UNISON LBTH members meeting 16 December 2020

UNISON LBTH members meeting Wednesday 16 December 12.30 by Zoom (additional Meeting at 5pm for those unable to make lunchtime meetings)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 863 2251 9456
Passcode: LBTHUni2


Guest Speakers
 UNISON We Are With You dispute
 Unite Rolls Royce Barnoldswick

• Covid update
• Public Sector Pay Freeze
• Public Sector £95k exit cap
• Update on Tower Rewards
• Update on Council reviews and restructures


Public Sector Pay Freeze
This meeting utterly rejects the insulting attempt by Rishi Sunak to impose a pay freeze for public sector workers. Just how essential the work we do in supporting our communities has been demonstrated throughout the pandemic.

This government cannot justify pay freezes for public sector workers whilst facilitating blatant profiteering, often by friends of Tory MPs, on contracts for PPE that is many cases proves defective, or track and tracing that barely works; and while the richest in society continue to not pay their fair share of taxes.

We fully support the claim for a 10% increase in NJC pay in 2021 to start to make up for the cuts to real pay that Local Authority workers have suffered throughout the years of austerity measures, and the call for a coordinated response across UNISON and other public sector unions, including coordinated industrial action if necessary.

Tower Rewards
This meeting notes that we are now in the ninth week since meeting with the Mayor and Chief Executive where they committed to a response in four weeks.

In that time events have only strengthened the case UNISON has put for further changes to the Tower Rewards proposals.

Proposals around the £95k exit cap have gone further in Local Government than in any other sector, leading to substantial detrimental changes for many workers aged 55 or more, and reducing exit costs for the Council. Improved severance payments would partially offset the detriment.

On pay the government announcement on a pay freeze hits hardest at exactly the groups of workers worst affected by Tower Rewards, the vast majority of the workforce on middle to lower pay who have seen real pay cut by a quarter over the austerity years. The incremental increases available to use for these grades in the 2018 NJC pay settlement would partially offset this as UNISON has pressed throughout the Tower Rewards dispute.

The reduction in travel allowances has disproportionately impacted many groups of workers, such as social workers, that the Council claimed Tower Rewards was designed to benefit.

In the absence of a response from the Council we instruct Branch Officers to seek approval through the appropriate UNISON structures to re ballot for industrial action at the earliest point possible in the New Year.

Should the Council make a meaningful response in the interim we reaffirm our commitment to fully consult with members on any meaningful changes.

Motion on Tower Rewards carried November 3rd

This meeting notes:
• the meeting that took place with the Mayor and Chief Executive on Thursday 15th October
• that management have said they will respond further within 4 weeks
• that it is now clear that there are significant further cuts to jobs planned this financial year and ongoing
• that management, the Mayor and Councillors, claimed that Tower Rewards was not about cutting severance payments now and then cutting jobs
• that the sudden introduction by the government of the proposed £95,000 exit cap has had a dramatic further impact on compensation provided in redundancy at a time when the prospects of gaining alternative employment are dramatically reduced due to the pandemic
• that all staff deserve reward for the work we continue to do supporting our community through the pandemic, not just those on higher grades
We resolve:
• To reconvene to consider any further proposals, and to consult fully with members on any meaningful changes
• To call on UNISON’s Industrial Action Committee to formally endorse the branches request to re ballot for industrial action if necessary pending management’s response