ISU Membership Update 09.12.2016

Dear Members,

A victory for common sense (and the ISU!)

The Permanent Secretary announced recently that Home Office will have a new PDR system from next April and the much maligned forced distribution will be no more.

The ISU has been opposed to the use of forced distribution throughout and we have made our member’s views clear on this at every opportunity.  Forced distribution is known to produce adverse equality outcomes, and indeed did so in the Home Office.  But it is also very demoralising and demotivating to staff.  A change – almost any change! – is most welcome.

This change is a victory for all of us and a welcome relief.  However matters do not quite end there.  There is not much detail on the new system yet.  Staff views are being sought on some elements of the new system, which will focus on training and development, and the ISU will continue to have input into the design as it emerges.

No decision has yet been made as to what should take place at the end of this PDR year which will complete under the old system.  However the ISU will push heavily for the forced ranking, at least as it relates to the “lower 10%”, to be abandoned.  Neither staff nor managers need to be forced to go through a demotivating process with its documented adverse equality outcomes which will also have little or no relevance going forward.


ISU National Conference 2017

Next year’s Annual Conference will take place on 15th & 16th March, once more at the Hilton Metropole, Brighton. I will shortly write to each Branch confirming delegate numbers, seeking details of those nominated to attend and confirming the various domestic arrangements for Conference.

In the meantime, Branches are cordially invited to submit Motions for debate at Conference. Not all motions are self-explanatory and it would be of assistance during the Branch mandating process if a short explanatory note could be appended to the motion, to explain the context behind the desired action the motion hopes to direct. The NEC are bound by previous Conference direction not to interfere with Branch preparation of motions however we are able to answer Branch requests for assistance. Therefore Branches should approach their NEC Liaison Officers in the first instance for any advice they may require around preparing Conference motions. These should be submitted to ISU HQ at Harwich either by post or e-mail and must be received no later than close of business on Monday 9th January 2017.

At Conference 2016 we experimented with some format changes, which were largely well received by delegates. In particular, we offered the opportunity to debate issues as ‘discussion topics’ rather than as formal motions. A motion directs formal action, these discussion sessions allowed Conference to explore more complex issues and set wider direction for the NEC. The experiment proved popular and so I invite Branches to submit suggestions for topics to be covered in these sessions. We will choose suggestions which enable the widest coverage of issues at Conference – so will prioritise areas not also covered by formal Motions.

Further Conference details will, of course, follow in due course but, for now, Motions by 9th January please !

Lucy Moreton & Mark Gribbin.