The Trade Unions have made a request to be able to speak to any reports they submit to General Function’s Committee. This Committee deals with staffing matters such as redundancies, TUPE transfers etc. It is essential that if and when we submit reports, councillors are able to ask questions or seek clarification from the Trade unions.
I can report that both the Leader of the Council and the whole Committee unanimously supported this proposal and agreed to make a recommendation to the Constitutional Committee to approve this request.
Last night the Trade Unions had their first opportunity to discuss the Future Shape with our Employers (councillors) at the Corporate Joint Negotiation and Consultative Committee (CJNCC).
The meeting did not start well as the Employers initially objected to Dexter Whitfield providing the Committee with a brief commentary on the six briefing papers. Their objection was that we were talking about something which ‘may or may not happen in the future.’ The Employers view was that that until something is produced any discussion would be premature.
The Trade Unions asked for an adjournment to consider this objection.
On our return the Employers made another proposal which allowed debate on the process of Future Shape. Dexter gave a short presentation on the rationale behind the six briefings and reinforced our view that our briefings are about process. We had a positive exchange with councillors on the process and our specific concerns in particular staff and Trade Union fears about this being a privatisation exercise.
In terms of answers to our Briefings and in particular TUPE PLUS we established at the meeting last night that these will be answered once a model of service delivery is established.
Clearly the Trade Unions felt it would have been better if a commitment to TUPE PLUS could have been made at the start of the process, if only to reassure members that if they do transfer out of the council they will have much better protection of their terms and conditions (t&c’s).
As a direct result of Trade Unions concerns about process the Leader offered to set up a group to look at the Future Shape process. The group will be composed of elected members from all political parties and Trade Union representation. The Trade Unions supported this proposal and today have requested for this to be actioned as a matter of urgency.
Furthermore, the Chair of the Committee agreed to hold a Special CJNCC before the council cabinet committee on 3 December. The Trade Unions have requested this meeting should take place week commencing 24 November 2008.
Download the petition, ask colleagues to sign it and return it to the UNISON office
To view the petition click here
TUESDAY 11 NOVEMBER
Barack Obama says Barnet residents/service users/staff
“Change is coming and YES YOU CAN….have a say how your services are delivered and paid for!”
Make sure you turn up to have your say
For detail click here
Please take the time to read this letter. It deals with employment issues such as TUPE and the impact on your terms and conditions including your pension. It is clear that if the Council genuinely want to make sure none of these private don’t attack your terms and conditions they need to sign up to TUPE PLUS
To read the full document click here
Beware, you will hear some say the Trade Unions are alarmist, scaremongering. Some will say staff have nothing to fear with privatisation.
Ask what evidence they have for that statement…
If the Council endorse the joint Trade Union Briefings on workforce issues, staff will have greater protection if they were transferred out of the Council.
However, three weeks on and they still have not responded. What are their reasons for the delay?
We have provided a Briefing paper 6 which looks to explain the types of service delivery models Price Waterhouse Cooper will be submitting to the Council for consideration.
Briefing 6 headlines:
1. The Council should make a commitment to ensure that in-house improvement and innovation, with staff and user involvement, is an option for all services and fully assessed alongside other delivery options.
2. The procurement process should not be commenced until a rigorous options appraisal process has been completed, a comprehensive business case prepared and staff and trade unions have been fully consulted.
To read the full Briefing click here
To view letter click here
Key Briefing on In House transformation
The Council should ensure that the Future Shape of the Council programme adopts the key components of this initial transformation strategy:
1. Innovation and new ways of working: using joint Council/trade union workshops to explore the scope for service innovation and integration, shared services and public-public partnerships and staff and user involvement and empowerment.
2. Performance comparisons and benchmarking should compare like with like using verifiable and audited performance information.
3. Development of options must be based on improved and innovative in-house provision reflecting the full potential of the service, not on the current service.
4. Options appraisal criteria should be amended and based on twelve criteria described below.
5. In-house bids should be submitted if procurement selected.
6. An accessible evidence base is prepared to support the development and appraisal of options.
To read the Full Briefing click here