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NEWS

SINGLE STATUS

 

For our latest update and details of the Appeals Procedure please click here.

 

PAY 2008 – Prepare for a Fight!

 

The response by members in this Branch to the consultation exercise (which had to be carried out within a very short time period) was a majority in favour of a claim for a flat rate increase of £1200 per year.  This was submitted to the Region who then forwarded views from all London branches to the National Joint Committee (NJC).  We understand that London branches were evenly split between supporting a flat rate claim and supporting a percentage increase. 

 

The NJC met on 14th January and made a decision to submit a claim for an increase of 6% or 50p an hour, whichever is the greater.  In light of recent publicity about rises in energy prices, as well as other cost of living increases, this hardly seems like an outlandish claim.

 

Clearly we will face a battle to achieve a decent pay increase this year given that Gordon Brown has given such a high profile to his intention to keep Public Sector pay increases below 2% per year and his view that the pay deals should be spread over three years.  Yet again the Government seem intent on using Public Sector wage restraint as a means of controlling inflation.  This is clearly discriminatory and we must resist it in whatever way we can.

 

If anyone feels that Gordon Brown’s view is reasonable, they might do well to consider that the Institute for Fiscal Studies agrees with the TUC’s view that Public Sector pay doesn’t cause inflation.  Furthermore the Bank of England (hardly a rabidly left-wing organisation!) says that overall pay rises averaging 4.5% across the economy are consistent with a 2% inflation target if productivity and other factors are included.

 

Hopefully, this year we will see a united campaign by all Public Sector Unions to achieve a decent outcome to pay negotiations.  To this end, at a local level, we will be seeking to co-ordinate not only with the other local government unions (GMB and TGWU), but also with others such as the teaching unions and the civil service union.  We have extended an invitation to the local branches of NUT and PCS to speak at the Branch AGM.    

 

BRANCH AGM

 

The first meeting will be held in The Council Chamber on Wednesday 20th February at 12.30 pm and the second on Thursday 21st February, in the Friends Meeting House (opposite Taberner House) at 4.30 pm.  You only need to attend one of these meetings and an hour’s paid time off is permitted for members employed by London Borough of Croydon.

 

We have invited speakers from NUT (teachers union) and PCS (civil servants union) to discuss our common fight for decent public sector pay.

 

Besides consideration of the Annual Report (which will give a summary of the Branch’s activities in 2007) and the election of Branch Officers (see below), other items on the agenda will include Single Status, Pay, Pensions and TUPE Transfers.

 

PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO ATTEND ONE OF THE MEETINGS

 

 BRANCH OFFICER POSTS – Nominations received

 

The following nominations for Branch Officer Posts were received in the Branch Office by 6th February 2008:

 

Branch Secretary                             -          Malcolm Campbell                                      

Branch President                             -          James Young                                               

Vice-President                                 -          Laurie Pocock          

Health & Safety Secretary             -          Anna Raghunanan & Kay Kakad (Job-Share)

Assistant Treasurer                         -          Julie O’Maley                       

Welfare Secretary                           -          Joan Matlock                                                

International Issues Officer          -          Kai Pokawa & Eleanor Tracey (Job-Share)

Education Officer                             -          Kay Kakad                                                                

Magazine Editor                               -          Rachel Pankhurst                            

Social Secretary                               -          Etna Houldsworth & Phil Young               

Local Purchase Scheme Officer    -          Iteen Stephens

Retired Members Secretary           -          Peter Howard

 

Please contact the Branch Officer for further details on vacant posts still requiring nominations.

PENSIONS

The consultation over possibly extending the full protection of the 85 Year Rule to 2020 continues.  John Healey, the Minister for Local Government, wants to be clear about the cost of this. He’s therefore awaiting the outcome of a review of the funds currently taking place.

The Government Regulations on the Scheme can be found on the Pension Update Page

You can also log-on to the UNISON National Website www.unison.co.uk for more up to date information. 

PARKING SERVICES – TUPE or not TUPE?

As members will no doubt know, the proposed transfer of staff in Parking Services to APCOA fell through.  This is yet another example of the local trade unions warning the Council about the dangers of dealing with companies with dodgy records, the warning being ignored and the trade union view being proved to be right (amongst other examples are the problems encountered with the Leisure Contract awarded to Parkwood and the proposed engagement of Capita regarding Customer Focus).

We are now seeking reassurances from the Council about their future plans for Parking Services.  A demoralised workforce needs to know they won’t be further abused!

VICTIMISATION OF UNISON ACTIVISTS

 

A meeting took place in the House of Commons on 11th December in support of Michael Gavan, Karen Reissmann and the Fremantle workers, all UNISON members subject to victimisation by their employers.

 

The meeting was well attended and heard speeches by Michael, two of Karen’s colleagues taking strike action on her behalf and John Burgess (Branch Secretary of Barnet UNISON, the Fremantle workers’ branch), as well as John McDonnell MP, Kate Ahrens (UNISON NEC member) and Malcolm Campbell, our Branch Secretary.

 

Karen’s appeal has now been heard and was turned down. The strike was suspended just before Christmas, but more action is intended in the New Year. UNISON’s General Secretary Dave Prentis has promised a national campaign in support of Karen.

 

Michael’s appeal has yet to be heard, but he was successful in an application for interim relief.  This is a decision that means that he will continue to be paid whilst his case is referred to an Employment Tribunal.  There is to be a rally in support of Michael on Monday 11th February at St John’s Church, Stratford.  Speakers will include Tony Benn.

 

SOCIAL CLUB

 

In order for the Committee of the Social Club to function we are holding the Annual General Meeting of the Social Club on Monday 25th February 2008.  This will be held in two parts.  Firstly in the function room of the Dog & Bull, Surrey Street at 5.30 pm.  This function room is up the stairs behind the bar.  The second part will be held in the upstairs Meeting Room in Ruskin House at 7.30 pm. 

 

At the AGM we will update you on the discussion about the new Social Club and as usual elect the Committee and Officers.  If you are interested in joining us on the Committee then please contact the Club Secretary, Phil Young, at phil.young@croydon.gov.uk.

 

We are currently planning to organise a ‘100 Club’, Quiz Nights and possibly a party in the New Year - further details to follow.

 

In order for the club to be a success, it is important that we can rely on you, so please support our efforts! 

 

CALLING ALL DISABLED MEMBERS…….

If you would like more information please contact our Disabled Members Officer, Kay Kakad at kaushalya.kakad@croydon.gov.uk

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?

Please let us know in the Branch Office if you have changed your address, either by phone on 8760-5435 or via e-mail to branchoffice@croydonunison.co.uk it’s important we keep your records up to date so that you are fully informed on matters that could affect you.

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.