Transformation proposals have continued to come through the governance boards since the New Year and UNISON is making your views heard. Here is this month’s round-up of what’s happening.
Keeping services in-house
We’re beginning to win the argument for keeping services in-house, with options for fleet and facilities management being proposed on an “enhanced in-house” model. This is a step forward from the initial position the Council presented suggesting a move toward external providers. Further proposals have been received which suggests some previous outsourced services may come back in-house. After the very public collapse of Carillion (a major contractor for the AWPR), UNISON hopes that the myth behind the case for outsourcing has been exposed and the Council will recognise the excellent value our members add to in-house service delivery.
We have also been raising concerns about some of the assumptions around how digitally ready the organisation is the role that the Digital Partner will play alongside our members in IT.
Redesigning redeployment to avoid redundancies
UNISON has significant concerns about the existing redeployment policy and using it as a “redundancy by the back door” option where our members aren’t job matched or jobs aren’t available. We’re now working with the Council to redevelop this and prevent these issues arising.
Having a real say on change
Communication is an issue many of you feed back to us about. So we’ve asked that all business cases which come to the Communications Board have a proper stakeholder and communication plan so we can see who is going to be involved.
Meanwhile, we are discussing with the Governance Board the role that Trade Unions will play compared to the current Health & Safety Committee and a collective bargaining forum known as the “Joint Consultative Committee”. We are challenging proposals which could impact our ability to raise issues with elected members, hold management to account and have a negative impact on our democratic structures.
Scottish Government budget agreement
Finally, many of you will have seen the recent announcement of a deal between the Scottish Greens and the SNP to pass a budget through the Scottish Parliament. UNISON is interested to note that this revised budget will mean that there are no real terms cuts required at Aberdeen City Council in 2018/19, yet it is highly likely that the Council budget on 19 February will propose millions of pounds to be take out of services. UNISON opposes ideologically driven cuts and hopes the Council will take the opportunity to protect jobs and public services in the coming year.