The North Somerset branch of UNISON has started this blog so that all members of the branch who have access to the web can keep in touch about the cuts which are affecting their workplaces. Branch Secretary Helen Thornton will aim to write a blog once a week to keep members informed of what's been happening in the branch that week. We strongly encourage members to add their own comments to the blog.
Tuesday 23rd November - Western Daily Press contact Branch Secretary re: North Somerset Council press release announcing the advertisement of a Commercial and Contracts Manager, who will be responsible for outsourcing services, along with managing existing contracts. The job is JM8 grade, a salary of £60k per year and as a result doesn't go through Job Evaluation panels at the council, which UNISON reps sit on. To put it bluntly we knew nothing about it. Branch Secretary gives comment to Western Daily Press on UNISON's opposition to the privatisation of public services because it is our view that the private sector provide a poorer quality and more expensive service, when private companies put profits before people. We also oppose the use of public money to create profits for private companies. This gives us an indication (as if we didn't know already) that the council intend to privatise many of their services.
Wednesday 24th November - 3 UNISON reps walk out of a terms and conditions meeting with the Head of HR at North Somerset Council because of his statement to implement changes to enhancements for council employees, despite our objections to them because of equal pay issues and as as result our refusal to agree to this change. Our colleagues in the teaching unions also walk out with us. The changes to enhancements will affect our lowest paid members, most of whom are women. North Somerset Council are now likely to issue new contracts to affected staff. It is also now likely we will be consulting members on some form of industrial action.