On 18th January we met with Permanent Secretary, Oliver Robbins. We raised in very strong terms the disgust members have expressed at with-holding of the 1% pay award from AAA & SDA staff in order to ‘incentivise’ them to sign-up to AHW. Incredibly it does seem the Permanent Secretary believed that treating staff in this way would lead them to change terms and conditions. This belief has proven utterly mistaken with no-one at all transferring to AHW as a consequence of management bullying in Pay 2015. We have been clear with the Department that we have significant reservations concerning the legality of the steps they’ve taken and continue to explore legal challenge.
For the moment, despite the Permanent Secretary’s no doubt heartfelt plea for the Trade Union side to “return to the table”, I’m sure members will be unsurprised to learn that we are still awaiting requested diversity data, some of which was first requested last August, and date for the next meeting.
In the meantime I would be interested to hear from any members who have been refused an individual contract, and anyone who was advised not to opt into AHW because of the lack of individual contracts. I’m aware of a number of individuals already –but if you think this might apply to you please email lucy.moreton@theISU.co.uk
We are drawing to the end of the AHW year. One of the concerns ISU raised last year regarding the AHW system is the number of unspent hours at the end of the period. However this would now appear to have resulted in staff with unspent hours being brought in to work those hours where there is no business need to do so; simply so that units can report no unused hours. If that applies in your location, again can you let us know.
We are also coming to the end of the PDR year with all the trials and tribulations of the current system. We have made clear at every level, from local managers all the way to the Permanent Secretaries that forced ranking is grossly unfair to staff and has not had the business outcome desired. It does not foster continuous improvement, it does little or nothing to address genuine poor performance and does equally as much in facilitating managers in having meaningful conversations with staff. Many of the managers we have raised this with actually tend to agree with us; but forced ranking is an imposition from the Cabinet Office. BF is exploring ways to try to improve the system and the ISU is part of a working group to see what can be achieved in that respect. But for this year the forced ranking system remains with us.
As with last year the ISU will offer you a form of words to use in your PDR if you wish to. The issues with generic objectives not meeting individual needs, objectives being provided too late in the PDR year to have meaning and the now well documented adverse equality outcomes for the second year running are well known. This is not an issue confined to officers or assistance officers either; this is a problem which applies throughout the grades.
The ISU conference will take place in March. This is the Opportunity for all members to have their voices heard in setting policy and direction for the union. When the conference paper is available (which should be within the week) it will be placed on the website. AAs union members your branch will be seeking your views on how they should vote. Please take the time to read the motions and respond to your branch requests for feedback.
Death Benefit Nominations
Please make sur your death benefit nomination is up to date. If you want to change your nominee, or just check who you have nominated, please contact ISU HQ
Although it seems rather early we have to place the order for the 2017 diary before the end of February. If you have spotted any errors in the diaries; or of there is something you would like us to include please let ISU HQ know.