Shared Staffing Arrangements
Developments since the Staff Briefings
- Performance related pay (PRP) has been taken off the table as Wandsworth have reviewed their policy following the PRP payments this year and decided to discontinue it.
- PRP was contentious due to differential rates of bonus for different grades, however now nobody will be eligible for a bonus
- Sickness policy – A small concession: the proposed sickness policy remains unchanged (3 individual sickness events or 9 days cumulative sickness absence triggering review), however, there will be no pay deductions for the first 12 months of the SSA. A working group will review sickness levels during this time.
Voluntary redundancy will not be offered wide-scale, but could well be offered on a role-level basis, such as if there are 6 people ring-fenced to 3 roles, and 3 want to take redundancy
Negotiations and final offer
Unison advise that negotiations are ongoing, but that we are approaching the point at which the councils’ final offer will be made. At this point, union members will be balloted to accept or reject the offer. Individual staff members will be also asked to accept the offer.
Section 188 notification (“Dismiss and Re-engage”)
As mentioned in a staff email, Richmond and Wandsworth Councils have issued a statutory Section 188 notice (the same piece of legislation that Jeremy Hunt is using to impose the new contract on the Junior Doctors). In effect this means that, should a negotiated agreement not be made, on a given date, all staff will be dismissed and automatically re-engaged on SSA t&cs. If you turn up to work the next day, it will be taken as acceptance of the new t&cs. If you don’t, that will be taken as a resignation.
This process is entirely separate from the restructuring and job application process. Due to the timelines, employees will have to accept/reject the new t&cs irrespective of whether they know if they have a job in the SSA (i.e. this decision point will come before the interviews etc. are complete).
Unison advises that it is in everyone’s interests that negotiations succeed and the offer is accepted. If it is rejected and t&cs are imposed via the Dismiss and Re-engage route, the councils would be at liberty to change the t&cs. I.e. “well, you have rejected our negotiated offer X, so you will have to take our imposed offer of Y”, where Y could be less favourable than X.
- Unison and other unions are balloting on whether to accept or reject the Local government pay offer (NJC). Unison recommends rejecting the offer.
- The Trade Union Bill is with the House of Lords. This includes a number of proposed measures designed to weaken trade unions.
DON’T FORGET: It is not too late to sign up to Unison - https://www.unison.org.uk/join/ . Please encourage your colleagues who are not members to join. The more complete the union membership is, the greater their negotiating power. We are stronger together.