Venue: Conference Room 2, Municipal Building. View directions
Contact: Caroline Halpin
The minutes of the meeting held on 2nd April 2009, having been printed and circulated, were taken as read and agreed as a correct record.
In order to meet the financial challenges it faced over the next few years the Council had embarked on a wide-ranging Efficiency Programme. To support the implementation of the Efficiency Programme, and recognising the natural concerns of employees through these processes, a Staffing Protocol document had been produced which dealt with the staffing issues that may arise from such programmes. The document brought together the relevant Human Resource Policies and Procedures of the Council into one coherent document. The development of the document into the Staffing Protocol had been achieved through a series of joint Trade Union Negotiation meetings with relevant Trade Unions (UNISON and MPO/GMB).
Whilst developing the protocol, the opportunity was taken to review the existing At Risk Policy and the Voluntary Early Retirement Scheme. It was also checked to ensure that it complied with current Employment Law. The amendments to the At Risk process mainly related to clarifying the processes and steps that were to be followed when employees were placed at risk. However, the review of Voluntary Early Retirement in the Interests of Efficiency Scheme resulted in proposed changes in the way pension was augmented (the power of the employing authority to increase total pension scheme membership of active members). The revised scheme introduced a sliding scale of augmentation based on length of service of the member of staff concerned. Any augmented years added would be determined by the number of years service an employee had on a sliding scale. It was this issue that had been subject to Trade Union ballot and it was reported that MPO/GMB and UNISON had now agreed to the revised augmentation scale.
It was noted that there were clearly financial implications to the Council in terminating a person’s employment either compulsorily or by voluntary means. The costs would depend on the individual’s circumstances and therefore could not be reliably estimated at this time. The costs would be met from the overall savings generated from the Efficiency Programme.
(1) Staffing Protocol be approved; and
(2) Any minor drafting amendments be delegated to the Strategic Director, Corporate and Policy, in consultation with the Corporate Services Portfolio holder, to make.