Aberdeenshire UNISON

Update February 2017

Cornerstone recognition agreement returns negotiating rights to UNISON

Deborah Clarke
Deborah Clarke

UNISON has signed the Joint Negotiation and Consultation Committee (JNCC) Terms of Reference: Collective Bargaining with Cornerstone. 

Despite having a recognition agreement since 1995 Cornerstone introduced an Employee Forum 8 years ago which effectively removed all bargaining rights away from UNISON to this unelected staff body.

Deborah Clarke, UNISON Head of Community said, "As you know the relationship between UNISON and Cornerstone has been under considerable strain over the last six months, however we have now turned a corner and put UNISON back as the sole body with which Cornerstone negotiates and consults as per the recognition agreement.

"This is very good news. We have re written the Employee Forum Terms of Reference to remove any rights to negotiation and consultation. 

"The new EF:Terms of Reference were agreed by the board in January. This means that we are now better placed to represent the Cornerstone Members."

Deborah paid tribute to the Cornerstone stewards Jamie, Kevin, Mags and Brenda.

"These stewards have done an exceptional job over the last six months with this very difficult employer. This represents a huge success for our members."


Update November 2016

UNISON calls for proper consultation and negotiation on Cornerstone strategic plan

UNISON has condemned Cornerstone for seeking to implement their strategic plan, Local Cornerstone, without consultation and negotiation with UNISON.

It has arranged a number of meetings for Cornerstone members to hear what has been happening with Local Cornerstone, amidst reports that it is being introduced through the back door.

UNISON is advising members not to volunteer or apply for roles until Cornerstone fully engages in Collective Bargaining with UNISON.

The meetings are:

Glasgow, UNISON 14 West Campbell St, G2 6RX  – Wednedsay 9th November @ 11am

Glasgow, UNISON 14 West Campbell St, G2 6RX  – Wednedsay 9th November @ 2pm

Aberdeen, St Mark’s Church, Aberdeen, AB25 1JY – Tuesday 15th November @ 6pm

Dundee, Central Library, Wellgate, DD1 1DB  – Thursday 17th November @ 6pm

UNISON will be gathering members' concerns at these meetings and presenting them to management for a response.

Deborah Dyer
Deborah Dyer

Click here for more information in November's newsletter

Deborah Dyer, UNISON Head of Community said: “The law is very clear, employers must inform and consult with their Trade Union and if they fail to consult on collective bargaining issues then they are breaking the law. To be clear to members negotiating and bargaining happens between UNISON representatives and Cornerstone to create fairness and equality at work.

Negotiation must not be confused with consultation which is simply an exchange of opinions between staff and your employer such as at the employee forum, People Work stream or new consultative group.”


Local Cornerstone
UNISON has welcomed the key principles of Local Cornerstone and has indicated a wish to work collaboratively on behalf of our members on such a project that has the potential to deliver ground breaking change for the staff, the people they support and the wider care sector. However there is a fundamental difference of opinion with Cornerstone about how this plan is being taken forward, not least because it is being imposed unlawfully without negotiation with UNISON.

Deborah Dyer UNISON’s Head of Community added: We are disappointed at Cornerstone’s approach to this potentially ground-breaking project. Success will be wholly dependent on our members continuing to deliver exceptional service to the people they support.

"We are urging Cornerstone senior management to commence meaningful negotiations at the earliest opportunity.  To approach a service redesign on this scale requires all staff to be on board and Cornerstone has a duty to provide staff with the framework, tools and support to continue to deliver that exceptional service. Cornerstone appears to be choosing a very different approach in complete contradiction to its core values.

"Change whilst inevitable must always be undertaken collaboratively and with negotiation. Cornerstone has a duty of care to staff and an obligation from funders to demonstrate fair employment practices.  Cornerstone has to provide staff with an effective voice and good practice acknowledges this is best achieved through collective agreement with UNISON”

Click here for more information in October's newsletter