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  1. Yes, this is what I've found and Unison, at my workplace anyway, is not the most dynamic and proactive of unions! Thanks for your advice - am still searching for my contract!
  2. Hi Manxman Yes, I'm a Unison member. I spoke to someone earlier this year when this happened once before. He felt (but wasn't absolutely sure) that this was wrong. I'm typing the clinic letters at home (connected to the hospital network with a VPN) as soon as they're dictated by the nurses (this is a nurse-led unit). If they have no patients to see, then no letters. It's not really the managers fault either - just the situation with Covid! Perhaps I work to fast and should space the letters out a bit myself, then this wouldn't happen! I go into the office once a week to print out and post the letters of the week before and and do any other bits and pieces. Thanks for the advice and I'll check again with my union (and look for my contract!)
  3. I work as a medical secretary in our local General Hospital. I've been in the same department for 6 years, 5 as bank staff and 1 year as permanent, my contract is for 18.5 hours, which I do over four days with a short day on Friday; I'm the only secretary in the unit. Since Covid I've been working from home (which the hospital has encouraged staff to do) but go into the department on one day per week. A few weeks ago I was logged on and ready to work when I got a call from my manager at about 11 30 a.m. to say there would be no letters to do that day, so I could either owe them the time or take it as holiday. My question is if I'm ready to work according to my contract, but there is no work, should I have to "owe" the hours or use my holiday with an unexpected (and unasked for) day off. While no the question was left up in the air when this happened it has now arisen again because I did an extra day last week and I hoped to get TOIL on my birthday next week but have now been told I should use that extra day to cover the day when there was no work for me. Due to the extra work everyone in the NHS has done due to Covid I don't really want to make a big thing of this - I love working with my colleagues in the department - but I would like to know whether my boss is correct that I have to make the time up. I was ready to work; is it my fault if there wasn't enough for me to do that day?
  4. Another really eventful day regarding JBW - the worst, and also the best, of all. Ha just got up at 8.00 a.m. when there was fierce knocking at the door. Go down, open door, man there from JBW who states because I haven't responded to their communications they have come down from Hull this morning to take possession of our car. Or I can pay £1074 NOW. No negotiation possible - it's one or the other. I showed him the letter from JBW saying that we have an arrangement in place (as detailed above). No, he said; this relates to a different numbered case. I told him I had been assured that it covered all three outstanding cases. That's your problem, he told me. I'm here to take possession of the car. Or I could pay the money. I used our joint account card - my OH had just sold a motor bike (we're moving soon and need the money) so I knew there was money in to cover it, but that was to be used for fees, removers, etc. had no choice, as without car he cannot get to work - he works nights, out of town. As soon as I got to work I emailed the helpful lady at the council. She was on the case straightaway. I emailed over a copy of the receipt and she contacted JBW. She kept me informed by email while she was waiting for JBW to get back to her. She told me I should write a letter of complaint to JBW and sent me their correct email address. At just after 2 p.m. she called me to say it was a mistake, the person should not have come to me, there is no outstanding amount (other than that covered in the arrangement I've made) all current council tax is up to date and THAT THEY ARE GOING TO REFUND THE MONEY. She said that the account manager from JBW was going to call me to apologise. He did indeed call; said the mistake happened because I've moved so much (all within the same town - that often happens if you rent your house) and although they all related to the one property (from around 2006) they didn't match them all up and the same debt was covered by 6 case numbers instead of 3. he did apologise and said the bailiff should have checked back with the office once I showed him the letter from JBW, he actually said "I'll bring him in for some retraining - he should know better than that". He said the men get so used to people lying they assume everyone is lying. Money to be refunded, and they will take the £120 due tomorrow out of it, and refund the rest. I paid with a debit card - don't know how long it will take to get back to our account. Oh, and he also gave me his mobile number to call if I "have any more trouble". OK - satisfactory ending for me. But it could have been so very different. And what a thing to go through - standing on the doorstep in my dressing gown, arguing with strange man, giving him my card. Chap eyeing up our car and checking the details to see which one we owned. If I hadn't the money to pay, the car would have been taken and then how long until we got that back? If I had been frailer, more depressed, more anxious, it might have tipped me over the edge. Was pretty nearly there anyway. And if I hadn't had the energy or thought to contact the council it seems I would have been paying the debt twice over. I was late getting in to work, and if I don't work I don't get paid (work on hospital bank) - fortunately my colleagues are very supportive but I have had to spend quite some time on emails and on the phone sorting this out YET AGAIN. Just thought I should post this to show that even when you think it's sorted, sometimes it turns out not to be. Sorry for the long post but thought an update would be useful/interesting to those who've offered advice before - thank you all.
  5. Today has been a rather up & down day. Having received the red-bordered letter through the door yesterday, this morning, on my way to council offices, I called the person who signed it, one Steve - turns out this was the one who rang me two days ago. He started telling me that I had complicated matters by getting the council involved and I shouldn't have done that. I told him I had only got them involved because I rang them to check up about what the first bailiff had told me (about the council not happy to accept £537 and wanting £1000). He said that's nothing to do with me, we are all freelance. I said that they all worked under the umbrella of JBW, and so it was to do with him. He kept on telling me off, saying this had to be worked out between me and him, that the council were no longer involved. I pointed out that it was the council who had sent me the form to fill in, in order to work out a payment scheme. Then as I was getting on the bus, I said I couldn't talk anymore, but would speak to him later. Couldn't see anyone at the council face to face but talked on their internal phone which worked very well - they went through my form with me and we agreed a payment scheme £120 per month to start next month. She said they couldn't take the debt back, but that JBW would have to accept what she told them. She was very helpful and I felt much better for that. She also confirmed this included all 3 orders. A little while later I got a text form JBW, confirming the payment scheme, 13 months with an extra payment at the end of about £29. Just before I left work I called the Steve again, out of politeness (I shouldn't have bothered) as I thought it was all settled well. He was surprised and finished the call. He called me back less than 5 minutes later saying that JBW had received no such instructions from the council; I told him about the text - they wouldn't have sent a text, he said. Very frightening, shouting at me, not exactly calling me a liar but clearly not believing me; telling me that I had handled it all wrongly, that I was only supposed to talk to him about this debt, I shouldn't have got the council involved, etc. I'm afraid I hung up on him. I immediately emailed the lady at the council (I have her name) and told her about this most recent phone call. Unfortunately this was nearly 5 p.m. and she may have gone home but I hope to get a reply tomorrow. I am confident in what she told me (and I have the text from JBW on my phone) but I don't trust the bailiff - he is clearly rattled about all this and I fear he may come round again making threats at my door, which I really don't want. They really don't like it if one stands up to them and they try to blind one with semi-legalise - I imagine that by working this out with the council myself I have done him out of some sort of commission? Tough. My experience of the two men I have dealt with from JBW is that they are bullies and the fact that they seem to be freelance bullies is even scarier. I will come back with any further developments but for now, thanks to all for your help and support.
  6. Yes, I have been speaking with my council - have exchanged several emails with a named person there. I emailed her today to tell her what has been happening. Unfortunately perhaps I should have nagged them about responding to what they found on my income form, but I just thought "it's not so long, maybe this takes a bit of time...". I also felt reasonably "protected" having paid what for me is a huge lump only 2 weeks ago.
  7. On October 6th I scanned on the Income/Outgoings form and returned it to the lady at the council. I have heard nothing from them since, but I assumed this was intended to work out how much I could afford in repayments, monthly. Yesterday I got a call from a bailiff who said he was outside my house - I was t work. I tried to explain that I was waiting to hear from the council (or anyone, in response to the form) but he just kept saying that I owe the money and JBW have heard nothing from the council. Today I have received two texts from them, an email and a hand delivered letter waiting for me when I got home, so it means he has come to the house again. This person knew nothing about the £537 paid on October 5th and didn't seem interested. All these texts, emails, phone calls and letters within 24 hours is beginning to feel like harassment. I feel I have done everything they asked me. Tomorrow I am going to the council offices, even though they say they don't see people any more, it has to be done by phone, because I'm beginning to feel very scared. Can they really want more money just over two weeks since I paid £537? I'm trying to work (which I need to do - I work on the hospital bank and if I don't work I don't get paid) and it's very hard to deal with all this. Any more advice? Just to add further: the letter delivered today says something along the lines that I have not responded to them, but I have - I have had several conversations with them and made a large payment, all as documented in my posts above. I feel this is getting a bit Kafkaesque.
  8. Thanks for all the help. Council Tax office don't see people in person any more - you have to do it over the phone. I've completed the form and will scan and send to them shortly. Have also told bailiff I am doing this. I've been meticulous (in this at least) to tell both parties what I am doing and when, and asked them both to make a note of my calls. Will come back when have some details after today. Thanks to all again.
  9. Thanks, dx Apparently they have 3 orders, and one of them is the AOE. My only excuse for being so useless is that at the time I was going through treatment for bowel cancer (all OK now but still being seen regularly by hospital), and my son was living with me, who has mental health issues. It was a bad time and things like council tax didn't seem to be a priority.....
  10. I realise now, after dx's info, that this is probably in the wrong section, but will update with news anyway. I did call JBW on Monday morning, told them about the AOE, but also said I'd talk to the council - I intended to go there on Thurs a.m. as no work that morning. However, on Tues a.m. I got a call from someone else at JBW. This one said he was an enforcement officer (the first one I spoke to was apparently just an enforcement agent - is there really a difference?) he was very forceful and unpleasant, saying he was coming round that morning to take our goods. I was just about to walk in to work. He said I had no more time, despite the fact that I'd spoken to his colleague just the day before. desperately needing some time I asked him how much I needed to pay then to stop him coming - and I paid £537 on a debit card there and then which just about cleared what was in the bank. He'd promised to call me back when it went through but I didn't hear from him, after 30 mins I rang him again. This time he said the council wouldn't take £537 and now wanted double that, over £1000. No chance, and I'm afraid I began to cry. Then he started with "I'll talk to them and see what I can do..." sure enough he called me again after 30 mins to say he had sorted it, the first payment was sufficient, but I may need to pay another £346 the next day, and then set up a payment plan. I said there was no way I could raise that in 24 hours. Was desperate by this time. He made me promise to call him before noon the next day. This morning I called the council. I got a very helpful lady who said they would never refuse a payment and certainly not ask for £1000 if the person had just paid over £500. So he lied. She gave me the number for JBW (only had this "officer's" mobile number) and said if I had any problems to call the council back again. When I called JBW they said I HAD to speak with the chap I'd spoken to yesterday. He was the only one who could make the arrangement. Presumably that's something to do with his commission? I rang the council back and they have sent me a form with income/outgoings, etc and said they MAY be able to negotiate a figure with JBW but they won't take back the debt. And that's where we are now.
  11. Thanks for your help. I have contacted JBW this morning to tell them about AOE, but I will also ask the council for a complete break down of payments.
  12. Right, I see. Does that change any of the advice so far? Should I still contact them and tell them about the AOE from the council to my employer? Also I have paid several not inconsiderable sums to other bailiffs then, but don't know which ones or exactly how much - you can tell I'm not very good about keeping track of things.
  13. Thank you, dx There may possibly be others - I have paid various amounts in various chunks to various debt collectors over a good few years; these amounts were paid when I could borrow a few hundred sometimes or when I managed to get enough to pay some off, have been very difficult to keep track of, as paid at random times to several companies. I did ask the council once to tell me exactly what I now owed but have never been able to get a direct answer, as they say it's now up to the different collectors. On my current home I am ore or less up to date, but some of these relate to a few years ago when I was struggling and unemployed.
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