SODEXO AND THE NNC DISPUTES
I reported earlier this week that the two disputes registered by Napo and Unison reps in South Yorkshire and Northumbria were to be considered by the National Negotiating Council (NNC) Joint Secretaries (of which I am one, and Francis Stuart of NOMS is the other).
Whilst I am in discussion with my Employers Side counterpart about the wording of a possible determination of these and one other unrelated dispute that we looked at yesterday, I am naturally limited in what I am able to say about them right now.
Meanwhile, it is reasonable to reveal that the genesis of these two disputes and the six others that have been served over the last fortnight or so, is that the unions believe that any attempt to vary a National Agreement cannot, under the terms of the protections that were secured from the former Secretary of State, be a subject for local discussion unless first referred to the NNC.
I am sure that many members in those six CRC’s, who are anxious to understand what it is they might be offered if they apply for EVR, may see this as a side issue but please read on.
During the many discussions that have been going on between NOMS, Sodexo and their six CRC’s it has become inescapably clear that Sodexo are not used to collective bargaining arrangements such as the NNC, and that we are not used to having to deal with them; but nevertheless we need to find a solution that accommodates this fact of life.
As I write, we have just had another full and frank discussion with Sodexo, but one which I hope has produced some constructive outcomes. I believe we can find a way to enter structured discussions about the EVR issue, whilst at the same time being able to assure members that we will be seeking a mandate from you and acting upon it. The unions are also asking that our national collective bargaining machinery will be respected at the same time, and that such a process must also allow the unions the normal opportunities to properly consult with those members most likely to be effected.
I appreciate that everyone with a potential stake in all this wants to know what is going on by the minute; but be assured that your negotiators are doing the right thing for you and all those Napo members in other CRC’s who may find themselves in a similar situation in the near future.
It’s very likely that more news about the situation will emerge early next week.