Thursday, November 30, 2006

Winners and Losers

With the onward march of the Council's Job Evaluation process and the looming possibility that our members will be expected to bear the brunt of attempts by the council to dig themselves out of an £8m sized hole, you could be forgiven for thinking that all employees might be asked to tighten their belts. Not so.

Just a little information that might provide some context and might warm the cockles of your, apparently well-paid, little hearts.

The recently released Authorities Statement of Accounts has shown that the number of Council officers earning salaries of over £50k a year has increased by 25% in the last year!

What this means in plain figures is this; there are 53 managers paid between £50 -60k (up from 35 last year); the number on £70 -80k doubled from 8 to 16 last year; two senior managers earn £110 -120k (compared to none last year) and two managers earn £130 -140k!

Now we are not financial whizzkids in the Unison office, but that looks to us like additional spending on management posts of approximately £1.9m over last year!

Of course, we probably don't need to remind you but just in case you have been living in a cave for the last 4 months, this "efficient," use of resources sits alongside the £3,000 per week it is costing to keep the Managing Director on "gardening leave!"

We are sure that you are all resting comfy in the knowledge that the management of the Authority rests in such well paid hands and that you will not be feeling at all nervous that the very people who are charged with making decisions about how your pay will be affected by Job Evaluation are themselves so adequately rewarded!

Just to top this all off, the publically available Cabinet report, considered at the meeting on 29 November, makes interesting reading (well ok, not interesting as such, but you know what we mean). The point is well made that competency levels amongst managers for Financial Management vary widely - ranging from "proactive management," through to "sheer non-acceptance of responsibility."

We do not believe that you and your colleagues, delivering public services day in and day out, should be made to pay the price for management failures and for a political agenda that sees pay cuts and reductions in services as the inevitable future for DMBC staff and the people of Doncaster.

Watch this space brothers and sisters.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Job Evaluation Meeting

DMBC are currently talking to your UNISON representatives about the implementation of the job evaluation scheme. Contrary to what many of you may think, job evaluation has not yet been implemented, therefore your pay could potentially be changed in the near future.

It is extremely likely that some members will be downgraded!

The branch historically holds a position the we will not particpate in the implimentation of job evaluation until "we agree a pay protection policy that is acceptable to our members".

We need as many members as possible to attend the meeting so that you can have your say on whether the current position is a correct one, and if so what would be a suitable pay protection policy?

The meeting will be held Thursday 7th December 2006, Carr House Centre, 5.45pm.

Please make every effort to attend this very important meeting.

Bad News on Pensions

Bad news on pensions – the Government have pre-empted further negotiations and pressed ahead with proposals for formal consultation which are clearly unacceptable – for further details click here.

Have a read of the links and let branch officers know what you think. Many of the branch executive think we need to be resuming a programme of strike action to defend our pension rights!

Congratulations to those branch members who attended last Wednesday’s lobby of Parliament – If you could not make it to last week’s lobby of Parliament, there is still plenty for you to do.

First, recruit a colleague to UNISON – to strengthen our bargaining position. Second – write to your MP and tell them that you don’t want to see members of the Local Government Pension Scheme paying more for less! Third, keep checking this blog – save it in your “favourites” or bookmarks!

Click here for the latest up to the minute news from UNISON HQ on the dispute over our pension scheme.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Doncaster Supports Coventry Strikers

Just a quick update from the Branch Committee!

The Branch Executive on Tues 7 Nov. 2006 voted to donate £500 and to send a message of support on behalf of Doncaster Unison to those members in Coventry fighting against the ravages of an imposed Single Status deal.

The action in Coventry continues on a rolling, selective basis with new groups of workers being brought in to all out strike action. It speaks volumes about the detrimental impact of Single status and Job Evaluation on large numbers of often low-paid workers that the membership has felt it necessary to take such determined action.

With Single Status disputes rearing up in other parts of the country, most notably Glasgow, and with negotiations now taking place in DMBC over the implementation of changes to the Pay and Rewards system - the way you are paid, bonuses, premium payments etc., we are obviously going to have to work hard to keep you informed.

To this end Doncaster Unison is calling a Branch members meeting for the 6 December 2006 (venue to be confirmed). We recognise that it is not always easy for our members to get to meetings but would encourage all members to try to attend. The Council's proposals will have major implications for many of our members and it is crucial that you are involved at all stages in directing the negotiating position of your Union representatives. We are not here to reach cosy deals with the Council behind closed doors but to represent you and to reflect your views.

Friday, November 10, 2006

General Secretary says "Defend our Pensions"

UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis wants you to join us on the lobby of Parliament for the Local Government Pension Scheme on Wednesday 22 November.

Dave says; “There are just a few weeks during which we will be holding intense talks on protection and on a new look scheme so it’s vital we put on the maximum pressure on employers and politicians during that period.

We need as many people as possible on this lobby.The outcome of the pensions dispute will make a massive financial difference to many of us if we want to retire before 65. It will also determine the future for coming generations of local government workers.We only have any sort of decent pension scheme because of those who came before us and fought for it.

Make sure you are at Parliament on 22 November, contact the branch for transport details.

We also need to prepare ourselves for the likelihood of further industrial action - but before we get to that stage we need to make clear to the very many Labour MPs linked to our trade union that we won't tolerate being treated less favourably than other public servants.

If lifetime protection of existing pension rights is ok for civil servants, health workers and teachers (and it is!) then it is ok for us too.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

An exciting project that works in partnership with all major public sector Unions and DMBC to promote and encourage learning.

There are lots of opportunities available with a whole host of courses to suit EVERYONE, and whats even better the majority are FREE!! Please click on the Lifelong Learning Link on the right hand site for further details. Dont delay do it today!!