There's been a long radio silence from the South West, but the following has emerged:-
IT switch or on? Next week and beyond.
Short Branch Update 20th January 2017
This is brief update to keep you informed as far as we can on the current issues. We are still holding on for the long awaited legal advisories that we have asked for as these will tie in directly to the next scheduled National Joint secretaries meeting around the middle of February.
Sadly we are there because of the total and constant failing of Working Links to really want to engage properly on the staffing workloads arrangements. Deliver any appropriate input to working on a fair and equitable workload weighting agreement, or to provide all staff and the unions with genuine risk assessments under occupational health and safety legislation. Despite their obscure and poorly researched avoidance response we have little positive to report on the current position.
In that process however, NAPO UNISON are also waiting on the formal and legal advice for the health and safety failures that Working Links continue to require from their agents and management. Napo will not be party to ignoring their legal obligations and will enforce those issues. We continue to challenge the already failing position they have advanced. Many of you will recall we have called for equality impact assessments on staffing who both remain and were previously claimed to be at risk because of the WL appalling calculations on reducing so many staff.
Here we are a long way down the road and many staff who are feeling like they are stuck in roles and not provided a genuine or fair equal exit route. Certainly nothing similar to likes of others who were previously favoured by rank or role. The hostile tactic of severance which many staff surprisingly appeared happy to take and with huge personal losses to themselves. This situation only contributes to the bulging and greed driven pocket of the Working Links money absorption policy. By that there were no staff awarded their entitlements to pensions. Working Links choosing to make flat and disadvantageous incentives to the already depressed and weary. OK enough of that we now have what we predicted a core of some harder line staff who were neither able to get out or indeed could afford to, with such a poor prospect facing them who are now going to be subsumed into the new staffing to continuity. Oh really!
With that they will not have any recognised workloads agreement, no health and safety assessments on buildings locations and travel. Workload weighting for new tasks! Nothing from IT and assistive user technology arrangements or union consultation. Locally or nationally. Napo members are already reporting a continued onslaught at the attempts to vary their jobs and as yet zero consultation or proper protections in place. All side stepped and avoided in any documents and proper responses from the Working Links Spin cycle.
You all get the picture NAPO e mail is busy and we continue to issue the same advice as we wait patiently for the Working Links wheels to fall off. Today gives us another prime example of the over energetic hurry to collapse the IT system and yet they now report they are still without the important permission's to do so. Is this more about losing IT on costs and making that extra lolly in profits than actually making sure things are well understood? Who knows at this moment, only we continue to challenge the mess on your behalf.
There are too many examples coming through that illustrate the unfair practices of Working Links towards the diverse nature and needs of our staff across a range of protected characteristics. Also the change in locations and flat rejections to honour staff terms and protections, are all on costs to lowest paid employees. I want to know what chunk of public funding is finding its way into the board members of Working Links, its time we made those inquiries. It is all set for more dispute as the issues take hold and more staff develop the confidence and start to reject the Working Links way and the constant "our people" rubbish. If that were the case, treat our people our members properly and honour their terms comes echoing to my mind which has been expressed to me a whole lot of late, from many and very angry members.
Unpaid work at the forefront for the moment as these staff have the most depressing attacks on their roles and safe working practices. Vans groups sizes and pick up, all under the spotlight for a major issue and dispute. We are proud of our members holding the line there and we continue with the authorities shortly to bring some much needed direction and correcting to this situation. In the meantime we assert there has still been no risk assessments to health and safety to their proposed planned changes to unpaid work. There cannot be any reasonable why not? We speculate that if they had done so properly they could not operate such a drastic cut in operations. Well you will all realise what that means.
Currently we are yet to see how the shiny new laptop roll out will impact on your current jobs and to what extent the management try and vary your roles without agreement. If you are in doubt, contact the branch. Continue to press home the need to have representation and the need to consult properly on the issues and ensure you get everything in writing. As their changes start to drive home a more aggressive direct, we can then take stock of the protections and process we engage to represent you.
This branch update was meant to be a sad recognition that today we are planned to come off the previous and last ties to the public service IT system. That gave us an additional sense of identity as was public sector workers. Instead we have that bleak orange facing new screen of the take over and less of a light touch contract management that they tried to dupe many of us to believe. Well here we are a couple of days reprieve but whatever happens on the other side of the migration, Napo will continue to get our message out there to you. If necessary open a new access point for all members through Napos national network. That said, I could not believe they would openly cut our 'all members information' route while they still hold section 188 compulsory redundancy notices, despite so many of our staff leaving shortly. Good luck to many of them, our Napo members.
In saying goodbye we also loose our very well respected and ex Napo Branch Chair of Dorset. No doubt fed up and angered by the situation we all face another PO lost to the region and another mark on the spiral downwards of quality but there we are. Sadly our long served colleague Debbie Holmes will be leaving Napo ranks and the former great probation. Having served many years in a union role and a great supporter of equality fairness and practices. I will just say a simple thanks to Debbie here for now, but will mark her leaving for a new role properly in the next branch report. Thanks Deb.
Members thanks to all as we continue to fight to ensure your protections and restitution of your terms as we continue in the current dispute over health safety and your future securities. We will update you on the ACAS feud and virtual farce shortly.
Dino Peros SSW Branch Chair
JNCC Napo Rep