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.
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.
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."
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.
11 JUNE 2015
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.
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.
New courses for members and stewards.
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
Papers for the meeting on Monday 3 April.
Meeting on Tuesday 28 March 2017 at 4.30pm.
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.
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
Agenda and annual report.
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
Saturday 25 March. Hear grassroots, union and guest speakers and watch the Reel News film showing the Durham Teaching Assistants’ story.
Saturday 25 March, to plan UNISON LGBT activities for the year ahead.
A joint training session for trade union and community activists on how to organise to defeat the politics of division. 18 March 2017.
March calendar of events and activities.
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
Papers for the meeting on Monday 6 March.
Papers for the retired members' meeting on 17 March.
Winners in February.
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.
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
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
Minimum wage cheats named and shamed
Inflation hits three-year high
Unemployment at 11-year low
Inflation erodes growth in weekly earnings
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
Sunderland, 19/20 May 2017.
Sign Language (BSL) Introduction, 2 March 2017
Dementia Workshop, 30 March 2017
Regional Education Calendar 2017
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?
Review of tribunal fees finally published
Plan to tackle abusive hiring practices
Insecure work on rise
Twenty eight directors share £68.37 million
A list of affiliations and donations that the branch committee has approved since January 2015.
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
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
A quarterly periodical updating branch reps on employment law.
Winners in January.
Northern Region Young Members AGM
UNISON Northern Region Black Members Forum AGM 2017.
Discounted car insurance for UNISON members.
In Newcastle on Saturday 4 February.
Papers for the meeting on 6 February.
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
Agenda and nomination form for the mmeting on 4 February.
Annual Meeting of the Regional Disabled Members Self Organised Group on Tuesday 31 January 2017.
Mental Health Awareness Workshop on Thursday 16 February.
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
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
UNISON have now been allocated two spots on the 16 January to have guided tours around the Anne Frank exhibition.
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
Winners in December.
Consultation on political fund review: December-January
We are having our first Reading Ahead launch at Welford Learning Zone on 11 January between 10am and 11am.
Book now to secure your place on one of the courses for Reps at Newcastle College starting in January 2017.
UNISON courses in 2017. These courses are free and open to all members unless otherwise stated.
'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