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JOB EVALUATION APPEALS: no justice from the council's scheme

CAR PARK CHAOS: council plans will cause misery

UKIP: a racist, antipublic sector party is after your vote

City and County of Swansea

Review UNISON to ballot members over the pay freeze All workers, whether they work in the

The government's austerity programme is projected to slash £73bn from budgets for delivering public services between 2010 and 2017.

public, private or voluntary sector, have faced major cuts in the value of their pay over the last few years.

Bonanza for the bosses However, the government and much of the press try to sow divisions among working people with false claims about differences in pay rates, while remaining silent on the bonanza enjoyed by billionaire companies and millionaire bosses. Average pay increases for FTSE 100 directors rose by 27% in 2012 - 15 times the average increase for employees across the economy. Shareholders received the largest-ever dividend pay-out from UK companies in the third quarter of 2012, jumping 10% to £23.2bn. We all expect and deserve high quality public services, but the most vital ingredients of quality services are motivated staff who are valued and decently rewarded. The government's policies have taken us the opposite direction: slashing funding on an unprecedented scale, resulting in services being cut and staff salaries being frozen.

Public Service Not Private Profit

But the impact is not confined to the public sector: for every £1 cut from public spending, £1.70 of private sector economic activity is lost.

Public sector workers have seen their pay frozen as the cost of living soars and thousands now find themselves earning less than the living wage. Family budgets are at breaking point.

This is the result of pay freezes in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and a below inflation pay increase of 1% in 2013. On top of this decline, individual councils continue to cut pay and conditions at local level. For some public service workers, inflation has cut 16% out of the value of their pay packet since 2010.

Frances O'Grady, TUC general secretary

The government tries to justify all this by arguing that it is tackling government debt, but austerity makes the debt worse - it has actually risen from £870bn to £1,193bn since the Tory-Lib Dem coalition came to office. What has happened to local government pay is not simply a story of the lowest paid workers in the public sector being squeezed hardest. Local government pay (NJC) is the lowest in the public sector – from top to bottom of the pay spine.

We all suffer from low pay Without a decent level of pay, local government workers are struggling to pay their household bills let alone save for major items of spending. Payday loans, handouts and food banks are becoming a way of life for many. It is an outrage that people providing essential public services do not have a decent standard of living. However, it's not

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March 2014


Pay 2014: continued from front page just the workers who are being affected, for those with families the impact can often be greater still. Pay also matters because communities depend on people being in work and earning decent pay – pay that we spend where we live, which boosts local businesses and creates new jobs. But while the government are piling on the attacks there is a growing mood that enough is enough:

♦ Firefighters were out on strike in early May in defence of their pensions.

♦ London tube workers were on strike at the end of April battling to stop job losses and the closure of ticket offices. ♦ Workers at energy company EDF, members of Unite, were on strike over pay in May ♦ Unison members at Care UK in Doncaster have launched a further two week strike against the huge pay cuts they face. Unison Gwalia care workers in Swansea are due to strike in midMay against pay-cuts. ♦ Local Government workers and the others above could link up with teachers who plan further action against education secretary Michael Gove’s attacks on their pay, conditions and on education. That could mean a million people striking together. And health workers could take action over pay this autumn too. We’d all be stronger if we brought the fights together. That’s what happened back in November 2011 when 2.5 million people were on strike to defend pensions. That strike movement could have beaten the government. But some union leaders backed away from the fight. That can’t be allowed to happen again. The pay ballot of 600,000 local government workers runs from 23 May until 23 June.

Single Status, Terms & Conditions

How long will it be UNISON has lodged a formal collective grievance with the council on the imposition of the mis-named ‘Best and Final Offer’. Misnamed as in truth UNISON never accepted the ‘offer’ and this has been arbitrarily imposed. We have raised the following issues with the employer:

Retainer Pay – The council proposal is to withdraw this pay from over 2000 employees in schools who work term time amounting to about 3 weeks pay cut. UNISON wants to re-negotiate this payment to the same level paid as neighbouring council staff.

Shift

Pay - This was withdrawn from the negotiations at the very last minute by the employer. We want this back on the table for negotiation. Job Evaluation Appeals Procedure - Many staff have lost substantial amounts of their pay thanks to singlestatus. Even though it was supposed to equalise pay between male and female workers, many women

Unison members protested against the Tory conference last se workers are now the one’s facing pay cuts in the name of ‘equality’. Many believe that when appealing against the grade they will not have a fair hearing. With an appeal procedure still to be concluded UNISON cannot reassure staff they will get a fair hearing and we have

been proved correct (s below).

Car Parking Charges -

payment of 45 pence p many staff who are contra use their cars for council du finding the costs prohibitiv

No justice in job-evaluation 'appeals'

Many who have lost pay, not got the pay they deserve or who have the wrong job In this sc description from job evaluation hope to rectify the position by lodging an appeal and expect at least a fair hearing. ♦ The TU UNISON along with the other trade unions put forward that the panel hearing the ♦ All M appeal should consist a Trade union representative, a representative of ♦ Whe management and a councillor. invo be a All of these should not have had involvement previously in the appeal being heard.

No inde Unfair The employer has arbitrarily decided that the panel will be as follows: In summary, the Stage 2 Formal Appeal Panel will consist of:

♦ An independent Head of Service or nominated ♦ ♦

Manager An Independent Trade Union representative; and An independent Pay and Grading (or HR) Officer.

The job a Whilst U be the no to one m

If that is the grad decided course u to you.


& Budget Cuts:

e before action is needed? Weather Pay, Unsocial Hours and Overtime Payments, Compulsory overtime, forced changes to working hours. The only issue the employer has agreed to discuss further is the Car Parking Charges and to date we have not heard from the council. Further since the original Single Status proposals issues have also been made worse as follows:-

Flexi Scheme. Individual managers have decided in practise to arbitrarily withdraw this scheme from groups of staff without agreement or consultation. Unless challenged we anticipate this practice is seriously jeopardised the flexi-scheme for all employees.

eptember—soon we could be on strike

see box are forced to pay car parking charges when having to have their cars available for the benefit of the With the council. This is plainly unfair. per mile, acted to Other Issues - UNISON also uties are raised the following issues: Stand ve. Staff By, Relocation Payments, Adverse

Car Park Chaos: paying for nothing UNISON has also lodged a formal collective grievance about the ongoing plans to move a further 900 staff into the Swansea Guildhall from other offices from the 1st April 14 and onwards without regard to the lack of car parking. UNISON have been engaged in talks with the council officers but they do not seem to want to see there is insufficient parking now for the current staff and the council wants to make the problem worse by moving a further 900 staff there. This has major implications for which there seems to have been little or no planning for parking. There are problems for at some 40% of staff like social workers who have to use cars to carry out their duties. They leave their office in the Guildhall only to find when they return they have to waste valuable time driving round and round looking for a parking space and even then they can’t find one even though they have paid for a space in advance. These employees have to pay the council for a parking space so as to carry out council work and then the council seem unprepared to honour what is paid for and seem to just regard these employees as a means of making money.

who are not on flexi-time are finding their hours of work unilaterally changed.

The problem is made worse at the Guildhall when council meetings are held, as priority spaces for councillors are fenced off making fewer spaces available for council staff carrying out essential duties. This same scenario occurs when there are events held in the hall, particularly when film and TV crews - or councillors for council ceremonies - are again given priority.

Staff who had use of pool cars are having these withdrawn without consultation.

Driving us to the limit

Hours of work. Many staff

cenario:

role of Chairperson will alternate between the Joint and Management side; Members of the panel will have an equal vote; and ere possible, Panel Members will not have been olved in the original allocation of the role and will not associated to the appellants’ Trade Union.

ependence

analysts are not independent and they are representatives of the employer. NISON has no disagreement with them giving advice to a panel which would orm, they should not be a part of the panel otherwise the employers 2 votes means the panel is unbalanced and unfair.

not enough staff are being advised for example Night Care Domestics that de they were originally given is not to be honoured and management have to arbitrarily down grade them and if they don’t like it they can appeal of using the biased appeal system above. If it can happen to them it can happen

The other staff which is in excess of 600 have been told they must park at the recreation car park which is some distance away. This car park has 400 spaces of which more than 200 are already given over to Swansea University. So potentially we will have 600 staff competing for fewer than 200 spaces. Whilst some will arrive early, those who have children and other commitments will not be able to park there and again they will be driving around looking to park, may arrive late and risk being disciplined and pay docked. Again officers seem to be more keen to exploit the funding from the University then they do providing adequate facilities for staff. We would also raise what Equality Impact assessments were undertaken? Staff just want to do the essential job they are employed to do without all this extra hassle, their jobs are stressful enough. They did not asked to be forcibly moved to the Guildhall from outlying offices. The least they could have expected is that proper planning had taken place when making such a decision. UNISON has already undertaken a informal poll of our members and they have voted 3 to 1 in support of industrial action. We have proposals to put to the council but if these are continually disregarded with the same disdain the council should be aware industrial action could result, however UNISON regards this as a last resort when other avenues have been exhausted, hence the registering of the collective grievance.


Euro-elections

UKIP: a racist party that wants to sack us

UKIP is a racist, far-right party that loves the rich - and it’s after our votes. UNISON recently supported a demonstration when Nigel Farage came to Swansea. Here's why: UKIP leader Nigel Farage says he is •a man of the people. The Daily Mirror

UKIP blames migrant workers from •Eastern Europe for the economic crisis, unemployment and lack of housing. This is a lie: the bankers and their rich friends in the City created the crisis— and they want the poor to pay. Immigrants haven’t shut down major employers, closed hospital services or sent your gas and electricity bills through the roof.

YOUR UNION

UKIP is riddled with racists, sexists, homophobes and bigots. Nigel Farage says his political hero is Enoch Powell, whose 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech has been a touchstone for racists and fascists ever since. When fascists were exposed among UKIP election candidates, Farage admitted the party

An 'adapted' UKIP poster in Swansea recently received national coverage

proved he is not. It exposed the fact that Farage opened a trust fund in an offshore tax haven, in a bid to save thousands of pounds in tax - money that could have been spent on schools, hospitals and public housing. Farage is a private school educated, ex-Tory City broker.

public sector jobs are taking money out of the economy...I hope hundreds, thousands of jobs will be lost...You will never understand UKIP until you understand this point.

Former investment-banker and UKIP economic spokesperson Geoffrey Bloom

of assembly. It bans slavery and torture. UKIP opposes equal rights and same- sex marriage. They say there is no demand for same-sex marriage, ‘apart from a small but noisy minority within the gay community’. They claim same-sex marriage will ‘undermine the position of the church’. UKIP pledges to massively increase military •expenditure, building seven aircraft carriers. This would cost around £48.3bn— almost half the NHS budget for a year.

couldn’t vet its candidates to keep them out.

• UKIP wants to take money away from state farms and launch a £90bn nuclear power •schools and give it to private schools like programme. UKIP wants to slash the number of wind

Eton.

UKIP boasts that if it got into power it would scrap the European Convention on Human Rights. This act protects us all. Its measures include our right to a fair trial and to freedom

Contact us:

proposed tax rate for everyone is •31%UKIP’s — a tax cut for the rich, a hike for the poor. We would face tax rises whilst the Duke of Westminster - 'worth' £7.8bn - would have his tax cut. http://standuptoukip.org

Unison Office, Rm 153-G, The Guildhall, Swansea 01792 635271

unison@swansea.gov.uk

Branch Secretary: Mike Davies / Asst. Secretary: Ian Alexander Unison has over 100 trained union reps throughout the council, schools and FE colleges. We will advise, support and represent you collectively and individually on issues from sickness, disciplinaries to legal matters inside and outside the workplace. If you need advice or representation please contact the Senior Steward(s) for your department below or go to your workplace steward. Alternatively please contact the branch office. Social Services Alison O'Kane - 07856 641234 Alison Davies - 07941 757853 Martin Chapman - 01792 635271 Education Pat Lopez - 07557 560097 Mark Otten - 07789 485009 Eve Morse - 07532 232873 (after 3.30 pm) Chris Bell - 07967 551025

Sports & Social website: www.suss.me.uk

Regeneration/Housing John Llewellyn - 07557 560093 Roger Owen - 07847 942458 Gower College Ron Job - 07963 454041 Resources Rhydian Prismick - 01792 635803 Housing Sallyanne Taylor - 07825 401711

www.unison.co.uk

This newsletter is produced by the City and County of Swansea Unison Branch. Any letters, comments or suggestions for articles should be posted to the branch address or emailed to Unison@swansea.gov.uk. Correspondence is not guaranteed to be published and contents may not necessarily reflect Unison policy.


May 2014 newsletter