Date Thursday 2 November 2006
Council's threat to sack staff and refusal to release information
is condemned by UNISON
Threats by Perth and Kinross Council to force cuts in pay and
conditions on their staff has been strongly rejected by UNISON,
the staff trade union.
The council has recently (16th October) sent letters to staff
advising them of their new proposed pay and grading, and details
of proposed changes to their terms and conditions. On Monday 23rd
October letter was also received by UNISON threatening implementation
by force if an agreement is not reached within a reasonable timescale.
Wilma Armstrong, Secretary of UNISON's Perth and Kinross Branch
said: "Given that the council has taken six years to reach this
stage, it is totally unacceptable that they now want to railroad
UNISON has consistently asked for all of the information relating
to single status job evaluation. The council has refused to release
some key pieces of this information - such as the individual job
scores. In addition the union branch is demanding that the council
implement an independent equality impact assessment.
Wilma continued "The council is refusing to release these scores
and members are asking themselves ‘Why?'. If the council are so
confident that the whole exercise has been done correctly, why are
they hiding crucial information?
"It would also appear that the equalities audit has been carried
out by the project manager leading the single status project. We
believe this should have been done by an agreed independent body.
"Given that the council has spent in excess of 10 million pounds
in the past 5 years on outside consultants basically to tell people
on extremely high salaries how to do their jobs, we don't feel that
a transparent equality assessment is an unreasonable request. The
Council has made it clear that their next move is to consult individually
with employees by sending out a survey. Depending on the feedback
they may decide to ignore collective bargaining and dismiss and
re-engage staff on totally different pay and conditions.
Wilma Armstrong said: "Should the council decide to tear up the
collective bargaining agreement that we have in place, then the
branch will be left with no options except to seek legal advice,
and take action accordingly”.
"UNISON members strongly support equal pay; however, in this case
our rights as trade union members are being disregarded.”
For Further Information Please Contact: Wilma Armstrong,
Branch Secretary 07138 475098 (o) Anne Russell, Regional Organiser
07904 341 971(m)