Terms and Conditions Consultation 2013
29th November 2013
Branch to meet the employer about terms and conditions as council apologises for bypassing unions
The Branch has had an apology from the council for bypassing the unions when announcing the outcome of the consultation on Terms and Conditions.
Inez Teece, Branch Secretary said, "We have now written to all our members to update them on Terms and Conditions after the council issued emails and placed articles on ARCADIA before the Joint Trade Unions had a chance to discuss the consultation exercise.
"We did not know those mailings were happening. This is not normal practice and I have raised the Branch's concerns formally with Aberdeenshire Council.
"Our members thought we were ignoring them. We are not.
"The Council has now apologised and UNISON has agreed to meet with them to go over our detailed response and to discuss the feedback from the Council’s consultation.
Inez added, "UNISON and the other Trade Unions did deliver a yes vote to the consultation but there are still issues that affect many staff that don’t work 9 – 5.
"The response was very clear that these members want us to speak up for them and this is what we intend to do," promised Inez.
"We will update you following our meeting."
27th November 2013
Branch condemnation as council bypasses unions on terms and conditions announcement
The Branch has condemned Aberdeenshire Council's decision to publicise the outcome of the consultation on terms and conditions BEFORE meeting with the trade unions to discuss the Trade Union and staff responses.
Inez Teece, Branch Secretary said, "UNISON Aberdeenshire consulted our members and we sent a detailed response, we believe other trade unions did likewise.
"Aberdeenshire Council also asked all staff to fill in their consultation response, yet have not shared the outcome of that consultation with us.
"Consultation must be meaningful and it’s normal practice for the Council and the unions to share information and to discuss outcomes, yet this has not happened. UNISON believes the trade unions have simply been ignored.
"Our members deserve more from their employer. There are many issues that still need to be discussed and UNISON had a number of concerns about the impact of the new terms and conditions on some of our members.
"We are extremely disappointed that the council has ignored normal/accepted practice, and has publicised information on ARCADIA and through e-mail to the workforce.
"No Trade Union knew this was happening. This is not partnership working," slammed Inez.
"Too many people still stand to lose too much money and simply ignoring the feedback from the consultation is neither fair nor appropriate.
"Aberdeenshire Council say they are committed to meaningful consultation - yet we do not know what the outcomes of all the consultations are. There has been no communication and feedback and this is unacceptable," she added.
"The Branch has now written to the Council to try to address this issue and we will be taking matters further.
"We will keep you informed of our progress."
8th November 2013
UNISON members vote to accept new terms and conditions but more talks needed to protect lowest paid
UNISON members in Aberdeenshire have accepted the new terms and conditions package proposed by the council, with two thirds of those who responded in the ballot voting to accept.
Spoiled 0.1 %
However, responses to UNISON’s consultation has shown a clear division between members who work 9-5, who stand to gain most from the proposals, and those who work unsocial hours and shift work, who stand to lose anything from £200 to £3000 a year. These are amongst the lowest paid in the workforce and many, such as homecarers, provide care services to the most vulnerable in our communities.
Click here to see press release
The Ballot result and the Branch response to the consultation has been sent to Aberdeenshire Council. Click here to see the full reponse.
The Branch has also sent a Briefing out to members.
Inez Teece, Branch Secretary said, “We were able to negotiate a pay increase of £750 in total for our lowest paid workers, as well as the living wage which is already in place, and £250 for everyone else. Whilst many members were happy with this and will see a rise in their take home pay, others will see this eroded and more by the loss of unsocial hours payments, shift allowances and the mileage lump sum.
“We are particularly concerned, as a union, about the impact on our lowest paid, mainly women workers and at the bitter divide that this is creating between those who work 24/7 and 9 to 5 staff.
“Also while many have been looking forward to the buyout of shift allowances, others will find the big drop in their take home pay very difficult to manage in these austere times. Especially in one of the most expensive parts of the country in which to live.
“We will now go back to the council and raise these issues and seek that changes are made to prevent such losses for those who will lose the most. After all, the council has been working hard to find ways of attracting people to work for the council in these jobs and cutting take home pay will have the opposite effect.”
20th Oct 2013
Branch ballots members on terms and conditions
The Branch has issued ballot papers to members on the council's revised terms and conditions package. Please make sure that you complete and return your ballot paper by Friday 1st November 2013.
The Branch will also respond formally to the council based on what members have told us individually and at the meetings.
"We know from speaking to members, that not everyone will gain from the new package and some stand to lose a significant amount of money through the loss of enhancements etc. We will continue to push the council to address these matters on behalf of our members," said Inez Teece, Branch Secretary.
"However, UNISON believes that we have achieved much of what we set out to do in implementing the living wage for all staff, trying to protect the lowest paid, predominantly female workforce.
"We have sought legal opinion on these changes and although some stand to lose, we believe that they comply with Equal Pay and Equalities legislation.
"The branch believes that this is the very best that can be achieved through negotiation."
Please also remember to respond to the council's consultation.
2nd Oct 2013
Branch to hold members' meetings on "improved" terms and conditions proposals
UNISON is holding meetings for members in the week beginning 7th October on Aberdeenshire Council's new package of terms and conditions which will be arriving through the post from now. Click here for details of meetings.
The Branch has been fully involved in the negotiations and believes that there have been significant improvements to the council's original terms and conditions proposals consulted on last year. It will ballot members once the package has been fully equality proofed.
Inez Teece, Branch Secretary said, "Although UNISON members accepted the revised proposals for changes to terms and conditions, the Branch made the commitment to continue fighting for further changes includiing the living wage, improvements to the mileage rates, and no reductions to the pay rates for low paid, predominantly female workers.
"This we have continued to do and we believe that we have achieved what we set out to do.
"The living wage was implemented for all staff earning below £7.20 from March last year with an increase being implemented as part of the recent national pay deal.
"These proposals will see an increase in the mileage rate and assistance with travelling with the pool cars and car lease scheme.
"Pay rates have been increased across the board in these new proposals, with all staff seeing at least £250 extra per year and those below G grade receiving £750 per year. This means our low paid members will receive a welcome pay rise to help cope with the ever increasing cost of living," said Inez.
"There will still be changes to our Terms and Conditions, but we believe that we have moved a long way from the original proposals last year.
"The Branch has worked hard on behalf of our members to achieve these changes. We believe it is the very best we can achieve through negotiation."
Inez warned that some people still may see changes to their pay. "Aberdeenshire Council will be posting the details to staff and we ask you to check them thoroughly and look carefully at what it means for you.
"This is especially important for those of you who receive unsocial hours payments. However, UNISON believes that the package as a whole is a plus for most of our members and that the pay increase goes a long way in addressing the shortfalls members who work unsocial hours could have seen in their take home pay."
Inez said, "UNISON will be balloting its members on these proposals and is asking all our members to return your ballot paper to the freepost address shown. Remember, it is only Trade Union members that decide if these proposals go ahead or not.
"This is about your job and your income; you need to let us know what it means to you and what you think".
We will be having meetings as detailed below to answer questions and to seek your views. Please make every effort to come along.
- 8th October 12.30 – 1.30 Banff Court House
- 9th October 12.45 – 1.45 Fraserburgh Community and Sports Centre (new pool) Meeting Room 3
- 9th October 12.30 – 1.30 Conservatory, Carlton House, Stonehaven
- 10th October 12.30 – 1.30 Ury Room, Gordon House, Inverurie
- 11th October 12.30 – 1.30 Marr Room, Annex, Woodhill House, Aberdeen
Inez added, "Please attend the meetings where we will be able to offer information and answer any questions you have.
"We will be publishing a response at the end of the consultation period."