Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ballot Problems

Please note that we have been notified that some of the Ballot papers that were issued have not printed correctly.

If you have been issued with a blank form or one that is printed only on one side please speak to your Steward as soon as possible and they will advise you what to do. Alternatively write whether you accept or reject option 2 on the blank side and return it to the freepost address.

Apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Ballot on the Employers Latest Increment Offer

After further negotiations with Trade Unions, Aberdeen City Council have come forward with a revised offer relating to the payment of increments which has been outlined on the "Zone". The Branch at it's Special Meeting on Monday 20 September agreed to issue a further ballot to members asking you to vote on the latest proposal.

The Branch is of the opinion that option 2 is the best offer that can be achieved by negotiation. We are making no recommendation as to whether you should accept or reject option 2 however we have provided you with the pros and cons of accepting the offer to help you decide.

Acceptance of the proposal will mean:-
  • the full hourly rate of the increment will be apid from 1 November with no backdating
  • the increment monies due from 1 April to 31 October 2010 will be negotiated separately to settle Employment Tribunal claims submitted
  • the employer commits to paying in full the increment due on 1 April 2011, subject to individuals meeting the criteria of "normally" (which will permit the employer to withhold or delay increments where individuals are subjectto disciplinary procedures or absence management policies)
  • that negotiations will continue with the Trade Unions to obtain a clear set of criteria and guidance for the definition of "normally" and the circumstances in which an individual's increment can be withheld. It is our understanding that this will relate to individual behaviours and not global financial pressure.

Rejection of the offer will mean:-

  • leaving the Employment Tribunal to decide whether the increment is due by pursuing the claims for unlawful deduction of wages. If the Council loses they have said that they will appeal; this means there may be no final outcome (and payment of the outstanding increments) for several months (possibly as late as the end of 2012). Although we know we have a strong argument for payment of the increments as a contractual right and the rate for the job, there are no guarantees
  • because of public sector predicted pay freezes your hourly rate will remain at 2010 levels until the outcome of the Employment Tribunal
  • members will have to be prepared to support some form of industrial action to pursue any better settlement.

We need you to tell us what you want to do. We as a Branch need a clear mandate on how to proceed on your behalf. The Ballot paper was issued on Tuesday 21 September and must be returned by Monday 27 September. This is because the Finance and Resources Committee meets on Tuesday 28 September whereby they may make a decision on this issue. Use your vote.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Press Release Latest Developments

UNISON welcomes latest developments in Aberdeen City Increments Row

A new proposal to settle the dispute over non-payment of the increment due to Aberdeen City Council staff is being welcomed as a step in the right direction by UNISON. Aberdeen City Council has released details of proposals to pay the increment due in April 2010 from November 2010.

Karen Maxfield, Branch Secretary for Aberdeen City Council UNISON says:-

"we welcome the Council's move towards paying the increment in full - this recognises our members' contractual rights and the great unhappiness that the proposal not to pay the increment at all caused. However, we are still in negotiations about the detail, need to consider all the implications and then consult our membership before any decision is reached. UNISON has not decided yet whether this proposal should be recommended to members."