AHW Opt In Window Under Discussion
We remain in talks concerning terms and conditions. The Department are now looking towards a further AHW opt-in window and we are discussing this with a view to achieving the best available offer for members, including the prospect of securing the Pay 2015 award for those previously excluded. There is a very tight timescale for that – Treasury rules allow until the end of June at the latest.
We recognise this is a sensitive topic but believe strongly in the individual right to choose. It is our duty to negotiate the best value offer we are able to secure, both financially and in terms of working arrangements. Discussions remain ongoing and we will update further as developments arise.
From one contentious subject to another. The PDR system as it currently stands has been the subject of much criticism. The equality outcomes continue to be very poor and the system demotivating in the extreme. The individual emphasis is utterly unsuitable for the operational environment where so much of our work is team focused – forced distribution ranking does nothing to improve performance, instead demotivating staff for no gain.
The ISU is involved in several strands of work to change the system and to improve the process, especially for the Operational Grades. We hope changes should start to come on line as early as this PDR year – again anything that helps members we will pursue, even if we all recognise that this reporting system is broken.
Christmas and Bank Holidays
The ISU has repeatedly raised concerns over Border Force’s apparent departure this year from published Home Office policy governing classification of public holidays and associated arrangements where Christmas, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day fall on a weekend. We are very disappointed that instructions contrary to the long-standing guidance previously observed appears to have been given to operational areas ahead of any formal consultation with the ISU on the issue.
To date we have received no substantive response to our concerns so have now escalated the matter.
Sponsor Compliance Network
UKVI members working in the Sponsor Compliance Network will be aware of business restructure proposals in this area. We are concerned that these proposals substantially reduce the geographical distribution of the network, leaving members in more remote locations particularly vulnerable whilst reducing coverage in some parts of the country. We also feel that grade balance in the new structure should be revisited. However we held a positive meeting with senior managers on 21st April and have received good, credible assurances that restructure proposals will be reviewed thoroughly in light of submissions. We have submitted written representations on behalf of members. We now await further details on next steps following that consideration process and will update members as we have further detail to report.
Blue Light Card
Members of Border Force, Immigration Enforcement and parts of UKVI are entitled to membership of a discount card scheme called the “Blue Light Card”. This offers online and high street discounts on a wide range of items. You can find more details on the website here https://www.bluelightcard.co.uk/
The website does refer to UKBA but we have raised this with Blue Light and they re-assure us that the service is available to all the groups which had formerly been part of UKBA. They will update their website in due course.
ISU General Secretary