Management are currently running briefings and team meetings are being organised for all staff to meet HR and management representatives in order to hear about the Council’s proposals to steal away some of your pay, cut your annual leave and cut your sick pay. We urge all of our active UNISON members to get along to such meetings and take UNISON application forms along to promote the union to non-members.We hope that our members will be telling the HR and management people that we are opposed to these proposals and that we have referred them on to our Regional Office to register a dispute.
The proposals breach our national agreements and serve no useful purpose other than to upset and anger already hard pushed employees. Management say they are doing this to save jobs. UNISON does not believe them as they continue to waste money on consultants and Council propaganda.
It is worth questioning the figures in the proposals. At our recent consultation meeting with the Transformation Team they could not even confirm whether the sums quoted were for one financial year or for two. The proposals state that £3 million has to be saved over two years but the sums quoted cover only one financial year.
It is our view that management should be made aware that they are encouraging the employees left behind after the cuts to despise them. It is noticeable that the level of mistrust and dislike of management around Waltham Forest is increasing at an unprecedented rate. It is difficult to trust a management that conspire to cut your pay whilst ensuring that their consultant buddies continue to receive their inflated payments.
At the time of writing this we are aware that other London boroughs are not doing what our employer is doing. We have checked with Newham, Hackney, Islington, Southwark, Brent and Kensington and Chelsea branches of UNISON and none of them have received similar proposals. Management claim that this is happening across London. We have yet to see the evidence of this.
Finally, these meetings should all be made aware of the fact that the Council are attacking their own permanent staff whilst they continue to employ overpaid consultants and interim managers. The consultants and agency workers employed through Comensura alone cost over £20 million a year. The true figure when we take into account all the arrangements made outside of the Comensura contract will be greater.
Please let us know if you can attend any of the meetings and briefings being held and feedback any information that you gain.
Make sure you attend the branch meeting on 1st June 2011 at 12 noon at the Town Hall when we will be discussing how we fight back against these proposals.
Dave Knight, Branch Secretary