Highways and Local Services


ooOoo

February 2017

Budget proposals in this area have been shared across Localised and Refuse services. 26 FTE posts were at risk across both services, a trawl for VR has taken place and staff have been informed if they are candidates for VR. UNISON have requested to meet with management to discuss how these numbers impact on staffing and how the services are delivered going forward.

A dispute has been lodged in this area regarding the removal of Trade Union facilities. Details of the dispute were shared in a previous report, once the outcome is known this will be shared with staff.

ooOoo

January 2017

Budget proposals in this area have been shared across Localised and Refuse services. 26 FTE posts are at risk across both services, a trawl for VR has taken place and it is understood a selection process will not be required, however management will confirm VRs mid January.

A dispute has been lodged in this area regarding the removal of Trade Union facilities. Details of the dispute were shared in last months report, since then a meeting has taken place and a response provided. However this does not address the concerns raised in the dispute, so UNISON have appealed the outcome.

ooOoo

December 2016

Budget proposals in this area have been shared across Localised and Refuse services. 26 FTE posts are at risk across both services, a trawl for VR has taken place and confirmation is due to see if a selection process is necessary. Once it is understood where the staffing reductions will take place further discussion will be held regarding how the services are delivered. Staff have now moved from Rothbury Terrace to alternative depots in the City.

A dispute has been lodged in this area regarding the removal of Trade Union facilities. The Trade Unions have an office at Condercum Road depot, this is a small space where members can meet confidentially, and where information and resources can be stored. The Council intend to make this area into a Learning Zone. UNISON clearly have no objection of a provision for a Learning Zone, but have requested an alternative space is provided. However, UNISON have been informed that there will not be a permanent space made available. UNISON do not find this acceptable and despite trying to resolve this with the management in this area have now had to lodge a dispute. An initial meeting has taken place but at present no resolution to the dispute has been found.

ooOoo

November 2016

Budget proposals in this area have been shared across Localised and Refuse services. 26 FTE posts are at risk across both services, there is currently a trawl for VR. Once it is understood where the staffing reductions will take place further discussions will be held regarding how the services are delivered.  In addition, last year’s proposal to remove staff from Rothbury Terrace will take place with staff based at alternative locations.  

ooOoo

October 2016

Following the implementation of the budget proposals and subsequent issues being raised - discussions are continuing regarding how the service goes forward with update meetings taking place.  There continues to be some issues regarding some rounds and work not being completed. There is still the intention to bring all the workforce together across Refuse and UNISON have raised issues similar to those raised when staff were initially moved in March – once clarity is provided on these it will be shared with members.

ooOoo

September 2016

Following the implementation of the budget proposals and subsequent issues being raised - discussions are continuing regarding how the service goes forward with weekly update meetings taking place. There continues to be some issues regarding some rounds and work not being completed. Management in this area are looking at why this may be accruing and full support is being given to members in this area. There is still the intention to bring all the workforce together across Refuse and UNISON have asked for clarity on the issues and queries first raised in March, when both depots were initially brought together.  There were a number of problems and clarity is being sought on how these issues have been/will be addressed.

ooOoo

July 2016

Following the implementation of the budget proposals and subsequent issues being raised - discussions are continuing regarding how the service goes forward with weekly update meetings taking place. There have been several articles in the Local press which have not fully represented the current situation. UNISON have met with Mick Murphy – Director of Communities and Peter Gray- Head of Service, to express our concern at what is being reported. Due to the budget proposals there were changes within this service and there are some issues in relation to missed bins, however, there is no dispute lodged and no members of staff have been disciplined contrary to what has been reported. The trade unions have written to Mick Murphy outlining our concerns and correspondence has been shared with staff regarding the most recent article in the press.

ooOoo

June 2016

Following the implementation of the budget proposals and subsequent issues being raised - discussions are continuing regarding how the service goes forward.  There have been a number of workplace meetings and workshops with the staff.  It has been agreed that there will be regular communication with the staff so updates can be received.

ooOoo

May 2016

Following the implementation of the budget proposals – discussions were continuing regarding how the service goes forward. The trade unions had been in dialogue with management regrading local practices and were awaiting further information from management. The refuse collection service was for all to work out of one depot, Condercum Road, from 16th April (previously half the service worked from Rothbury Terrace).  At the time of the move there were still some outstanding concerns particularly reference to staff facilities. From this date staff also had set working hours 6.30am-4.30pm.

There have been a number issues since 16th April, primarily that the new workings times do not allow the staff to finish their rounds, and a number of bins have not been emptied. An incorrect statement was sent to the press about the staff, which although withdrawn very quickly, has caused anger amongst the workforce. UNISON met with Pat Richie, Cllr Nick Kemp who is the cabinet lead in this area, Mick Murphy- Director of Communities and Peter Gray – Head of Service, to discuss the issues. It was agreed that a letter would be sent to all staff apologising for the incorrect statement, this would outline the outstanding concerns staff had due to the changes.

A meeting then took place with all the workforce held by Pat Richie – where staff had the opportunity to raise issues and concerns. Staff workshops have also taken place. A further meeting is to take place with the trade unions to provide an update on the situation. UNISON have been clear throughout that staff are working as they should be and that the issues that have arisen are due to operational changes not the staff, but that we are committed to continue to meet with management in this area. A further update will be provided at Branch Committee.

ooOoo

April 2016

Discussions continue in this area about how the service goes forward and, following on from the recent consultative ballot, the service is in a review period. The trade unions have been in dialogue with management regrading local practices and are awaiting further information from management. The refuse collection service will all work from Condercum Road depot from 16th April (previously half the service worked from Rothbury Terrace). There are still some outstanding concerns regarding this move with particular reference to staff facilities.

ooOoo

February 2016

Budget proposals in this area impact on Local Services. These include

ooOoo

July 2015

The restructuring is nearly complete and timescales for the Trade Waste officer’s selection process will be shared imminently. The reduction is 1 post from the current establishment of 2 FTE. Support is being provided in this area.

ooOoo

June 2015

Restructuring

The Managers who were appointed have been informed of their areas of responsibility and engagement with front line staff will take place. In addition work is being undertaken with the Trade Waste Officers and evidence has been submitted by the staff demonstrating work load. An outcome regarding whether a post will be deleted is expected within the month.

In cab technology

In cab technology is being rolled out in Local Services. Initially there had been no staff engagement so UNISON intervened and asked this took place so both the staff and the trade unions understood why in cab technology was being introduced and had the opportunity to raise any queries.

Workshops have now taken place and Micky Dobson the convenor has been in attendance.

ooOoo

May 2015

The restructuring in this area continues with interviews for the management roles taking place in April. 2 FTE posts are risk of redundancy, members continue to receive support in this area .In addition the proposal was to reduce the trade waste officers from 2 to 1, however there are ongoing discussions with regard to this proposal.

ooOoo

February 2015

The restructuring in this area continues. Feedback has been provided and further information will be released w/b 23th January. The intention is to merge roles of Highway managers and Local Services managers, and to merge the roles of Assistant and Supervisors across the service. Managers will reduce from 9 FTE to 7 FTE and Supervisors from 6 FTE to 5 FTE.

In the Waste side the proposal is to merge the trading element with domestic waste. This would mean a reduction of 6 FTE to 5 FTE. Whilst frontline staff are not directly affected, the IIA for this area proposes new ways of working and UNISON has requested further information on this. The intention is also to cease the collection of bulky rubbish due to the cost of running the service and UNISON have requested the financial information relating to this. 

ooOoo

January 2015

Proposals have been shared regarding the budget reductions in this area. No frontline job loss is to take place, but there is the proposal to restructure the management structure across the service. The intention is to merge roles of Highway managers and Local Services managers, and to merge the roles of Assistant and Supervisors across the service. Managers will reduce from 9 FTE to 7 FTE and Supervisors from 6 FTE to 5 FTE.

In the Waste side the proposal is to merge the trading element with domestic waste. This would mean a reduction of 6 FTE to 5 FTE and 4 separate ring fences have been proposed. Consultation was due to close on 5th January however UNISON requested an extension to this to allow us time to have meaningful consultation with the members. A meeting with members will take place on 6th January. Consultation is now due to close on 12th January.

In addition to this there will be no bulky rubbish collection offered by Newcastle City Council. 4 staff are currently carry out this work and they will be offered roles across the service. The council feel that alternative providers who will collect bulky items and that currently it is not financially viable to run this service.

Concerns from the members have already been raised regarding the potential impact this could have on fly tipping and overloading of domestic bins. UNISON will gather further feedback from the members and feed this back to Peter Gray – Head of Service for Highways & Local Services. 

ooOoo

December 2014

Peter Gray (Head of Highways and Local Services) met with all staff to provide a high level briefing on the budget. No firm details have been shared and it is anticipated that Peter will be in a position to brief staff further prior to Christmas. UNISON will be in attendance at all briefings. (NR

ooOoo

November 2014

I have held pay meetings in depots over the last few weeks, the pay offer was explained to members and also allowed for any queries or questions. The meetings were well attended. (NR

ooOoo

September 2014

UNISON meets fortnightly with Peter Gray, Head of Service in this area. Due to the summer break only one meeting has taken place. At this meeting time sheets and the introduction of these across Local Services was raised. The intention is to use a new time sheet across this area. UNISON stated that staff will need to be met with, the time sheets discussed so all staff understand them, and understand why they are to be used. Peter has given a commitment to come back to the trade unions before the time sheets are implemented and has assured UNSION that there will be staff engagement before these are rolled out. (NR

ooOoo

July 2014

Peter Gray the Head of Service for this area met with all staff to brief them on how services were doing following the restructure in January, the pressures on the services and to highlight some of the budget issues going forward. These meetings were well attended, and UNISON was present at them all. Feedback was asked for, and UNISON will meet with Peter to go through this feedback. The intention is use this feedback to form part of the discussions when looking at how services are provided going forward. (NR

ooOoo

June 2014

New ways of working has been introduced and the impact was a significant change to working hours, and for some members locations were changed. Where this had a detrimental impact on an individual’s circumstances; UNISON made representation to management to attempt to resolve the issues. The new structure is now fully implemented. (NR

ooOoo

May 2014

All frontline staff were met regarding new ways of working. This had a particular impact on staff working times and management wanted to impose this with very little notice. However, due to the significant changes in work patterns, UNISON felt that an adequate notice period was required and negotiated one of 4 weeks before any changes took effect. This was agreed and the new ways of working begins from Tuesday 6th May 2014. (NR

ooOoo

April 2014

All frontline staff have been met regarding proposals in relation to new ways of working, this includes changes to work places and rotas. There are a number of worker groups affected, and UNISON has met with Peter Gray to offer an alternative proposal to some of the changes that were proposed, the Branch is waiting for a response. In addition to this, the new management structure is implemented from 1st April, and a number of members who did not secure posts in this structure have been successfully redeployed. (NR

ooOoo

March 2014

Following the restructure within localised, staff have now been appointed to the areas they will manage. Peter Gray (Head of Highways and Local Services) will visit sites to inform staff of the changes. Negotiations are in progress regarding the work programme for staff within the landscape section. In December Peter had informed frontline staff that no posts were at risk, however the work program for staff within landscape has become clearer, and work that was previously understood to be outstanding had been completed. Peter is undertaking a review of the implications of this for the staff and the section. (NR

ooOoo

February 2014

The restructuring of management, supervisor and support posts within Localised services is now complete. In total 15 staff were displaced and to date 4 staff have been successful is being redeployed. Unison members are continuing to receive advice and support. We met with Peter Gray to explore bump opportunities and asked that all bumps were looked at to see if this will help mitigate against any compulsory redundancies. A number of bumps have now been advertised on the redeployment newsletter, and I have asked for an update on further bump opportunities. Discussions are due to take place regarding the new arrangements regarding the management of areas within localised, and we will be at meetings when this is shared with the wider workforce. (NR

ooOoo

January 2014

There is a restructuring of management, supervisor and support posts within Localised services. The original reduction of staff was from 36 FTE to 14FTE. We met our members throughout the consultation process and fed back issues to management. Members were particularly concerned regarding future capacity and what this would mean for services. Through negotiation we were able to increase the number of proposed posts by 2, this included a lift and drop claim being successful and the creation of an additional post that would support horticultural services, UNISON also ensured that VRs were maximised. The selection process has now begun; 36 posts have been deleted and 15 new roles created, a lift and drop added to the structure and 3 requests for VR have been agreed. This has resulted in 31 members of staff being part of the selection process for 15 new roles. The outcome of the selection process will begin to be shared from 23rd December. We will fully support our members who are unsuccessful, and I have sent out communication to members advising them of our role. (NR

ooOoo

December 2013

The original budget proposals in this area were further cuts to frontline services, this has now been amended. To make the intended savings a restructure is proposed, this impacts on managers, supervisors and support/specialist roles. 36 posts have been deleted and replaced with 14 new roles. Street cleaning in the city centre is also being reviewed and proposed changes have been shared and consultation is on-going in this area. An update will be given under the budget item at Branch Committee. (NR

ooOoo

November 2013

Regular meetings are to be put into calendars so we can meet with Peter Gray the Head of Service. Peter informed the staff within localised that he would be working on the proposals re budget cuts to see if the required savings can be achieved in a different way, we anticipate that details regarding this will be shared with us shortly. (NR

ooOoo

October 2013

Peter Gray Head of Service for Highways and Local Services has been out to visit staff in the depots across the city. He outlined that he felt the original cuts proposed of a reduction of up to 70% of the frontline workforce by 2014, were very harsh, and is working on an alternative proposal. Peter advised staff during the visits that he is reviewing the current staffing structure and roles across the service. As yet no proposals have been shared with UNISON. (NR)


 

New on Site

18/04/2017

Learning at Work Week

15-21 May 2017. The theme this year is Curious and Creative for Learning at Work Week.

Distance Courses

Starting 24 April 2017, these courses can be done online or paper based.


06/04/2017

NEC Elections

Branch nominations and ballot details.

'There For You’ Newsletter

This newsletter includes an update on the changes to the Bereavement Support Payment as well as contact details for ‘Down to Earth’, who provide practical and emotional support throughout the funeral process.


01/04/2017

Branch Lottery

Winners in March.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/13

Executive pay bandwagon rolls on

Cycle courier entitled to holiday pay

Employment law changes this April

New minimum wage rates kick in

UK lags on maternity

Merger heralds new teaching union

Consultation on caste discrimination


23/03/2017

Training

New courses for members and stewards.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/12

Inflation leaps to 3.2%

More regulation of gig economy needed

Appalling risk of suicides in construction

Fat cats — the great pay divide

Racist abuse after Brexit vote

Lack of diversity at top in Wales


22/03/2017

Branch Committee

Papers for the meeting on Monday 3 April.


18/03/2017

Regional Disabled Members Group

Meeting on Tuesday 28 March 2017 at 4.30pm.

Misogyny as a Hate Crime

Nottinghamshire Police have taken the bold step to identify misogyny as a hate crime and Northern UNSION are keen for this to be replicated in our region. The aim of the event is to identify how we can move the issue forward across the region with all three Police and Crime Commissioners.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/11

Swings and scooters of inflation basket

No real improvement in weekly earnings

Cosmetic improvement with Living Wage

Zero-hours contracts at record high

Unemployment falls below 1.6 million


12/03/2017

AGM 2017

Agenda and annual report.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/10

Economic forecasts in Hammond's Budget

Mixed fortunes in ethnic women's pay gap data

Company merger and acquisitions in 2016

Numbers on zero-hours contracts at a high

GMB take on DX delivery firm

Former chancellor's nice big earner

Charter to stop violence at work


03/03/2017

March/Rally for Durham Teaching Assistants

Saturday 25 March. Hear grassroots, union and guest speakers and watch the Reel News film showing the Durham Teaching Assistants’ story.

LGBT Policy weekend

Saturday 25 March, to plan UNISON LGBT activities for the year ahead.

HOPE Not Hate Event

A joint training session for trade union and community activists on how to organise to defeat the politics of division.  18 March 2017.

NE People’s Assembly

March calendar of events and activities.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/9

Trade Union Act regs come into force

Gender pension gap leaves women short

Violence at work — the nasty truth

Bookseller's £7m salary

Money purchase pension are norm

British Gas denied appeal in Lock case

Government fails in ethnicity review


01/03/2017

Branch Committee

Papers for the meeting on Monday 6 March.

Retired members

Papers for the retired members' meeting on 17 March.


24/02/2017

Branch Lottery

Winners in February.

Workers Memorial Day

Morning seminar and afternoon remembrance service in Hartlepool on Friday 28 April 2017. There is also an Eve of WMD ‘Gig’ on Thursday 27 April.


23/02/2017

Labour Research Department Fact 79/8

Government green paper on pensions

A 'Stern diet' for fat cat directors' pay

Employers — don't miss out on talent

Argos repays £2.4 million to 37,000 staff

Economic growth revised upwards

Work fears of disabled people revealed

In the papers

Migrants have helped make Britain. It’s time to celebrate us

NHS at breaking point, according to British Medical Association

Councils prepare to cut essential services to fund adult social care

London transport spending equivalent to £1,500 more per head than North East


22/02/2017

Labour Research Department Fact 79/7

Minimum wage cheats named and shamed

Inflation hits three-year high

Unemployment at 11-year low

Inflation erodes growth in weekly earnings

In the papers

Migrants are always the scapegoats. But now they’re taking on Ukip’s lies

I, Daniel Blake is a realistic depiction of life on benefits. Isn’t it?

English social care system for elderly facing 'complete collapse'

North East peers want law to make Government investigate impact of Brexit on region

North East recruitment drive revealed as jobless total in region rises

UK employment growth driven by foreign nationals, figures show

The NHS needs a rethink. Its priorities no longer make sense

Top Labour politicians come to 'UKIP area' Sunderland for Brexit debates and festival

Rothbury Community Hospital inpatient ward closure public meeting this week

Shopping will cost you more as prices rise, but is Brexit to blame?

Campaigners calling for u-turn over Post Office move

UK labour shortages reported as EU worker numbers fall

Britons living in the EU face Brexit backlash, leaked paper warns

Then the Daily Mail came for Gary Lineker, and we said: ‘Enough!’

Brexit survey revealed: What you would do if given second shot at EU referendum

Booming gig economy costs £4bn in lost tax and benefit payouts, says TUC

There will be a shameful betrayal of the Brexit low-paid

Welcome to the new dark ages, where only the wealthy can retire

NHS 'pays £7.5m a year for 20 most expensive agency doctors'

Drive to bring health and social care together is a well-intentioned mess


12/02/2017

Disabled Members Policy Weekend

Sunderland, 19/20 May 2017.

Members training

Sign Language (BSL) Introduction, 2 March 2017

Dementia Workshop, 30 March 2017

Reps training

Regional Education Calendar 2017

In the papers

A&E in England had worst delays ever in January, leak suggests

Why was Newcastle Council leader Nick Forbes the star of Prime Minister's questions?

Number of patients stuck in hospital 'far higher than NHS data shows'

It's time corporate tax dodgers started losing lucrative council contracts

More council housing needed in the North East - government report reveals

Council tax, youth funding and bins: 6 things to look out for from Sunderland budget meeting

TyneMet and South Tyneside colleges merger: What it means for jobs, campuses and its new name?

Labour Research Department Fact 79/6

Review of tribunal fees finally published

Plan to tackle abusive hiring practices

Insecure work on rise

Twenty eight directors share £68.37 million


05/02/2017

Affiliations and donations

A list of affiliations and donations that the branch committee has approved since January 2015.


07/02/2017

In the papers

UK faces return to inequality of Thatcher years, says report

NHS ID scheme could deter eligible patients, say MPs

Councils may cut social care provision due to underfunding, LGA says

Nursery schools: ‘What society gives children less chance than their parents?’

Council tax rise planned for Northumberland residents as authority faces £36m cuts

'Trump can't hack Trebs' - the best signs from Newcastle anti-Trump demonstration

Labour Research Department Fact 79/5

Racism at work

Economy grows but there's a shortfall

Advice on gender pay gap from Acas

Tories offer no solution on discrimination

Eight assaults a day in Welsh schools

UNIMAG 33

A quarterly periodical updating branch reps on employment law.


06/02/2017

Branch Lottery

Winners in January.


27/01/2017

Young Members

Northern Region Young Members AGM

Black Members

UNISON Northern Region Black Members Forum AGM 2017.

LV Car Insurance

Discounted car insurance for UNISON members.


26/01/2017

North East March and Rally for #ourNHS

In Newcastle on Saturday 4 February.

Branch Committee

Papers for the meeting on 6 February.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/4

Death by a thousand fire service cuts

Guidance on stress

Modern-day slave traders jailed

Fees let bad bosses get off scot free

Top-ranked inclusive employers 2017

Get tough on pay, says pension funds


22/01/2017

Women's Network AGM

Agenda and nomination form for the mmeting on 4 February.

Disabled Members

Annual Meeting of the Regional Disabled Members Self Organised Group on Tuesday 31 January 2017.

Members training

Mental Health Awareness Workshop on Thursday 16 February.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/3

Wales to ditch parts of 2016 Trade Union Act

Inflation rates at highest since 2014

Retail inflation eating into earnings growth

UK unemployment at nine-year low

In the Papers

Public sector pay poised to fall by thousands in real terms, TUC says

May’s promise on workers’ rights is hollow if she doesn’t get a deal

NHS crisis: the one act of self-sacrifice that could rescue our health service

Politicians have ignored the working class for too long

World's eight richest people have same wealth as poorest 50%

Crisis, what NHS crisis? Theresa May must stop this denial

Welsh government tables bill to overturn Trade Union Act


15/01/2017

Anne Frank Trust Exhibition

UNISON have now been allocated two spots on the 16 January to have guided tours around the Anne Frank exhibition. 

Labour Research Department Fact 79/2

Courier's tribunal win against CitySprint

TUC warns over Brexit threat to workers' rights

Lame excuses for not paying minimum wage

High street store fined over safety

Manufacturing output edges higher

Child poverty briefing


13/01/2017

Branch Lottery

Winners in December.


06/01/2017

The Trade Union Act and UNISON's Political Fund

Consultation on political fund review: December-January

Reading Ahead

We are having our first Reading Ahead launch at Welford Learning Zone on 11 January between 10am and 11am.

Trade Union Reps courses

Book now to secure your place on one of the courses for Reps at Newcastle College starting in January 2017.

Northern Region Training Programme

UNISON courses in 2017. These courses are free and open to all members unless otherwise stated.

Labour Research Department Fact 79/1

'Precarious pay penalty' of zero-hours staff

Plans for a Universal Basic Income

2017 — economic forecasts for year

'Fat Cat Wednesday' has been and gone

Northern Ireland to reveal political gifts

UK's deficit in trade in goods gets ever worse

UK economic growth revised upwards