Agenda Item No.
JOINT CONSULTATIVE FORUM
Minutes of a meeting held on 10th October, 2011.
Present: Councillor Mrs. J.E. Charles (Chairman); Councillors Mrs. M.E.J. Birch, Ms. V.L. Ellis, A.D. Hampton, Mrs. M. Kelly Owen and Mrs. M. Randall.
Representatives of the Trade Unions: Mr. P. Carter, Ms. P. Harvey, Mr. R. Hughes and Mr. G. Moseley (UNISON); Mr. G. Beaudette (NUT); Mr. T. Cox (NASUWT); Mr. N. Patterson (Unite); and Mr. C. Jordan and Mr. N. Stokes (GMB).
(a) Welcome -
The Chairman welcomed all present, referring specifically to Paula Harvey who would be assuming the role of Vice-Chairman for the meeting.
(b) Apologies for Absence -
These were received from Councillor M.R. Wilson, Mr. N. Hart (UNISON) and Mr. G. Lewis (GMB).
(c) Minutes and Matters Arising -
The following matters were referred to under “Matters Arising”:
· Consultation – Mr. Carter alluded to an issue in respect of consultation which he would raise at the end of the meeting.
· Facility time: discrimination against UNISON representatives – the Head of Human Resources notified the JCF that the meeting referred to in minute no. (l)(b) had taken place and that he was in the process of refining the agreement in relation to the above as a conseqence.
· Schools’ Management of Attendance Policy – the Head of Human Resources confirmed that the report requested by Cabinet regarding the above would be submitted on 19th October, 2011. Mr. Cox drew attention to the fact that whilst the Head of Human Resources had indicated there had been extensive consultation, accepting that there had indeed been consultation with the teaching unions on the Schools’ Management of Attendance Policy, those unions had not been consulted on the corporate policy. Mr. Cox commented that therein lay a tension as to how things would progress.
· Facility time for national office – the Head of Human Resources stated that he had chaired a meeting between himself, Mr. Cox and his Regional Officer at which the above matter had been discussed. A further meeting was scheduled for November, following which a report on the outcome would be submitted to the JCF.
(d) Minutes of Directorate Consultative Groups -
(i) Learning and Development -
The minutes of the Consultative Group held on 14th July, 2011 were submitted. The Principal Personnel Officer indicated that it had been necessary to postpone the meeting in September and that it had not been possible to reschedule that meeting until November. Mr. Cox stated that the September meeting had been postponed at very short notice and that, whilst all the issues had been discussed previously, they required resolution. The Teaching Unions had requested that the meeting be held prior to November. The Principal Personnel Officer agreed to see if the date of the meeting could be brought forward.
(ii) Social Services -
The minutes of the meetings held on 9th May, 13th June and 11th July were noted without comment.
(e) Job Evaluation Feedback -
In addition to the information contained in the report, the Head of Human Resources referred to the ongoing briefings arranged for, for example, teachers, governors, members and officers following the conclusion of negotiations and to the revisions approved by Cabinet on 21st September to the previous proposals. The Leader and the Cabinet Member for HR and Equalities had met trade union representatives prior to that Cabinet meeting to address trade union concerns. Cabinet had subsequently agreed to an additional change to provide for time and a quarter payments for Saturday working (6am-10pm) and time and a half for Saturday nights (10pm-6am).
On the basis of the above, a further report would be submitted to Council for consideration on 19th October, 2011. The Head of Service expressed the hope that a collective agreement could be reached but, should that prove not to be the case, Council would be asked to consider direct implementation. He indicated that, as requested by 5th October, the trade unions had now confirmed their intention to re-ballot their members and to recommend and support the proposals now on offer. The ballot was anticipated to take place towards the end of November and the decision known prior to Christmas 2011, implementation of the scheme to take place on 1st March, 2012.
On behalf of the Trade Unions, Mr. Moseley concurred with the above views. He commented that the improvements made to the original proposals had been recognised and confirmed the intention to re-ballot, adding that the meeting with the Leader and Cabinet Member referred to above had proved very helpful.
(f) Feedback on Policy Development-
In addition to the details contained within the report in respect of the current position on HR policy development, the Operational Manager Human Resources referred to the establishment of a Task and Finish Group to consider policy development regarding car mileage allowances.
(g) Proposed Timetable of Meetings 2011/12 -
AGREED - T H A T the next meeting of the Joint Consultative Forum be held at 10am on Monday, 27th February, 2012 and that the date of the first meeting in 2012/13 be agreed between the Chairman and the Joint Secretaries following the re-establishment of the JCF at the Annual Meeting of the Council on 23rd May, 2012, it being noted that a potential date was 25th June, 2012.
(h) Consultation -
As alluded to earlier in the meeting, Mr. Carter referred to concerns in relation to consultation which had arisen at a meeting of the Housing Improvement Programme which had taken place immediately prior to the JCF. Those concerns had been referred to the Director of Finance, ICT and Property and he indicated that he wished to reserve the right to bring the same before the JCF if necessary. The Chairman agreed that the matter could be raised at the JCF subject to all other avenues having been exhausted and no resolution found.