Tuesday 24 January 2017, 4.30 -6.00pm
1 February 2017
Convenor: Ed Whitby
Branch Lead Officer: Lynda Hardie
Shop Stewards Meeting – Tuesday 20th October 2015
DJC –Wednesday 14th October 2015
Reports to the Branch Committee include the following headings:
REPORT TO BRANCH COMMITTEE, MAY 2016
Briefings have taken place over the last couple of weeks to sections of staff regarding the above proposals. Consultation is over two weeks ending on 5th May. This is basically to set out the future running operating model in line with Family Insights.
The background to Family Insights is documented in previous reports from its initial funding of time limited investment of £2.76m and the additional council funding of £600k.
The future model is expected to cost £4 million. It is stated that there are 5 SW per unit, 19 cases per SW, 7 cases per CSW and 102 cases per unit.
No change to existing JD. Selection Process with Matrix proposal is to change from 4 existing Service Mangers to 2 (ring fenced)–please see chart.
There are 3 new posts and these are ring fenced to existing Consultant Social Workers and existing Team Managers.
Existing CSW confirmed in post. Selection process –no matrix for additional CSW and GM posts.
Existing confirmed in post additional advertised to SW’s.
Selection process with matrix.
All vacant posts to be deleted and VR requests considered. Explore transfers in other areas of CSC if necessary.
In the last briefing it was said there are 5 vacant posts in IRS and 6 vacant posts in West.
There are 22 SW posts at risk these vacancies reduce that to 11 and this is before VR requests have been taken into account so this figure is likely to decrease.
Existing FSW’s confirmed in post. Recruitment selection process.
Consultation period – 2 weeks until 5th May.
Consideration of VR requests
I attended all of the briefings and have further emailed members in scope offering meetings etc.
I have passed on concerns that have already been raised regarding interview processes and timescales.
I’ve suggested that a FAQ page is set up to further inform staff.
The responsibility for this has been given to Mick McCracken (Assistant Director)
We had included this within the Agenda for last DJC however he was unable to attend but did discuss that he was picking this up with me beforehand.
Another agenda item at DJC Karen Simmons is to arrange a meeting with staff to discuss some concerns raised.
Item at DJC work is ongoing in relation to the decisions within the last IIA.
We are still intending to put this together for 1st June with two guest speakers and then a round table discussion. Further information to follow.
REPORT TO BRANCH COMMITTEE, NOVEMBER 2015
UNISON Branch Officers met with the Assistant Director of Children’s Social Care to discuss a protocol regarding the guidance issued by Sir James Munby. Since this guidance was introduced a number of Unison’s social work members nationally have been named in what is selective coverage of cases, causing enormous stress and exposing them and their families to public hostility. They are unable to defend themselves because of confidentiality obligations placed upon them, while senior managers are often not named.
The Assistant Director has agreed to discuss a protocol with legal and will update us as soon as possible.
Following requests for VR being approved by Scrutiny some posts were able to be ‘lift and drop’.
This applied to the Sure Start Lead position and also the Sure Start Teachers.
Interviews have been taking place for some of the posts within the new structure and there are still some which are at the point of EOI as JE had to take place on new JD’s which were then taken to Moderation Panel for sign off.
We had asked for information regarding Commissioned Services as we have some members within these areas.
We have been informed that within Barnardo’s that staff have come forward and asked for hours to be reduced rather than posts lost and that this has been agreed.
We still do not full information on how many families may be affected who fall out of the Community Hub areas – they would still be entitled to Universal Services but not the full Sure Start offer. Although it has been stated that no buildings will close, we are unclear on which buildings will provide which services.
The Sure Start Contact Group met to discuss concerns and to put forward ideas on the way forward with our campaign around this.
We are looking at contacting Councillors about the effect on their particular wards and the fact that some parents may still not know the full effect of the changes in relation to the services that they now access.
Management are busy working on a communication to parents regarding this which should go out in February, but until then staff have been approached about concerns parents and families have in relation to this.
There has been quite a lot of press coverage on the Family Service Review and this has helped keep our Campaign in the public eye, it would appear that some Councillors also have concerns about full information according to latest news articles.
As part of the savings target Flexible Term Time Working was offered to staff with a total of 19 positions available.
It has now been confirmed that 18 individual requests have been received which equates to 15.44 FTE. The next steps are that staff should receive formal confirmation of acceptance of this – this was due w/c 19th January.
Management will also meet to explore how the positions would be populated across the five settings as some staff may be moved to accommodate this. Preferences and personal circumstances will be considered as well as service needs. Timescale for this would be 2 – 3 weeks.
A programme for transition would be put in place to avoid disruption to service delivery.
The other areas of savings are still being worked on; this was marketing to ensure full places and running costs.
Corporate parenting team – Fostering
Staff were briefed on saving targets of £104,000. The re-aligning of budgets between Fostering and Adoption and the deletion of vacant hours (posts) and the lift and drop of 1 Full time and 1 Part time post from Fostering to Adoption.
EOI have been asked for from staff who would like to be considered, if more staff come forward it will be discussed with HR and TU’s how selection will be made. If there are no EOI put forward this will have to be re-considered.
The other savings would be met through lean working and income generation.
Concerns regarding the briefing information have been forwarded to Management and their response shared with the staff group.
Briefing sessions were held w/c 12th January to inform staff of the successful bid for funding (£2.7 million) and what that would mean in the context of teams to be set up and posts available.
The programme is called Family Insights and the funding is for a period of 16 initially.
There are 4 elements to Family Insights:
A new structure has been devised around this with a time limited Assistant Director post a service manager and 4 Consultant Social worker posts with 4 teams below this consisting of 2 Progressed Social workers, 2 Unprogressed SW and 1 Family Support Worker in each team.
All posts are to be permanent contracts in order to attract and retain staff. Adverts for posts will be both internal and external. Staff on redeployment who meet the essentials and the person spec. will be given preferential consideration.
Sure Start Leads were notified to inform staff that the budget proposals are part of the larger service review and are therefore effective from 31.08.13 and not 31.03.13.
Communications will continue throughout the review process.
This review is still being scoped out.
There will need to be further discussion regarding the impact of the Admin budget reduction proposals and how this may affect proposals to reduce an IRO and increase admin support.
There are no further budget details at this point.
A meeting took place at Thomas Bewick on 9th December with staff, Mick McCracken and Diane Scott (head teacher), to discuss the proposals and listen to the concerns of the staff group. It was explained that Thomas Bewick residential is based on Hadrian School site and Hadrian as an expanding school require the accommodation back. Funding for Thomas Bewick is also proposed to end.
A meeting took place at Cheviot View on 16th December with management and staff group, the meeting at Thomas Bewick was discussed and it was agreed that Workstream meetings will be set up in the near future. Some of the TB staff had visited Cheviot View to look at the facilities.
An architect has visited Cheviot View to look at providing plans for an apartment which was to be a studio apartment but is now to be considered as a two bedroom apartment. This is to provide a concept of ‘individual living’.
It has been agreed that this proposal will work to an academic calendar, due to the staff at TB being school based staff, rather than a financial one and so will be implemented from 1st September.
TB staff are also part of the Compass Special schools Foundation Trust and are therefore employed by the school governing body and not by the Local Authority. They therefore are subject to different terms and conditions.
Briefings have taken place outlining the following areas of new or significant changed proposals-
IIA’s are available on the Council’s website.
The immediate proposal is the deletion of the NSCB Co-ordinator post and the LADO post and the creation of one post combining the core responsibilities. This would attract a budget saving of £51,000.
There are other areas which will be considered and given further analysis in the medium term.
Savings to be met are £273,000. The proposal for this is to meet this saving through the deletion of vacant posts, reduction in hours and other working practice (already agreed), 1% turnover etc.
Savings of £100,000 to be met through efficiencies.
Savings to be met are £1,000,000 with workforce reduction FTE figure @ 14.
We have no further detail at this point. These figures relate only to City Council staff reductions and not staffing reductions within commissioned services.
Savings to be met - £500,000. Efficient and effective use of programmed monies and services. No further details.
This review covers both ‘Children’s and Adult’s’ with the projected savings figure at £45,000 and possible job reduction of 14. No further details at this point.
Meeting with management November 27th to discuss the progress in extending the education offer at Cheviot View and the impact this may have on staffing figures.
Meeting with staff November 21st to discuss TUPE arrangements, looks likely that this will convert to Academy status in April 2014.
Back pay issues still on-going, there have been various options outlined to staff which have not been acceptable. The latest letter from management was issued w/c 14th October.
We have asked that each home elect a member to contact us directly with the views of the staff, we will then meet with staff to discuss. Legal advice is also being sought regarding the issue.
The next meeting of the Options Feasibility Group is scheduled for 4th November there should be more detail on the proposals regarding Thomas Bewick School at this point.
Social Workers who were recently transferred to the Civic Centre have expressed concerns regarding the parking site etc. they have been allocated. We are currently having further discussion to look at any alternative options etc.
Outlined last Branch Committee that there had been a delay on the Academy Order for Thomas Walling – this has now come through and a meeting is scheduled for staff with HR and Trade Unions on 21st November to discuss TUPE arrangements. We have already met with staff when this was first under discussion and we will be attending on 21st.
This was held on 16th October. A lot of input from Teaching Unions regarding Strike Action on 17th October, Teaching Pay Policy and Appraisal/Performance.
Bump Redundancies were discussed for Teaching and Support Staff. Work has been on-going on this with HR.
Facility Time in schools and the DfE Consultation were discussed with a positive response from Local Authority to the benefit of facility time.
Mick McCracken gave an update on Residential Care Back Pay – see above.
Unison raised the availability of vaccination for flu for Support staff. A presentation had been given within Adults DJC by Dr Dawn Scott – Acting Director of Public Health.
This was held on 22nd October, minutes will be going out soon and the next meeting is due 19th November.
Services currently under review are:
Options for the future of Cheviot View are being considered alongside ideas to reduce running costs and seek income opportunities.
Academies and Foundation Trusts proposals are identified in Lynda Hardie's report along with proposed implementation dates.
A list of current Academies, Foundation Trusts and Free Schools was also presented to the October Branch Committee.
15-21 May 2017. The theme this year is Curious and Creative for Learning at Work Week.
Starting 24 April 2017, these courses can be done online or paper based.
Branch nominations and ballot details.
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.
Winners in March.
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
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