Since 2012, the West Sussex branch’s experience of Capita as an employer is marked by the inconsistency of its approaches on key HR matters.
These are too often determined by the particular HR lead manager Capita has working on the West Sussex contract, and not by any wider consistency. Capita has had radically different approaches since 2012 to:
1) consultation processes during reorganisations;
2) sickness and disability; and now
3) UNISON recognition.
The branch resolved the first two sets of inconsistencies, which caused untold stress and misery for many of our members, through negotiation and involvement of the UNISON national office.
We have been unable to make any progress on the latest matter and have lodged a formal dispute with Capita.
After 5 years of the contract when this was never an issue, Capita is now proposing to seek the
election of staff reps when there are redundancies or TUPE transfers and to negotiate with them. This is exceedingly dangerous for all staff: UNISON reps are trained and experienced, and supported by a West Sussex branch office, regional office, a national office and Thompsons solicitors. Who do you want to negotiate for you during a complex restructure or TUPE when your job is at stake?
The whole approach is dangerous to all staff’s interests and an attempt to dilute the union’s strength. We have asked to see details of how staff reps will be elected, how they will be trained, how they will be released from work and how they will be accountable. None of this has been forthcoming, despite assurances it would be.
We cannot believe that as this contract lurches from one crisis to another, Capita feels its interests are best served by introducing another one, and that attacking the trade union and undermining the interests of its staff is the way to make the contract finally work.
We will keep members advised of progress. In the meantime, urge your colleagues not yet in the union to join UNISON.
Read here the independent research the branch commissioned into the West Sussex Capita contract.