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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.

 

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 welcome

 

Members are invited to make nominations for all Branch Officer posts.  These must be received by the Branch Office by 4.00 pm on Wednesday 6th February 2008.  The posts are as follows:

 

Branch Secretary                                                     Education Officer                

Assistant Branch Secretary                                   Recruitment Officer

Branch President                                                     Environmental Issues Officer

Vice-President                                                         Affiliated Political Fund Officer

Treasurer                                                                   Retired Members Secretary

Assistant Treasurers x 2                                        Membership Services Officer       

Auditors x 2                                                              International Issues Officer

Welfare Secretary                                                   Local Purchase Scheme Officer

Health & Safety Secretary                                     Magazine Editor

Social Secretary                                                       Staff Side Pensions Rep

 

Please contact Karen either by email Karen.a.eades@croydon.gov.uk or by ringing the Branch Office on 020 8760 5435, if you would like further information on any of the posts listed or if you wish to be nominated.

PENSIONS

The Council are holding two sessions regarding the new Pension Scheme on Tuesday 5th February in the Arnhem Gallery, Fairfield Halls.  These will take place 10.30 am – 12.30 pm and 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm.  We would encourage all members to attend one of these sessions.

 

As regards the consultation over possibly extending the full protection of the 85 Year Rule to 2020, 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. Talks will continue on 16th January.

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 will now be 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.

 

SOCIAL CLUB

 

Progress on the new Club has been slower than hoped but discussions are still ongoing. It is hoped that it will be located in the Central Complex, possibly in the Fell Road Offices.  Getting the location and the set-up right is vital to the Club’s eventual success.

 

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! 

 

You can contact the Club Secretary, Phil Young, at phil.young@croydon.gov.uk.

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.