Sunday, December 13, 2009

Supporting Members over Professional Registration

I have blogged before about the excellent work done by UNISON to represent members facing hearings in front of one or other of the bodies which increasingly seek to register and regulate the work of our members. Increasingly UNISON members don't only need to worry about disciplinary action from their employer, but about statutory bodies which have the power to deprive a worker of their livelihood (and whose procedures are in some cases fairly threatening and do little to protect the rights of a worker on the receiving end of allegations).

Knowing that this is an issue of concern to active members in the Greater London Region I asked a question on the Minutes of a meeting of the Service Group Liaison Committee which were before last Wednesday's meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) concerning a new protocol to deal with representation in front of the Registration bodies and was given the following information;

A draft revised protocol has been produced for consultation with regions and convenors.

The effect will be that all representation at hearings, subject to capacity, will be by a case officer from the new Professional Registration Representation Unit.

For this to happen effectively and to ensure the member gets the best possible support and assistance, regions and branches will need to work in partnership with the unit. The revised protocol sets out the respective responsibilities.

It is hoped to have the new protocol agreed and published early in 2010.

I think that it is sensible to centralise this sort of representation in a team of experts and I hope that we ensure adequate resources for this increasingly important work. Branches with particular views should note that consultation is with Regional Offices and Regional Convenors at this stage.

This is the link for the current Professional Services Unit should you need it.

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