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NEWS

BRANCH SECRETARY’S REPORT SEPTEMBER 2006

BRANCH MEETING

There are two Branch Meetings being held to discuss the many urgent issues currently facing members.  The first will be at the UNISON Social Club on Tuesday 12th September at 4.30 pm.  For those of you who cannot make that meeting or find it easier to attend at lunchtime, a second meeting will take place on Wednesday 13th September at 12.30 in the Council Chamber.

Below in this report you’ll find some of the agenda items that we urgently need your votes and opinions on.  We will of course be discussing the Pensions dispute.  Amongst the other items are the Sickness Absence Policy, Dress Code and Added Years.  It is intended to present a motion addressing the lack of full and proper consultation regarding the implementation of these new procedures.  An additional emergency motion will be added to the agenda regarding funding for the Social Club.

All those members employed by London Borough of Croydon and Interserve are entitled to one hour paid time off to attend.  Remember you only need attend one meeting but make sure do come along to one as these issues affect you directly and without your participation we cannot represent your best interests.

We have also invited a speaker from Whipps Cross Hospital to attend the Meeting on Tuesday.  UNISON members there have been taking Strike Action because their employers, Initial Services, have failed to honour an agreement that was negotiated between UNISON and the previous employers.  UNISON members are still owed £900 each.  We need to support the courageous stand taken by our fellow UNISON members and those attending the Branch Meetings will be asked to endorse a decision by the Branch General Purposes Committee to donate £500 toward their Strike Fund  

FACILITIES MANAGEMENT

On the face of it, the transfer seems to have been carried out with very few problems, there have been issues regarding the wearing of uniforms and the Deli, which have been followed up.  However if you know anything different then please let the Branch Office know.

DRESS CODE               

At the last meeting on 1st September of the Croydon Staff Partnership Panel (CSPP), the forum for the Trade Union Side to meet with Councillors, all three trade unions, UNISON, GMB and TGWU lodged a Collective Grievance against this policy.  To read the Grievance in full click here. 

Despite the fact that the agreed Grievance Procedure stipulates that “the status quo shall not be disturbed whilst the matter is under consideration”, the new Dress Code has been enforced as of today (11th September).  Yet another example of our Employers and Management failing to keep to agreed procedures!

 Come to the Branch Meeting to find out what happens next…………..

ADDED YEARS

The Director of Finance, Nathan Elvery, has taken a unilateral decision to do away with the arrangement whereby London Borough of Croydon staff received Added Years when taking Early Retirement.  Although the procedures do indicate that this was discretionary, it is yet another example of the lack of respect for established practice and the feelings of employees who took up positions for LBC in the light of these arrangements.

PENSIONS

Our Pension Update Page explains the four options for the new scheme that the employers have now put forward.  You can also log-on to the UNISON National Website www.unison.co.uk for more information. 

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

A motion will be presented at the Branch Meetings addressing the dissatisfaction of many activists regarding the way in which the dispute has been handled by our national negotiators.

RECRUITMENT

 

At UNISON Conference a recruitment campaign called “Challenge X” was launched.  This involves members signing a pledge to recruit ten new members (think Roman numerals) over the next 12 months.  Do so, and your name will be added to a UNISON Roll of Honour.  There was no mention of what happens if you fail – public flogging perhaps?

 

There is still a huge recruitment potential for the Branch within the local authority, if you know someone who isn’t a member, either let us know or ask them to join.  For more information regarding “Challenge X” visit UNISON’s Website www.unison.co.uk

 

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@croydonunison.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.