Some schools have already arranged initial consultation meetings and whilst we are working flat out to support you in these meetings no consideration has been given to checking that they do not clash and it is therefore impossible to cover absolutely every meeting. We will give priority to meetings taking place where there is no UNISON Steward and try to cover as many as possible. Early notification will improve the chances of arranging for an officer to be present and asking your school to be flexible with times would be helpful. Feel free to contact the branch or ask your school to check availability. Let us know as soon as possible if you receive a letter inviting you to a meeting.
Whether there is a Branch Officer present, a steward or members only, we will aim to raise the following issues and ask for the school’s responses. Please add any questions or comments of your own
- Have the Governors checked that what they are being asked to do is lawful? e. dismiss and reengage staff. There is a suggestion, backed by a letter in circulation from Brown Jacobson employment solicitors and through NGA that it may be unlawful. What is the Governors’ position?
- DCC support trade union membership of employees, though the Employment Charter, we ask that you respect our decision to follow our union’s advice. This advice has been given to enable UNISON to complete a legal review. This is a real and on-going process and has been hampered by DCC’s unwillingness to provide data. Until the legal assessment is complete the union’s advice is given to protect our legal position by not willingly accepting the changes. If necessary this will mean going through Dismissal and Reengagement. However, it is possible to sign and agree by individual agreement right up until 31 May 2016.
- Again with reference to DCC’s Employment Charter we ask that additional hours are permanent hours to provide stability of employment and financial security. The offer of these hours should not be a reward for signing up to detrimental new terms and conditions.
- Are Head Teachers and Governors aware of the main change to contracts which means that support staff are only required to meet their contractual obligations re hours/weeks worked? It is important therefore that the hours offered from 1 June 2016 need to be sufficient to cover all duties. Eg preparation, marking, staff meeting etc, setting up and clearing away. There may be implications here for additional teachers’ workload.
- We are asking for a fair/even handed approach to offering additional hours within each school without favouritism or discrimination.
- Many admin staff and also TA outcomes in DCC are less favourable than those in other authorities and therefore a large number of appeals could be lodged. We would like schools and governors to give a commitment to support our appeals by reflecting honestly on the roles and responsibilities undertaken .
- We wish to support colleagues who have had a rise to minimum earning levels as they play an important role in the life of school and children’s well-being. Their hours should be protected from restructure and redundancy in favour of cheaper agency /contract workers. This is also a DCC Employment Charter commitment.
- The new template letter produced by DCC rules out term time holiday. This means that there is not a harmonisation of terms and conditions across the workforce. As harmonisation is the basis of these major changes to our terms and conditions, can the school explain their position regarding this and also the withdrawal of the right to apply for additional unpaid leave as set out in the original offer.