Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Branch Secretary Report



The Creation of the Local Arms Length Trading Company for SC&W for older people’s services has been the subject of much debate within the Branch. As legislation and the budgets for care were to be paid direct to the client it was with some reluctance that Unison could see the merit in this instance for the formation of the LATC.

We have been fully consulted and any concerns we have raised have been given full consideration and solutions found. The LATC Bonaccord Cares was due to go live on 1st April but that date is likely to be deferred for a short time. Unison will continue to be recognized as a Trade union representative for this group of staff and Employee and trade unions reps will be on the board. With the Governance and TUPE arrangements that will be in place we are confident that job security, terms and conditions for current and new staff will be protected.


Housing and Environment presented a Business Case to Council on the creation of a Limited Liability Partnership. We are pleased that Councilors after listening to the concerns of Trade Unions and others decided to defer this for 6 months for the service to look at all other options for the service going forward. Approximately 570 staff were in line to be transferred to this new company for Building Services many of which are Unison members. We will continue to meet with managers and members to discus what alternatives might be considered.

Corporate Governance Internal Transformation

Following the reassurances Clr McCaig gave at last years AGM that the ADM planned for this service would be stopped this was indeed agreed by Council. A new CG internal transformation project was announced. We have despite repeated attempts to gain information into what form this transformation will take received very little information. We would remind members that if they have ideas on changes which may result in savings for ACC to put these forward. Unison can help with this if required.


Unison have set up a sub group of reps from each of the directorates so that reports or policy changes which have came to us for consultation are fully discussed and any implications are understood.

We have negotiated with HR on several of the council policies currently in use. Pay Protection ended in December 2012 . After discussions over several months a policy on Pay Transition was approved by councilors. Staff will now if faced with pay detriment will receive full pay at original grade for 6 months then a further 6 months of 50% of the difference between previous and new grade. Several of the council’s policies relating to retirement left the council open to challenge in the courts through age discrimination. This has meant that phased retirement will cease. We negotiated a deferred start date for this so If staff plan to retire prior to July 2014 they must inform there service before July this year or they will not be granted the phased retirement. There have also been changes to the long service awards If you leave the council for any reason no longer just retirement you can apply for a long service payment provided you have at least 25 years service with the council.

Changes are also to be made to the Grievance, Disciplinary and Bullying and harassment policies currently Trade Unions have no rights to become involved in the informal stages of these policies. Amendments have been made that when approved by Committee will allow Trade Unison reps to get involved sooner in order to try and reduce the number of investigations and hearings currently being carried out. We have continued to highlight our concerns with The Maximizing Attendance policy and discussions are about to begin with HR formally to try and improve this policy to avoid some of the unnecessary stress this has caused to some employees.

Karen Davidson
Branch Secretary

A copy of the report will be availiable at the AGM on Wednesday 6th of March 5-7pm Douglas Hotel