UNISON Falkirk Council – Consultative Ballot Terms & Conditions
As the Local Government Pay Ballot Closes, another Opens.
Separate to this year’s Pay Ballot, Falkirk Council UNISON Branch have opened a consultative ballot on terms and conditions cuts. Falkirk initiated consultation with Trade Unions close to two years ago with a stated view of reaching agreement on a modernised package of terms conditions.
Falkirk Council has now concluded that the following terms & conditions, Long Service Awards, Telephone allowance, Relocation expenses, Overnight allowance, Subsistence allowance and Excess travel should be removed. They have also stated that, settlement of elements of the 2018 pay deal which Falkirk Council have yet to implement, is conditional upon acceptance of these cuts. UNISON Falkirk understood that the living wage consolidation element of the 2018 pay deal had been agreed without conditions attached. Falkirk Council has now kicked this particular door in by insisting that implementation of a sustainable Scottish Living Wage is only possible with the removal of the above noted conditions. The genie is now out of the bottle and we encourage you to participate in our Ballot. Your UNISON branch and negotiators cannot recommend these proposals to you for the following reasons:
We could not in good conscience recommend proposals, which would see employees who are currently subject to these conditions and associated payments, be placed in financial detriment.
Additionally, when the modernisation package was first muted, Scotland was not amid a pandemic which has, potential to increase the reliance upon these allowances.
Council leadership were not embarking on a radical overhaul of its model of working, which includes; reduction of desk spaces by 50 plus percent as part of their anytime anywhere review (hot desking/home working), reducing their property portfolio and reorganising their entire structure.
Falkirk Council cannot be allowed to go back on elements of the 2018 pay deal unchallenged.
Now is not the time to remove these allowances.
Falkirk Council UNISON Branch do not believe it is right to review these or any other conditions in isolation and the cuts should be held in abeyance, until after the ongoing reorganisation discussions, have concluded.
For example, removal of excess travel makes it more likely, that little thought will be given to where staff like you will be asked to work.
Whilst increased homeworking continues to be the new normal, the pandemic has shown there is no willingness on the part of councils, to compensate employees for any increased cost that they would face working from home i.e., utility bills, heating and internet/telephone bills or mileage from home to work.
Removing these allowances opens the door to any time anywhere culture that is funded out of the employee’s own pocket.
UNISON believe that the employer should not be looking to decide on these proposals in isolation, rather they should form part of the ongoing discussion.
HOT Desking- What is it and why should you care?
With the move towards reducing office space, Falkirk Council will likely look at implementing a desk sharing process, known as "hot desking".
UNISON nationally, has reservations about the health and safety implications about this approach to working and have produced information for UNISON activists and members which you can view on our Hot Desking information documents below.