Falkirk Council Dump Environmental Enforcement
Falkirk Council UNISON Branch are deeply concerned, with the move by Falkirk Council to serve compulsory redundancy notices on our members working in Environmental Enforcement. UNISON is challenging this with the Employer and Councillors and are taking Legal Advice on behalf of these members.
Falkirk Council have, voted to remove their Environmental Enforcement Team. Today 24th May 2023 they served notice of Compulsory Redundancy on their Environmental Enforcement Officers. The Environmental Enforcement Team in Falkirk are responsible for investigation of Fly Tipping incidents in Falkirk. Due to the falling level of recorded incidents Falkirk Council voted to Remove this service as part of their budget saving exercise despite their being no clear plan in place to deal with problem Fly Tipping in the area.
UNISON is opposing the decision and have asked the Council to reconsider their position to safeguard the residents of Falkirk Council and the jobs of the workers currently delivering the service.
UNISON Falkirk Branch Secretary: Janet Robertson said. “The Enforcement Team provide a deterrent to Fly Tipping in the area. The fact that the Council are telling us that fly tipping is reducing, means the Environmental Enforcement Team are effective.” Our concern is that this move is an invitation to all Fly Tippers in the surrounding areas to dump their rubbish in Falkirk unchallenged.” “We are also concerned that if this move goes ahead, it will mean that Falkirk Council will move to close even more essential services, making further compulsory redundancies in the process.”
Local Government funding cuts are being blamed for the reduction in essential services, many departments in Falkirk Council are involved in making efficiency savings through Organisational Change.
Increasingly the employer is approaching us to let us know about changes to working practices they may be exploring with staff. Are you aware that you have the right to have your Trade Union involved at a local level if this is happening and at an early stage in the process? ACAS guidance says:
“Consultation is when an employer talks and listens to employees or workers and any trade union or other relevant employee representatives about organisational issues and changes which affect them. The aim of consultation is to work together to reach an agreement on a change or find a solution to an issue.” (ACAS)
Our Trade Union recognition agreement allows us to represent you and you should not be put off asking UNISON for help even if your management team is not concerned that any changes are sufficient for the need for consultation. It is always best to check, and it helps us identify any wider issues that may appear.
Staff in a specific area were advised that due to the pay claim last year that this constituted changes to duties in their remit, this was certainly not the case and was clarified once they had contacted UNISON for advice on the matter.
Service areas which are under redesign have advised staff that the Trade Unions have agreed to the changes, this in effect is not the case, the case is that the trade unions had attended the meeting and been advised of the redesign NOT agreed it. It is always best to contact the Trade UNION for clarification on matters of concern to have the correct information.
There is no such thing as a stupid question, if you are unsure always ask, we are here to help and will support you at all times.
UNISON is here to help; we understand the consultation process and work with members to build a case to achieve good outcomes. You should let us know about any changes that are being presented to you from management. Get in touch with the branch office for more information on how we can help.