Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The Branch Hardship Fund

A message from our Branch Secretary:

This ballot is probably the most important thing you will ever have to vote on in your working life: not just for you, but for every new employee in the future.

What this Coalition government is aiming to do with your pensions is nothing short of theft and is totally unfair. No other pension scheme outside of the Public Sector is being attacked in this way. Why should we have to Work longer and Pay more to Get less?

I cannot stress how important it is to get a really big yes vote if we are to make the government wake up and listen to us.

Of course everyone will suffer some degree of financial loss by striking. We are all going to lose a day’s pay and everyone will feel the pinch, especially given the current economic climate and our ongoing pay freeze.

If any member feels that they will suffer particular hardship as a consequence of taking a day’s action (maybe because they are already on low pay or receiving a means-tested benefit, have nursery fees to pay or large debts) they can make a claim to the hardship fund. There are no hard and fast rules. In the past we have had few applications, and every one has been successful.

There is a form to fill in. I know it looks rather intimidating but your steward will be more than happy to help you fill it in if you find the form particularly difficult. We will need to see wage slips showing the strike deduction and the one for the previous month. We cannot agree hardship fund applications or give out any money until we have seen these two wage slips. The deductions won’t come out until the December pay run, so we will be considering applications as early as possible in January. We will make payments as quickly as we can.

I can assure you that all claims will be dealt with sensitively and in the strictest confidence. Please Vote YES to protect your Pension!!!!

In solidarity,

Caroline Glendinning
Oxford City UNISON Branch Secretary

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