TUCG rally shows why we and six million trade unionists can still make a difference
No chance of a restful weekend with attendance at a major summit being run by tbe General Federation of Trade Unions in Stafford with a hotfoot back to London today for the privilege of addressing a packed Central Hall for the TUCG rally against austerity. Here I was able to illustrate the impact of the TR disaster and why its part and parcel of this Governments attempt to privatise anything that moves and at the same time seek to knock the stuffing out of the organised workforce.
Here is what I said if you are interested in seeing it:
A punishing schedule but it's what we do
This from last Friday:-
A punishing schedule but it's what we do
Readers of my last posting live and direct from Central Hall will have got some idea of the involvement that Napo has and the respect that we have with like minded organisations and unions, and this was typified by our contribution to last weekends major trade union summit, organised by our friends in the General Federation of Trade Unions.
Here our delegation joined others from a number of 'craft' unions in exploring how we should encourage and enable new future leaders, how we can and should change the methods we have traditionally adopted for trade union education and critically, how we might seriously explore the concept of shared services amongst unions to help us improve our response, and our services to, our respective members, attain greater efficiency in the areas of tendering and procurement and whether we can quite simply, stop reinventing the wheel on a range of areas that might include ICT, research, design and printing to name but a few.
Whilst I missed the middle session to speak at Central Hall you ought to know that Yvonne Pattison, Tania Bassett and Our Finance Official Theresa Boorman did you proud. We will be issuing a detailed report of the proceedings as soon as we can after the GFTU Executive have considered the outcomes at their meeting here today in Loughborough. You may also want to know that Yvonne and I are on that group as well and therefore in a good place to try and influence that debate.
Immediately after the GFTU summit we started the week with a meeting of the National Executive Committee which had a long and hard look at our financial projections which have been constructed to help us deal with the real (and directly political) threat posed to Napo's existence by the removal of Check Off and our strategy for engagement with members over the next few months.
It was as you would expect, a testing occasion for everyone but I wanted to register my appreciation to everyone who put in a longer than usual shift and their acknowledgement of the hard work being carried out by Napo staff (your employees) who are seeing no sign of a reduction in workload with a bargaining environment where we now have our membership spread across 24 employers.
I know from my regular interaction with Napo staff just how much they are committed to seeing this union rebuild and their intention to play a leading role alongside our activists and wider members.
A real purple future?
I am always cautious about reading too much into what seemed like a really positive engagement with the Chiefs and owners of the Interserve cluster of CRC's.
Make no mistake, I am expecting us to have some major differences as they go about making a fist of the contracts that they and other CRC owners have been mis-sold, but I was struck by the tone and genuine intention to try and work in partnership with the unions. Time will tell, but Purple Futures could make a good start by committing to the EVR scheme once they reveal what their future staffing plans actually are.
Meanwhile, the Joint Secretaries get to meet
Virtually, on account of competing demands, but nevertheless a useful exchange after which we were able to issue reminders to the Sodexo owned CRC's that we still await their response to the Management of Change protocol questionnaires about their plans to handle the posts that they are claiming they still need to make compulsorily redundant. They need to get a move on and try to demonstrate some good faith following the chaos that has been caused by the disingenuous approach by their owners to the whole 'its not EVR but something else'
We also dealt with other non-Sodexo stuff for once including some Market Forces supplements and a good old fashioned NNC dispute which we hope can be resolved without the need for a formal visit.
E3 job evaluation
We have been picking up a lot of incoming concern this week from members across all grades about the job evaluation process that was announced in the E3 operational blueprint.
This has been especially the case amongst our Victim Liaison Officer members who are questioning the proposals to band this role at 3. This is complicated by their seemingly being an almost 50/50 split of staff across bands 3 and 4.
We will be issuing a more comprehensive briefing once your National Officers have completed their mapping exercise with branches, but our position remains clear in respect of these and all other roles that are threatened by the as yet still to be agreed E3 review. There will be job evaluation to the agreed NNC standard with skilled evaluators on board, there will be consultation with members and there must be negotiation with the unions on the outcomes.
Remember that these are not Napo's proposals and they are symptomatic of the 'more for less culture' that is a hallmark of the continuing austerity agenda.
More next week on the FCS strategy day, PBNI and the latest position on Approved Premises.
Finally, regular readers might recall that a couple of weeks ago a cryptic message directed at Napo London Branch members appeared on social media:-
EXTREMELY URGENT MATTER
Every member of NAPO London Branch needs to attend the Branch Meeting tomorrow at 2pm as a matter of priority for an extremely important announcement concerning the future of London Branch. If you are coming please urge as many other members to attend as possible. We cannot emphasise enough that the announcement will concern all members of the Branch.After the meeting, the following exchanges appeared:-
London branch is financially broke
But not as a result of financial mismanagement but rather as a result of external decisions regarding national finances that in practice appear to penalise branches that manage their finances effectively and in a responsible manner – such as staying in credit and building up a small contingency fund to pay deposits for cheaper early booking of hotel accommodation for AGM – saving substantial sums of money. I realise we are not the only Branch that this policy has impacted on detrimentally but it is false economy to stop financially savvy branches from having the ability to manage their finances in order to maximise the service they give to their members in response to local needs and instead allow greater centralised control of financial matters to occur that is less responsive to members needs and takes money from those who operate within the parameters of their budget to subsidise those who do not. This is not a real world financial strategy and incentivises financial mismanagement.
Oh blimey .. And we have to return any monies to chivarly rd. What happens now
If you run a tight ship you have to give it to those that don't – simples or they withhold your grant.