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Consulting – Redundancy Dispute

23 November 2010

Update on referendum ballot and other issues

Referendum Ballot Result


First of all, thank you to all of those who participated in the on-line referendum ballot. I can advise you that the results are as follows:
- 86% of staff supported a claim for a no compulsory redundancy policy
- 81% said they are prepared to take industrial action to achieve this claim

This is a very decisive result and was conveyed to management at a meeting that took place yesterday, Wednesday 17th November 2010.

Further Meeting


Despite deeming consultation complete at our meeting a fortnight ago, management asked that we meet again to tie up some loose ends.
In preparation for that meeting, I had taken legal advice in relation to the claims that I alluded to in my previous circular and subsequently wrote to management advising them that whilst we would meet we would reserve our position in terms of the failures around consultation.
At the meeting we informed Amey Consulting of the results above and invited them to reconsider their position on a no compulsory redundancy agreement. Initially management was reluctant to enter into any agreement at which point we pushed them about the possible consequences and the strength of feeling evident in the result.

In response, the company went through with us the actual numbers of the people still at risk following acceptance of some voluntary redundancy (VR) requests and allocation of others to alternative posts.
Our reply was to argue that the remaining people should be carried with a view to redeployment. The company wouldn’t agree to that at the meeting but asked for some time to be able to assess the actual numbers left without work. We have agreed to this request having already suggested a cooling off period and are now due to meet with the company again on 1st December. Amey Consulting has agreed that no one would be issued with compulsory redundancy notices until after that meeting.

Whilst there is this period for the company to assess their position – which could lead to the agreement we want when they know the scale of the situation they have - we remain resolute in our commitment to move to an industrial action ballot should we not get our way.

What about other issues?


Whilst we were with management we took the opportunity to raise a series of other points including around:
- Selection criteria and the lack of knowledge of how the system works. We also reported back a series of failings in the initial meetings that members had been involved with which management has undertaken to investigate;
- Enhancements to voluntary redundancy against the legal risk that Amey Consulting exposes themselves to claims for age discrimination – as well as the issue of the enhancements agreed in Amey Inter Urban. The company has undertaken to consider these representations. Members at risk are still able to put themselves forward for consideration for VR;
- A defined agreement around pay protection. A form of words will be proposed that will make the situation clearer for staff;
- Relocation to be able to move to a new job. It has now been confirmed that the company only offers this for senior managers. You can draw your own conclusions;
- Travelling time to a new location. Apart from staff entitled to BR PTR&R, management are now saying that there is a limited (6 months) protection available but not in all circumstances and that will pay out based on additional mileage;
- Alternative jobs. We have been promised an updated list of what should be available to staff;
- Information at the consultation meetings. We raised a series of issues about the lack of information that had been provided and which management now say they will let us have.

Have your say


We will be organising meetings in Swindon, Bristol and Birmingham so that staff can find out more and give us feedback on the situation to date. Your reps will tell you when these will take place but they will be in the next week.

Membership



It is vital that all members speak to their colleagues about joining the union for their own protection and to ensure that in case we need to go to an industrial action ballot they get a vote. Membership forms are available from TSSA reps or via this website

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