Redundancy and Protection Policies 2015

Council proposals


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Council to press ahead with changes

Following further lobbying and meetings with the Elected Members, the Chief Executive and Senior Managers; the council have reviewed their existing proposals and made a final proposition.

To remind you of where the council started, the original proposals were:

The revised proposals are:

The council had intended to remove the multiplier to the redundancy scheme from 31st March 2016, but have been persuaded to move it to 30th June.

The Branch Secretary met with the Director of Resources and the HR Service Manager on 14 September 2015 and made it clear that their final proposals do not meet with UNISON’s demands, particularly at a time when the council is celebrating the contribution council staff make, through their “Great City” initiative. In addition, UNISON believes the change to the protection policy will NOT encourage staff to consider redeployment in the future.

Unfortunately the council is unwilling to make any further changes to their proposals, and a report will be sent to members of the constitutional committee today (the report can be found on the intranet), for a decision at their meeting on 25th September. It is also particularly disappointing that the council intend to remove any enhancement to the redundancy scheme from July 2016; although UNISON will continue to make representation to have this position changed.

Staff employed by YHN or non-community schools will not be directly impacted by these proposals unless those employers decide to follow the council’s lead. 

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Unions consider amended proposals

UNISON, GMB, UCATT & UNITE met with Tony Kirkham (Director of Resources) and Ged Gray (Service Manager HR), to continue discussions on the council’s proposals to change the current redundancy and protection policies.

The council presented an amended proposal which we will discuss at a special Branch Committee meeting on Friday 4 September.

This will be followed by a meeting of the joint trade unions on 7 September and a further meeting with the employer later that week.

The employer intends to submit proposals to Constitutional Committee at the end of September for their agreement and implementation on 1 November.

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Existing Scheme Extended

UNISON has secured the extension of the existing scheme beyond 31 August, for a limited time, to enable “meaningful” consultation to commence.

In an email to members on 1 July the Branch Secretary said,

"Following a number of meetings with the Deputy Leader of the Council, the Chief Executive and Senior Officers, I am pleased to report that UNISON’s objections to what amounted to the imposition of a drastically reduced redundancy and protection scheme have been temporarily halted.

I have persuaded the Officers to recommend to the Council’s Constitutional Committee that the existing scheme is extended beyond its 31 August end date, until the end of October, I would hope the members of the Constitutional Committee accept their report.

The extension should allow for continued discussion between all parties and UNISON, about what the future redundancy and protection schemes are, and then the Council’s will submit proposals for new schemes to September’s Constitutional Committee, for implementation from 1st November.

At the moment the Council is still minded to resubmit their original proposals, we all must not let that happen!

There are a variety of reasons why the original proposals are unacceptable to UNISON and it is my intention to speak to as many members as possible over the next few weeks to gather information to present to the Council. I’d like to thank those who have written or spoke to me up to now, but we must continue to record our rejection of these proposals. Please take every opportunity to raise your concerns with your managers, at team meetings or via email etc. Let your Director’s know of your objections and the elected members too.

UNISON will continue our lobbying activities and I will continue to meet with Senior Officers to attempt to negotiate better proposals.

We have secured a small victory, but we must not be complacent."

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UNISON Members Angry and Frustrated

Paul Gilroy (Branch Secretary) has thanked those members who have conatcted the branch to express anger and frustration at the council’s proposals. Please continue to send your comments in to the branch as we need to show the council the extent of staff concern.

Paul will meet the  Director of Resources next week and is arranging a meeting with the Leader or Deputy Leader of the council.

The council is attempting to force these proposals through with the minimum of discussion, even though UNISON has been requesting to discuss the issue over the last few months as we anticipated the council would try to use timing as a way of short changing staff. We need your support in order to force the council to engage in a meaningful way.

The signs are that there will be even greater budget cuts in the next financial year than were forecast by the council this year as a result of the general election and the indications coming from the government, and we all know that budget reductions will lead to significant job cuts. UNISON is demanding an honest, open discussion with the council on these predictions and proposals on redundancy and protection should be discussed within the context of actual budget proposals.

UNISON believes the council could extend the existing scheme for a fixed period of time, while there are few actual redundancies being processed; to allow these discussions to take place.
As a minimum, the council must drop the proposal to impose a salary cap on any future redundancies.

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11 JUNE 2015

UNISON rejects Council proposals

The council has presented proposals for a new redundancy scheme and changes to the existing salary protection policy.

UNISON has been pushing the council to begin the negotiation over the redundancy scheme as the existing scheme, negotiated 3 years ago, is due to end on 31st August 2015.

UNISON’s initial response to the Director of Resources is that these proposals are very disappointing and that UNISON will begin a process of lobbying and negotiating with the political leadership and senior officers, in an effort to persuade the council to review its proposals.

All UNISON shop stewards will be brought together to discuss our response. Please ensure you add your voice to those discussions by either speaking to your local steward or the Branch Secretary.

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Council proposals

The current enhanced scheme expires on 31 August 2015. Redundancy payments are currently enhanced to 1.5 times the statutory minimum, and pay protection for staff redeployed to a lower grade is currently applied for two years.

With financial pressures continuing to have a severe impact on the public sector, the council is following the approach of many other local authorities by proposing ways to reduce the cost of redundancy payments.

The council’s main proposals for a new scheme are:

Depending on the outcome of consultation the new arrangements would be introduced from 1 September 2015 and applied to all ‘new’ redundancy cases. People with existing pay protection arrangements will not be affected.

Applying these redundancy arrangements over the last year would have generated savings of approximately £1.6million - potentially saving in the region of 75 jobs. The council remains committed to avoiding redundancy where possible and making savings on the costs of redundancy may help reduce job losses in the future.

A further staff update on these matters will be circulated following meetings scheduled for late June and early July.


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