Aberdeenshire UNISON

November 2010

Members vote to accept changes

Inspire members have voted overwhelmingly to accept changes to terms and conditions after UNISON negotiators were able to get some improvements to the overall package.

The changes still mean cuts to terms and conditions but after lengthy negotiations, UNISON believed there was no option but to recommend the proposals to members. On a 45% return, 73% of members voted to accept the proposals.

There has been widespread consultation with members throughout this process. UNISON has also reached agreement with Inspire management to hold quarterly meetings to monitor the effects of the operational review so that any issues can be formally notified and addressed.

A letter will be sent out to members this week.

Branch ballots Inspire members on changes to terms and conditions

The branch is conducting an informal ballot of all members in Inspire on proposed changes to terms and conditions of service.

A ballot paper has been sent out to all members to be returned by NO LATER THAN NOON ON FRIDAY 12 NOVEMBER 2010.

Following on from the series of consultation meetings between UNISON, representatives from the Workers' Voice Forum and senior management since July, Inspire have now put forward their final set of proposals for the Operational Review.

Sarah Duncan, Regional Organiser said, "We are now asking for members' opinions on whether these proposals are acceptable or not.

"UNISON held consultation meetings with members on 20 and 21 October. At those meetings UNISON undertook to request some amendments to the proposals.

"Management have now agreed that there will be no statutory weekly wage cap for redundancy payments so managers' redundancy payments will be calculated on their actual weekly wage; payment of emergency relief hours where there is no option at employee's standard rate; and pay protection for all staff, including Support Workers on mid-scale points, until 31 March 2011 This means that no Support Worker will have to take a pay cut until the next increment is due in April 2011."

"UNISON believes that these proposals are the best that can be achieved by negotiation. We have obtained detailed financial information from Inspire and we are aware of the very difficult financial climate for voluntary sector care and support services over the next few years.

"UNISON has been convinced that Inspire's costs need to be cut in order for Inspire to retain, and hopefully win, contracts from local authorities and protect jobs and the quality of service provided to vulnerable people," added Sarah.

Jim Murphy, Steward said, "Substantial savings have been achieved through shedding posts at Head Office, including deleting the posts of Chief Operating Officer and Depute Operations Manager, after representations made by UNISON.

"Therefore, very regretfully, UNISON can see no alternative to the current proposals, although we have very heavy hearts about the severity of the salary cuts for the lowest paid staff in the organisation.

"UNISON is committed to pressing Inspire to review Support Worker and Team Leader salaries as soon as the organisation's financial position improves. We have a commitment to quarterly meetings with management to monitor the effects of the operational review and will be keeping up the pressure to increase the hourly rate as soon as possible."

It is very important that all UNISON members return their ballot paper so both the union and the employer know the views of as many workers as possible.

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