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Important Schools update from our Branch Secretary – Wed 11 May 2016

We are committed to keeping members updated on the current situation with Derby City Council.

Locally we had a strong mandate from members, working in schools, that they pledged to canvas the local areas, prior to the election, to try and lobby the Elected Members to reconsider some elements of the impact made by the changes to Terms and Conditions.  We believed that a meeting with Elected members with all issues up for discussion would be productive and help work towards resolving a lot of the outstanding worries.

We believed that we had managed to secure a meeting today with key elected members to discuss all matters. This commitment came from the Labour Group in Derby. However this has not materialised. We have further chased to arrange a meeting (as we are reasonable and appreciate diaries can be busy) but we have had no further commitment to meet from the Derby Labour Group.

This is highly disappointing. We had hoped for a meeting to be able to share all your concerns and look at trying to work with the Elected Members to seek a better solution favourable to all.

In the absence of any dialogue with the Elected Members, this is not the case, therefore we are left with no alternative but to continue with other, more antagonistic, forms of activity as we consider it essential that UNISON Members views are heard.

We can update you on the following:

  • We have given notice to Derby City Council of the intention to Ballot all members in Schools. The ballot papers will be sent out in the next few days. We urge all members, included in the ballot, to use your vote. This is vital to show how strongly you feel.
  • We have requested a meeting with the Elected Leaders of the other political parties in Derby, as we need their assistance in trying to seek a resolution to this complicated matter.  We have had confirmation from some of these Elected Members a willingness, and indeed a date to meet. We will keep you further updated on any outcome to this.
  • We have spoken to the Head of the Local Government Association (Labour Group), bringing to their attention the plight of our members in Derby and the solution we are seeking. We had a commitment from the LGA Head of the Labour Group to look at the proposals we have identified as potential solutions from other neighbouring authorities.
  • We have shared an update on the current situation, regarding appeals against dismissals, with our Solicitors who are making an assessment based on the further and better particulars. Again we will update you once this assessment is complete.
  • As you know, UNISON lodged a formal dispute on 26 February 2016. This has still not been heard. This was acknowledged by Derby City Council, but no further communication has taken place. Therefore we are seeking to escalate this dispute to a higher national level.
  • A number of affected members are willingly speaking to the local media about the impact this will have on their lives. This is essential to help raise the profile of the changes being imposed and highlighting the plight of individuals. We commend their bravery to speak up about the impact on their families and the communities they work and live in.

 As you will read, We are determined to keep this situation at the forefront of the Council’s agenda. We are doing all we are able to try and secure a better solution and positive outcomes for our members.

This is not what we want to do. We would rather a meeting with the Elected Members who are able to influence change. We would like to discuss all options and consideration be given prior to 1 June 2016 implementation.

 Nicole Berrisford, Branch Secretary

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