As transformation beds in at Aberdeen City Council, UNISON has a seat at the table. We are representing our members’ views at the Delivery and Control boards, scrutinising proposals and holding management to account. Each month we want to provide you with an update on what we’ve been doing to represent you.
Holding management to account
This month the Governance Delivery Board has been looking at the review of committee structures, delegated powers and standing orders. This is a fundamental part of the Council’s democratic processes. With the new “functional structure”, the Council will need to realign committees so that reporting lines are clear. We’ve already raised concerns that the transformation boards are complicated and confusing. Getting the committee structure right is important to ensure that elected councillors have proper democratic oversight and visibility of Council activities.
Protecting our members’ jobs
Through the Technology Control Board and IT Delivery Board there has been a range of papers looking at ongoing IT projects. These include updating old technology, consolidating systems and modernising our core infrastructure. A proposal for a re-deployment database has been submitted which UNISON is looking at in more detail. This could allow third parties and “partners” to access information from a wider redeployment list. We’re keeping a close eye on this project as it develops.
We are raising our concerns about the centralisation of Business Support and what this means for our colleagues in administrative roles. These roles are often specialised and provide much needed support for other officers to do their jobs. As more is revealed around these plans, UNISON will make sure that your voice is heard.
Keep our services public first
The introduction of a commissioning director has worried many of our members. There are some obvious interpretations of what this means – a move toward outsourcing, reduction in service quality, and third-party organisations. That’s why UNISON believes that every service should be able to bid to retain work in-house before the Council looks at external options. We need the professional support of dedicated procurement colleagues for services to prepare their own in-house bids. The Council cannot rule out in-house services at the first opportunity and risk damaging vital public services. Our services should remain public first, because we know that public works.
To keep up to date with the latest developments on transformation and what UNISON is doing to support you at work go to our website https://aberdeenunison.co.uk, follow us on Twitter @abdncityUNISON or find us on Facebook.
How can you help us?
If you have a concern that you want to raise with us about the Target Operating Model, or want ask us a question about how we’re approaching this, please fill in our TOM Feedback Form. You can also volunteer to help us challenge management, speak out for our members by getting involved in the union. It’s your job, your voice, and your union.