Pay and allowances ballot

Message from Alex Knutsen, Branch Secretary, Brighton & Hove LG Unison
The indicative branch ballot in respect of the council’s final offer on allowances, resulted in a vote to reject, but with a very low return from the membership.
As Branch Secretary, I contacted Phil Wood, Regional Secretary, to report the result (any application for a formal ballot has to be made to him in the first instance). On the basis of the exact figures, Phil advised that he would not be recommending that the Industrial Action Committee at HQ should authorise a ballot for industrial action.
Whilst this is disappointing, it was right to put the issue to the membership. The low return reflects the fact that the Branch reduced those “losing” from some 800 members to approximately 120 (with this figure still falling). In addition, a further number will benefit from on-going “service redesign”, increased hours, and a significant number of low paid members gaining in pay. As well, about 450 staff, most of these are UNISON members, will be offered a pro-active settlement averaging £3,000, in a few weeks time – this group comprises Home Care and Residential Workers, currently in receipt of weekend working increments.
In regard to those members who are “losing” allowances, and will receive detriment payments, as well as some who will see reduced pay due to non-contractual changes, Branch Officers are continuing to pursue various options to remove or mitigate losses, with some success.

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