scottish Board of
the College of Occupational Therapists (COT)- the professional body
for OTs. Representatives from the Association of Directors of Social
Work (ADSW) and CoSLA, and the 21 Century Social Work Review Group
have also been invited.
You are requested to be represented. Please contact
Chris Bartter - numbers below.
Occupational Therapists and OT support staff work
with some of the most vulnerable people in society, enhancing their
ability to participate in everyday activities. They are employed
both in the Healthcare and Local Government sector, and are at the
forefront of the Government's joint working initiatives.
Kirsten Hey, said "OTs working for local councils
face a number of challenges which their union - UNISON - is campaigning
to have addressed. Whilst we work closely with colleagues in the
NHS - have the same qualifications and in some areas do very similar
jobs - we often have worse terms and conditions and Agenda for Change
in the NHS is likely to widen the gap. As Joint Future working moves
on, OTs are becoming more and more involved in the management of
complex care services in both social work and healthcare and the
implications for pay and conditions are becoming urgent."
As staff who work in both the NHS and local government,
changes to the public sector pension schemes will affect OTs who
work in both the NHS and local government, and who move between
Kirsten said "It is unacceptable that staff who increase
their skills and take on more complex responsibilities by moving
between health and social care should see their pensions diminished
as a result. As someone who has transferred from the NHS to a local
council, I feel the unfairness of this particularly, and whilst
I know that UNISON is pulling out all the stops to change the UK
employers position, it may yet come to industrial action."
The OT charter will form a key part of UNISON's negotiating
agenda with both the Scottish Executive and the employers.
For Further Information Please Contact: Kirsten
Hey (Chair - UNISON OT working group) 07771 881 615 (m) Mandy McDowall
(Regional Organiser) 0845 355 0845(w) 07903 846 427(m) Chris Bartter
(Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)