ISU Membership Update 20.09.2016

Dear Member,

ISU 2017 Diary – Address updates

The 2017 edition of the ISU diary will be distributed to all members in the coming weeks. If you have changed address or are unsure as to what details we hold for you at HQ, please contact us at [email protected] or on 01255 553039 to confirm and update your details if necessary.

“Brain breaks” at the Border

The pressure on staff manning the border continues with little sign of any easing.  Staff and several locations are now on the “maximum deployment model” meaning they spend all shift on the control.

Because of this Phillip Duffy has instructed that staff must be given a 15 minute break every 2 hours in addition to any meal breaks etc.  Working on the Border requires concentration and focus.  If we are exhausted and run down by continuous deployment we will make mistakes.  Senior management recognise this and have given their commitment to supporting staff.

You are entitled to this break.  You need this break.  This is a break – not an opportunity for a briefing, emails or anything else.   If you are not being given these breaks then please contact your local ISU rep who will escalate the matter to the NEC.

Attendance management

The ISU have long said that the attendance management system is not ideal for shift workers.  The current low trigger points are not acting to encourage early engagement as was intended but rather being used to penalise staff with “mandatory” warnings.

The NEC have raised this with both Border Force and Enforcement who have been receptive to our concerns.  This is a Home Office wide policy and as such wholesale change is not likely to be possible; but we should be able to achieve something more suitable and supportive for operational staff.  We will continue to work with BF and IE to achieve an attendance system which works for our members.

Code of Ethics / Mandatory declarations.

The BF Code of ethics and mandatory declarations policy has now been launched.  The ISU has worked very closely with BF throughout these proposals.  The finished products are a significant improvement on where this process started and has been a good example of collaborative working which has achieved a product which is more workable for our membership.

The vast majority of the mandatory declarations does not introduce any new requirements.  The only new bit is the requirement to report where you sponsor an application to the UK.

If you have any concerns about what you should or should not report please contact your local rep or NEC Liaison.  This is new for everyone and it is likely to be advisable to over report than under report at this time.

IE is looking closely at the progress of this code and it is possible that something similar will be introduced there.  In the meantime BF is committed to reviewing the reporting requirement after 12 months to ensure that it meets our needs.

Staff Survey

It’s People Survey time again.

Results in recent years have made difficult reading for the Department and members have become concerned that management actions to address the shortcomings identified have not been prioritised. Significant progress has been made to address those concerns within Immigration Enforcement and UKVI and we commend this. However members in Border Force have not seen similar evidence of progress, despite the commission of a Cultural Assessment following further poor results in the 2015 People Survey. We have been in further discussions with Border Force on this and are assured that a number of actions flowing from the Cultural Survey are currently in train and we will shortly receive a specific briefing on those. We will report further at that time but can meantime say that Border Force plainly do treat the People Survey seriously.