Unions at Sandwell Council negotiate no compulsory redundancies “jobs promise”

Following members and union reps at the local authority in the West Midlands being frustrated  with the council’s seeming lack of will to redeploy staff at risk of redundancy (sound familiar?), UNISON and the other unions have now successfully negotiated an agreement to ensure no compulsory redundancies 2015-17.

UNISON, Unite the Union and the GMB were involved with negotiations with the Council on a jobs promise aiming to reduce the amount of workers being made redundant.

The agreement consists of the following key terms:

  • Anyone whose job is made redundant in the next two years will in the first instance be offered a ‘suitable alternative’ job, which should be on the same pay.
  • For the first six months anyone redeployed will be offered training and support for the new role. We negotiated a guarantee that no one will be ‘performance managed’ for the first six months.
  • Negotiations resulted in an agreement that if either the employee or employer thought the redeployment was not working at the six months point then voluntary redundancy could be enacted.
  • The Council has agreed to reduce the use of agency and Templink workers.
  • Job Descriptions may change as part of the annual appraisal but job groups or individuals have the right to union representation if necessary. Any changes to job groups will be through consultation with unions as normal.

Following Camden UNISON’s deputation to a full Council meeting on 13 April management has agreed to talks about a proposal to avoid compulsory redundancies in line with the Sandwell ‘job promise’, and we will keep members updated.

Of course the more members we have the more likely we will be able to negotiate a good deal so please encourage your colleagues to join UNISON, or join yourself if you haven’t yet!

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