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NEWS

BRANCH SECRETARY’S REPORT MAY/JUNE 2006

FACILITIES MANAGEMENT

The contract has been awarded to InterserveFM and staff are expected to transfer on 1st July.  As far as we are aware 38 members out of 152 staff are to be transferred. 

 

We’re currently involved in negotiations over InterserveFM’s proposals to change a number of staffing policies (which we are resisting strongly), and the Branch Office are doing all they can to ensure that subscriptions continue to be deducted in the same way as now.

 

As the TUPE regulations apply, the transfer should be relatively smooth.  However in such situations this is often not how it works out!  If members do have concerns we will do out utmost to assist as much as possible.  Please keep the Branch Office informed of any problems envisaged or that crop up.

SICKNESS ABSENCE POLICY

Despite delaying implementation till June so further talks could take place, we have now been informed the new policy WILL be implemented on 1st June with a meeting scheduled for 24th May. 

 

Obviously the outcome of this meeting is predetermined, so we will now be looking towards a ballot of all of members regarding industrial action to oppose not only the unacceptable proposals but also the manner in which they’re being foisted upon us.

PENSIONS

To find out can more, about the campaign against the attacks on the Local Government Pension Scheme here in the Branch visit our Pension Update Page or log-on to the UNISON National Website www.unison.co.uk

Take the Pension Test you might just be surprised at the answers!

RECRUITMENT

 

Figures released by HR are quite alarming, because they show that there are large numbers of staff not in the Union.  This means there is a huge recruitment potential which the Branch is not tapping into.  Recruitment packs are issued to new starters every month with personalised welcome letters, but no follow up is taking place.

 

Similar figures have been circulated from the Region Office, supplied by the employer’s organisation.  Concerns expressed by the Union nationally are that membership density falls well below the percentage required for automatic recognition rights.  With the increase in Tory employers there is a serious need to increase these density levels.

 

Another alarming item from the HR figures is the increase in the other union’s membership.  We have always prided ourselves on being the much bigger union.  This is possibly no longer the case.  We believe we are still the largest union but by a much smaller margin. 

 

If you know of someone who isn’t a member, either let us know or ask them to join.

 

BRANCH EXECUTIVE PLANNING MEETING

 

At a recent Emergency General Purposes Committee it was agreed to set up a working party to consider ways of improving attendance at the Branch Executive Committee Meetings.

 

The meeting took place on 9th March.  The notes from the meeting were circulated to EC members on email on 31st March.

 

Whilst some of the suggestions have already been implemented, the proposals will be ratified by the EC and adopted as Branch policy.

 

TRADE UNION FACILITIES AGREEMENT

 

There has been a further delay in implementation, because of HR questioning how many representatives we’re entitled to have. 

 

They wanted to base the numbers on the union membership in each Department.  I successfully argued that it should take regard of membership in each workplace, which was agreed.  They still came back on a departmental basis – hopefully it will be implemented without too much more argument!

CALLING ALL DISABLED MEMBERS…….

The Branch is in the process of setting up a Disabled Members Group.  A meeting to launch the group took place at 12.30 pm in the Council Chamber on 1st February.  The post of Disabled Members Representative to be Branch Executive Committee is to be job-shared by Kay Kakad, Finance & Resources and Julia King, Housing.  More information on the Group will be posted when available.

YOUNG MEMBERS IN UNISON

We will shortly be calling a meeting for all Young Members in the Branch, further details will be posted.  If you are 26 or under let the Branch Office know at branchoffice@croydon.co.uk and we will add you to our mailing list.

CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS

We are always looking for more members to get actively involved in the Branch. There are many areas where members don't have a local Steward.

So if you would like to get more involved in the Branch and its decision making, take part in negotiations with management and represent members, why not become a Steward or Health and Safety Rep?

We won't throw you in at the deep end. There are many courses available that are organised through the TUC or UNISON and they run throughout the year. You will also have the support of the Branch Office. Time off for full training is available, please contact the Branch Office for more details or e-mail branchoffice@croydonunison.co.uk

ARE YOU GETTING IT?

It has recently come to light that some members are not getting information about the Branch and its activities. If this is the case please let us know in the Branch Office either by phone on 8760-5435 or via e-mail to branchoffice@croydonunison.co.uk

If you are prepared to be a workplace contact for us, which involves handing out UNISON information, Newsletters etc to your fellow UNISON members again please let us know in the Branch Office.

We want to make sure all our members are informed on what's happening in the Branch.

EVENTS

Croydon UNISON Social Club

Don’t forget, as a member of Croydon UNISON you are automatically a member of the UNISON Social Club. 

The Club recently held its very first Beer Festival, with over 20 different beers on offer.  It was a very successful event and it’s likely that another will be held later in the year.  Full details will be given when known.

The Club is an ideal place to hold a summer party.  The Committee has recently purchased a gas barbeque, which is available for members use.  Just contact the Club for booking details.

MONTHLY QUIZ NIGHTS

The regular monthly Quiz Nights are still proving to be very popular. It costs £4.00 for a team (maximum of 4) to enter and starts at 7.30 pm. They are held on the first Tuesday of every month. If you require any further details please contact the Branch Office.

The Club is available for departmental celebrations, leaving and retirement parties and birthday parties as well as private functions. As a UNISON member you can hire the hall at very cheap rates. You may also want to challenge another department to a pool, snooker or darts match there is also a table tennis table. For availability contact the Club Steward John Brooks on 020 8688 8142.