Barnet UNISON is hosting a presentation and discussion by Nafsiyat on intercultural therapy

 

Guest Speaker: Baffour Ababio Clinical Lead, who works for Nafsiyat

“Nafsiyat is an intercultural therapy centre, committed to providing effective and accessible psychotherapy and counselling services to people from diverse religious, cultural and ethnic communities in London. Our team is made up of experienced, fully qualified psychotherapists and counsellors from diverse backgrounds who are sensitive to the particular therapeutic needs of cultural minority groups.

We provide short-term intercultural therapy in over 20 different languages, via referral, to individuals, groups, and couples. We also offer long-term, privately funded therapy via our Nafsiyat Choice service.”

https://www.nafsiyat.org.uk/index.php/about-us/

Barnet UNISON comment.

The recent traumatic events, both the murder of George Floyd, yet another reminder of systemic racism, and reports that BAME communities are at a greater risk of dying from COVID-19, which only serves to highlight existing health inequalities, calls for greater support for our BAME members.

These recent events have bought to surface many unresolved traumatic events, in so many BAME individuals, therefore it is important that we recognise how deeply ingrained emotional traumas are imbedded.

Studies have shown prenatal and early childhood experiences have lasting emotional and psychological effects. A 3 year study recognised the link between childhood experiences; known as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and current health status in adults.

Whilst ACEs explored the impact of traumatic childhood events, there is an emerging line of research exploring the impact of transgenerational transmission of traumatic events onto the next and subsequent generations.

Also known as ‘intergeneration trauma’, this research is illuminating how historical and cultural traumas affect survivors’ children for generations to come, passing the symptoms and behaviours of trauma survival along the family line.

Racism and inequalities are often addressed from a surface layer, but now is the time for the physiological and psychological impact of enduring global and systemic racism and discrimination, to be at the forefront of beginning the journey towards healing, health and wellbeing.

Cultural specific counselling should be provided by employers to facilitate better understanding of an individual’s background, ethnicity and belief system in order to empower and support ‘all’ people to improve their health and wellbeing, without fear of biased views and stereotypical beliefs about them.

We have Clinical Lead, Baffour Ababio, from Nafsiyat Intercultural Therapy Centre, who will provide a 1 hour presentation about the service provided at Nafsiyat on Tuesday 14th  12.30- 2pm; short term intercultural therapy for a range of issues, from day-to-day worries to complex psychological conditions.

 

At last. Government publish the missing BAME report which includes recommendations.

The following extracts including the Recommendations are from the Executive Summary of “Beyond the data: Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on BAME groups.”(Source: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/892376/COVID_stakeholder_engagement_synthesis_beyond_the_data.pdf )

“Stakeholders expressed deep dismay, anger, loss and fear in their communities about the emerging data and realities of BAME groups being harder hit by the COVID-19 Beyond the Data: Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on BAME Communities pandemic than others, exacerbating existing inequalities. Many had lost colleagues or family members to the disease, and nearly all are experiencing the impact of the disease on their communities with the significant social, physical and mental health impacts and complications.”

“Stakeholders pointed to racism and discrimination experienced by communities and more specifically by BAME key workers as a root cause affecting health, and exposure risk and disease progression risk.”

“Strategies to create healthy and supportive workplaces (within and outside the health service) that have zero tolerance for discrimination and empower BAME staff to raise concerns about occupational risk and safety are essential.”

“The unequal impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities may be explained by a number of factors ranging from social and economic inequalities, racism, discrimination and stigma, occupational risk, inequalities in the prevalence of conditions that increase the severity of disease including obesity, diabetes, CVD and asthma.”

“The engagement sessions highlighted the BAME groups deep concern and anxiety that if lessons are not learnt from this initial phase of the epidemic, future waves of the disease could again have severe and disproportionate impacts. All were united in the commitment that urgent, collaborative and decisive action is required to avoid a repeat of this in the future.”

“Recommendations

1. Mandate comprehensive and quality ethnicity data collection and recording as part of routine NHS and social care data collection systems, including the mandatory collection of ethnicity data at death certification, and ensure that data are readily available to local health and care partners to inform actions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities.

2.Support community participatory research, in which researchers and community stakeholders engage as equal partners in all steps of the research process, to understand the social, cultural, structural, economic, religious, and commercial determinants of COVID-19 in BAME communities, and to develop readily implementable and scalable programmes to reduce risk and improve health outcomes.

3. Improve access, experiences and outcomes of NHS, local government and integrated care systems commissioned services by BAME communities including: regular equity audits; use of health impact assessments; integration of equality into quality systems; good representation of black and minority ethnic communities among staff at all levels; sustained workforce development and employment practices; trust-building dialogue with service users.

4. Accelerate the development of culturally competent occupational risk assessment tools that can be employed in a variety of occupational settings and used to reduce the risk of employee’s exposure to and acquisition of COVID-19, especially for key workers working with a large cross section of the general public or in contact with those infected with COVID-19.

5. Fund, develop and implement culturally competent COVID-19 education and prevention campaigns, working in partnership with local BAME and faith communities to reinforce individual and household risk reduction strategies; rebuild trust with and uptake of routine clinical services; reinforce messages on early identification, testing and diagnosis; and prepare communities to take full advantage of interventions including contact tracing, antibody testing and ultimately vaccine availability.

6. Accelerate efforts to target culturally competent health promotion and disease prevention programmes for non-communicable diseases promoting healthy weight, physical activity, smoking cessation, mental wellbeing and effective management of chronic conditions including diabetes, hypertension and asthma.

7. Ensure that COVID-19 recovery strategies actively reduce inequalities caused by the wider determinants of health to create long term sustainable change. Fully funded, sustained and meaningful approaches to tackling ethnic inequalities must be prioritised.”

To view the full report click on the link below.

Beyond the data: Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on BAME groups.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/892376/COVID_stakeholder_engagement_synthesis_beyond_the_data.pdf

 

All Care Workers Now To Receive Full Sick Pay For COVID19

 

If you are a care worker you will shortly be receiving this email from us (if we have your email address). If you are the friend or know someone who is a care worker or support worker – let them know about this and encourage them to join UNISON!

Dear Colleague,

The Government has given funding to local authorities to ensure that you will be paid as if you were working normally if you go off sick with suspected COVID19 or have to isolate because you came into close contact with someone who has COVID19. London Borough of Barnet has been allocated £3,564,514

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5ec2717de90e071e30d09844/allocation-table-for-the-infection-control-fund-for-adult-social-.pdf. This is for infection control purposes.

 

Government guidance is clear that this funding should be used to pay the “normal wages” of social care workers that are absent due to COVID-19 as a measure to help reduce transmissions, so they do not feel pressured into going into work out of financial necessity.  Its intention is also to top up the wages of those doing shifts at several care homes by encouraging them to reduce the number of workplaces they visit.

Since the news of this funding was made we have been writing to the local authority trying to gain an assurance this money will make its way into your pockets should you need it. Some companies, such as YCB (Your Choice Barnet) have already been paying colleagues their full salary whilst they’ve been isolating but far too many have not made this commitment. This is unfair and dangerous.

Today we received confirmation that the local authority has passed this money on to the care providers in Barnet. There should now be no excuse for you not getting the pay you need to stay away from work when you need to. We are in the process of writing to all care providers – starting with those where we have members – asking them these questions:

Wages and Sick Pay arrangements

  • Can you please confirm what your sick pay/ pay arrangements to cover periods of isolation are for those workers you employ?
  • Can you confirm whether you employ workers on zero hours contracts and how these would be affected by your sick pay/ isolation pay arrangements?
  • Can you confirm how you will identify the workers who would need a top up?
  • Can you confirm whether your basic minimum hourly rate of pay is above, below or at the London Living Wage (£10.75/hr)

PPE

  • Can you confirm what PPE you have in place and in what circumstances this is used?
  • Can you confirm what training you have in place regarding the correct use of PPE?

I want to thank all of you for the contributions you have made, not just in terms of going to work during this difficult time, but for speaking to us about the issues you are facing. To be honest we should not have to be working so hard to get these changes – it should be understood as obvious. Yet without your feedback absolutely nothing would have changed. Trade Union organisation has helped us organise this feedback and delivered it to the right places. Many of your colleagues are not members of a trade union – imagine how much more we could achieve if we had more members. Even better if we had reps who could be that vital link between you and your colleagues in workplace and the branch. It would help you overcome that sense of isolation and help you network with more people. Please recruit your colleagues, keep the feedback going and think about becoming a rep.

We will keep you updated with the responses of the employers as they come back to us.

Thanks

Helen Davies

Branch Chair

Barnet UNISON

Black NHS staff are disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Black NHS staff are disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

UNISON Is taking urgent steps to address this. Helga Pile, senior national officer, UNISON health group, leads a conversation with Yvonne Coghill, director of WRES implementation, NHS England, Kebba Manneh, chair of UNISON national Black members committee, and Margaret Greer, UNISON national race equality officer.

Barnet Council: The London and the Barnet Living Wage story continues……..

Barnet UNISON has launched a campaign for the London Living Wage for care workers who were recently transferred from Fremantle Trust to The Barnet Group (TBG). TBG is 100% owned by Barnet Council.

What does Barnet Council have to say on the matter?

Barnet Living Wage

3.15. The Council has developed a fair pay policy to ensure that it applies a minimum wage for Council employees. “London Borough of Barnet is a fair pay employer and will apply the principles of a living wage (including taking into account the National Minimum Wage, National Living Wage, London Living Wage and national pay awards in the public sector), subject to affordability.”

3.16. Employees whose pay rate is less than the agreed amount will receive a pay supplement to bring their pay up to an equivalent of the published Barnet Living Wage rate. The minimum rate will be reviewed on an annual basis. The exception to this rule will be apprenticeships where the national apprenticeship rates will apply at a minimum.

(Source: https://bit.ly/2BEKVx4 )

Negotiations

Several years ago Barnet UNISON reached an agreement with Barnet Council that no Council employee would earn less than the London Living Wage (LLW). However the agreement refers to the Barnet Living Wage (BLW) as Barnet Council wanted to make a point of paying slightly more than the London Living Wage.

In 2018 the London Living Wage was £10.20 and the Barnet Living Wage was £10.42.

In 2019 the London Living Wage was £10.55 and the Barnet Living Wage is £10.70 (Bottom of Grade A).

Not enough

Whilst this was a good agreement for our members working for Barnet Council workers it did not provide security for those workers facing outsourcing under the One Barnet Programme. This led to further negotiations and subsequent agreement with Barnet Council that any contractor taking over any Council services could not pay their staff less that the London Living Wage. The effect of this agreement was apparent when our catering staff members were transferred to ISS. Earlier this year our members contacted Barnet UNISON when their pay did not go up to the new rate. Our branch immediately contacted both ISS and the Council which led to an immediate climb down and our members were put on the correct pay.

What about other outsourced contracts?

Our branch had been trying to get our cleaners on to the LLW for years. These had been outsourced 15 years ago. Earlier this year we were pleased to inform our cleaners in UNISON that the Council had inserted the LLW into the new contract which was awarded early in the year. At last our cleaners are on the LLW.

Barnet care workers.

During the summer almost 300 care staff transferred from Fremantle Trust to The Barnet Group (TBG). TBG is 100% owned by Barnet Council.

Three weeks ago Barnet UNISON launched its latest campaign for the London Living Wage for the care workers.

On Tuesday 10 December at Barnet Council Policy and Resources Committee will make a decision whether to ensure Barnet care workers will get equal treatment and are paid the London Living Wage.

We are asking for a big solidarity call out for our care workers from Barnet UNISON members, trade union members, and supporters.

Join us outside Hendon Town Hall from 6.30 Tuesday 10 December 2019.

 

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