Here's the latest blog from Ian Lawrence, Napo General Secretary, published yesterday. Love the reference to "speculative comments on social media networks."
Our members across probation will be well aware that Napo and our sister unions are engaged in an extremely challenging issue around the plans by the six Sodexo owned CRCs to shed 600 jobs. In addition, we are spending a considerable amount of time trying to unravel their intention to offer a variation of the Enhanced Voluntary Redundancy scheme (EVR) as enshrined in the National Staff Transfer and Protections agreement.
Last week the Joint Secretaries for the National Negotiating Council determined that the CRCs involved should formally refer the intention to vary the EVR terms to the Joint Secretaries for their consideration. A response has been received which the unions have been copied into and which is currently being analysed. This sets out Sodexo’s ideas about a timetable for discussion and consultation with members.
It is entirely understandable that we are starting to receive a few individual enquiries from members about the EVR ‘Offer’. While some of this is due to a combination of speculative comments on social media networks, local rumours, or the confusing messages being issued by CRC management, it is important that Napo reinforces the fact that defending National Collective bargaining is imperative, whether it’s about EVR or any other key issue impacting on terms and conditions.
I am also in discussion with UNISON and GMB to seek their views about where (we) are and where we go from here, and the Napo Officers and Officials meet again tomorrow. We intend to organise a joint meeting for UNISON and Napo reps at the earliest opportunity, and we are working up plans to consult with members at workplace meetings.
Sodexo have constantly said that they are seeking meaningful engagement with the trade unions on EVR (which is a welcome sign). Unfortunately they have decided to qualify this with a simultaneous threat to withdraw their proposals which, when they do get published will foster more questions than the company has answers to at the moment. That smacks of bad form and the odour of extortion.
Facts are important
In a message that I put out to Sodexo reps this morning I explained that from the information we have been able to share with them, it is clear that the situation regarding the formal publication of the proposed alternative voluntary redundancy scheme and how we actually enter into a dialogue with Sodexo on that (as well as their ideas about how many posts can go on EVR and when), is becoming more and more complex. I have committed to issue accurate information to our members in the six CRCs based on actual events along with news on what we are doing on their behalf and when. This is what our members, to whom I am accountable, would expect me to do.
The frustration out there would be eased considerably if Sodexo simply indicated that they are prepared to pay up on the full EVR terms and give people the same deal that others have already received when signing up for early departure. Its not like they cannot afford it.
I have already received a number of key questions about the EVR situation from some of our reps that I intend to ask in the right places, and which I will copy more widely in due course. Members in the CRCs involved are invited to direct as many others as you can think of through your local reps who are doing a brilliant job on your behalf so please cut them some slack.
What I have seen so far suggests that we are absolutely right to suggest to members that they should not be intimidated or bounced into having to make critical decisions before they are in possession of a whole load more facts and assurances than Sodexo have been able to provide up to now.
More later in the week