Aberdeenshire UNISON

Update July 2017

UNISON - protecting members' interests as council continues to look at alternative delivery model for sport and leisure

The branch has written out to all affected members with an update on the proposals for an Alternative Delivery Model - essentially a Trust - for sport and leisure services.

The branch will hold meetings with affected members in September to seek your views.

Inez Kirk
Inez Kirk

Inez Kirk, Branch Secretary writes, "The Council are continuing to work on the proposals for a full business case to establish a Trust for Sport and Leisure. 

"UNISON continues to be involved at every stage of this process; within the Project Board Working Group and Sub Groups.  UNISON is continuing to play the role of “critical friend”, pointing out alternatives to accepted ideas and emphasising the need on ongoing two way communication with all affected staff. 

"We are aware that proposals are due to be heard by full Council in September with a view, if the proposals are accepted, to be implemented on 1st April 2018.

"UNISON continues to emphasise the view that, staff that may transfer should be protected as if they remained within the Council and that terms and conditions are protected long term.  If the proposals go ahead, UNISON is seeking:

  • trade union recognition for the three recognised trade unions: UNISON, GMB and Unite.
  • that Scottish Joint Council (SJC) terms and conditions be recognised by the new employer
  • that trade union be present on the Board of Governors, on a non voting basis, as advisors in line with current arrangements for the Integrated Joint Board (IJB) for Health & Social Care.
  • that all employees of the proposed new board be treated equally, having the same pension, rights and terms and conditions.

"UNISON will continue to act in the interests of all staff.  During September, UNISON would like to meet with staff to get their views.

"If you have any comments/queries, please do not hesistate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Inez Kirk

Branch Secretary


Update November 2016

More meetings to discuss this - please get along!

Swimming poolThe branch is again urging all our members to get along to follow up meetings on the council's consideration of a charitable trust to deliver sports and cultural services.

This follows the meeting of the ELL committee which discussed at length the proposals and asked probing questions. Councillors expressed concerns about democratic control of services and what will happen if the council no longer directly delivers these services.

This will be further discussed at a full council meeting on 25th November. Full council will be asked to agree a preferred option which will be the basis for further work to prepare a detailed full business case on that option.

The service expects that a further report will be taken to the full council meeting in January, providing an update on the work undertaken to prepare the full business case and seeking agreement to continue that work into the next phase.

It is looking like it will still be some considerable time before Councillors are asked to make a final decision on any change to the current service delivery model.

A UNISON representative will be at all these meetings.

  • Macduff Arts Centre – 2pm – 3pm Monday, 21 November
  • Westhill Academy – 6pm – 7pm Monday, 21 November
  • Ellon Community Campus – 2.30pm– 3.30pm Tuesday, 22 November
  • Aboyne Community Centre – 6 – 7pm Tuesday, 22 November
  • Turriff,Gateway Centre – 2.30pm – 3.30pm Wednesday, 23 November
  • Stonehaven Community Centre – 6.30pm – 7.30pm Wednesday, 23 November

Your UNISON representatives continue to fight for jobs and services and will do our best to protect both in the coming months.


Update October 2016
Branch urges members to get along to council meetings about alternative service delivery model for sport and culture

The branch is encouraging all affected members to get along to a series of meetings arranged by Aberdeenshire Council in the run-up to the next EL&L Committee.

This committee will consider a report from the project board which includes a commissioned report from Ernst and Young on an alternative service delivery model for sport, culture and community learning and development. The branch will be represented at all these meetings to hear what you think.

Four alternative models that were considered have been narrowed down by the Project Board to the creation of a charitable trust, which would deliver sport and cultural services on behalf of the council, (also known as an Arms Length External Organisation or ALEO) and the potential of an enhanced status quo model through which those services would continue to be directly delivered by the council.

The meeting dates are as follows:

  • North (Fraserburgh CSC) – 11am – 12pm Tuesday, 25 October
  • North (Peterhead Community Theatre) – 3 – 4pm Tuesday, 25 October
  • Central (Meldrum Academy) – 3.30 – 4.30pm Wednesday, 26 October
  • Central (Inverurie Town Hall) – 6 – 7pm Monday, 24 October
  • South (PFR Room, Banchory Academy) – 6 – 7pm Tuesday, 25 October
  • South (Mearns Community Campus) – 6 – 7pm Wednesday, 26 October

On 27th October EL&L committee members will be presented with a report on the work carried out so far before The preferred option is chosen by all councillors at next month’s full meeting of Aberdeenshire Council on 15th November.

The branch has been pressing the council through the working group, project board and elected members to think very carefully before going down any outsourcing route. We have pointed out that ALEOs in other Local Authorities in Scotland have led to cuts in services as well as in staff, and terms and conditions. Aberdeen City is currently seeing the closure of pools in the City by their ALEO, Sport Aberdeen.

The branch has worked to see CLD services removed from this proposal and welcomes the recommendation that CLD services be removed from the scope of this proposal. If the committee agrees, CLD will remain under the direct management of Aberdeenshire Council. We believe that the best way to protect and deliver public services is to keep them in-house.


Update September 2016
Branch asks questions of review of Aberdeenshire's Leisure, Culture, Community Learning and Library Services

Aberdeenshire Council is reviewing how culture and leisure services are being delivered.  UNISON has been involved in these discussions, and is making sure a rigorous process is being followed.

Click here to see the council's proposals approved in March by the council's Education Learning and Leisure Committee item 8 Alternative Service Delivery.

In the past, UNISON has seen bad decisions made about by other councils, and we have concentrated on asking the tough questions to make sure Aberdeenshire does the best for service users and the staff.