UNISON: Response to ‘A message from Nathan’

The UNISON West Sussex branch notes the issuance of the all staff email by the Chief Executive on 28th June.

It refers extensively to an article published on our branch website. We recommend you read the article for yourself, here: http://unisonwestsussex.org.uk/news/wscc-culture-board/

The abolition of Staff Joint Committee which is mentioned in the Chief Executive’s email was not discussed with UNISON beforehand. That the most senior negotiating body between the union and employer was deleted by the employer without a discussion with us in advance is regrettable. We do not believe the way the matter was approached was indicative of good partnership working by the council.

UNISON attended the Governance Committee to make our case. We produced a paper for councillors in advance of the meeting. That meeting was open to the public, and the paper is available on the council’s website for members to read.

The Culture Board has been set up to review changes to HR Policies and to discuss workforce issues, which include terms and conditions. That is clear from the Culture Board’s terms of reference [issued 8th March], and from the all-staff broadcast email [issued 11th May] which reported that changes to staff travel (what you are paid and how you are reimbursed for travelling for work) and staff parking would be brought to the Culture Board.

The coming year will be a challenging one in many respects, but we will continue to attend the Chief Executive/UNISON regular meetings to negotiate, protect and advance your interests. We will be tabling first at the mid-July meeting how these meetings should be constituted as there are significant gaps in our understanding currently of how the meetings are anticipated to run.

Members with any questions are welcome to get in touch at office.unison@westsussex.gov.uk or call 01243 777636.

Members are encouraged to share this information with non-members, and to invite them to join UNISON.