On Friday 20th July Full Council took place at County Hall, Chichester. Changes to the Staff Appeals Panel at WSCC were debated, and unfortunately the votes of the ruling Conservative group combined with those of Lib Dems meant that the changes went through.
Both UNISON and FBU have warned that these changes will be damaging and make it more difficult for justice to be done at the Staff Appeals Panel. You can read the detail of the trade union concerns in our previous news item.
This is a sad day for staff and WSCC that a useful and effective Staff Appeals Panel that has lasted the test of time has been so worsened. The trade unions no longer have faith in the Staff Appeals Panel. Nor does the Labour Group, which has indicated to WSCC that its group of Councillors will no longer serve on the Staff Appeals Panel.
Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Sue Mullins, spoke brilliantly in the debate, reminding councillors that Chief Executives come and go, and it is dangerous to make such far-reaching constitutional changes due to the preference of one person. Cllr Mullins also referenced ‘lanyardgate‘ as she was concerned how justice would be done when such strong views are held and could be brought inappropriately to the appeals panel.
You can watch a video of Cllr Sue Mullins’ speech here.
Rest assured that UNISON will, despite this setback, continue to support its members in full and retains the option of supporting its members at Employment Tribunal so that justice is obtained.