Returning to work after long-term sickness is challenging, for cleaning assistant Jessie Lynch it was a nightmare.
Soon after restarting her job at a private prison in Scotland, Jessie discovered that she hadn’t been paid properly during her time off on sick leave. Unsure what to do she approached her Community reps, Jason Wyllie and Tiffany Gillies, for help.
Informal efforts to get Jessie her dues were unsuccessful, so Jason helped to submit a grievance against Jessie’s manager. Bizarrely, rather than respond to the grievance the manager disciplined Jessie and suspended her for alleged absence.
“The suspension lasted 17 weeks and I ended up with a twelve month written warning. It was a right stressing time,” said Jessie.
The union stepped in again to appeal against the disciplinary and make sure the grievance was heard.
Jessie said “It was a long hard slog, but in the end I got everything I’d asked for.”
She received £700 to cover lost benefits and bank charges. The company also agreed to retrain managers on sickness and absence.
“Had it not been for my Community reps, I don’t know where I would have been. They are an absolute godsend. I’d shout it from the rooftops what the union did to help me.”