North Somerset Council have been consulting with UNISON on reducing enhancements in order to save approximately £250,000 annually from the staff pay bill. The council argue that this is necessary because of the current financial situation and because our levels of enhancements are higher than in other local authorities. This, according to the council, will minimise the need for compulsory redundancies. UNISON opposes any reductions to our members’ terms and conditions. But it is the membership who have to decide on this IMPORTANT ISSUE, and ballot papers will be sent out shortly.
In the meantime if you receive a letter from North Somerset Council informing you that enhancements have been reduced and asking you to sign a new contract, DO NOT SIGN THE NEW CONTRACT. Contact the branch office immediately. If you choose to sign the new contract make sure you indicate clearly in writing that you are signing under protest pending legal advice from your trade union.
The proposals have changed since we asked you to respond to the previous consultative ballot, and they are now the following:
- Non-contractual additional hours Monday to Friday to cease if they do not meet agreed criteria (to be agreed / authorised in advance by line manager). Agreed criteria are:
- When overtime is being used to cover short-term vacancies and approval has been given to fill the vacancy
- When overtime is being used to cover short-term sickness and work cannot be redistributed or absorbed
- To meet minimum health & safety requirements
- Costs must be within approved budget
- To fulfil business critical needs
- To contribute to achieving income targets
- Non contractual and contractual additional hours to be paid at same rates, as follows:
- Contractual overtime payments reduced from plain time + 50% to plain time only. Overtime payment to be at same level as enhancements for other times.
- Non-contractual overtime Monday to Friday to be reduced from plain time + 33% to plain time only
- Non-contractual overtime Saturday & Sunday to be reduced from plain time + 50% to plain time + 25%
- Non-contractual overtime Public & Statutory holidays to be reduced from plain time + 100% to plain time + 50% (with no TOIL)
- Enhanced rate for Saturday & Sunday working to be reduced from plain time + 50% to plain time + 25%
- Enhanced rate for Public or extra Statutory holiday to be reduced from plain time + 50% + TOIL to plain time + 50% with no TOIL
- Enhanced rate for evening work (8pm – 10 pm) to remain at plain time + 25%
- Enhanced rate for night work (10pm – 6 am) to remain at plain time + 33%
· No change to Standby and Oncall payments (£32.85 per 24 hour period), but these duties will only continue where there is a demonstrable evidence of need to have staff on call, and the following criteria will also need to be met:
- Initial response cannot be adequately provided through Senior Duty Rota or existing Out of Hours Emergency Contacts
- Cover cannot be provided by volunteer rota
- Where there are very few instances of actual call out a risk assessment / options appraisal should be undertaken for that area.
- Callout payments for attending work whilst on standby or Oncall remain unchanged at £13.20 per hour.