2012 Branch Secretary’s Report

The Branch Secretary presented her final report to the AGM on 20 March 2013.

As I have made you all aware, I am resigning as Branch Secretary.  This is to allow the mentoring of the new Branch Secretary prior to my retirement.  However, due to workloads, I have played a very low key role in the last few months.

This has not meant that union work has stopped.  Special thanks must be given to Paul Rafferty who has done an excellent job as Chair of the Joint Unions.  Some of the issues the Joint Unions have dealt with are

  • Staff not receiving appropriate feedback following interviews etc
  • Pensions are kept on the agenda as a reminder that there is still work to be done
  • Re-negotiated Absence procedure, to introduce measures for staff with disabilities or critical illness, NFA at Stage 1 now meaning NFA, any manager to conduct return to work interview, etc
  • Successfully negotiated roles for staff that were due to be made redundant following the restructure
  • Joint CNC/ICF meetings – first part of meeting only is joint (to save management having to repeat themselves!), second part of day CNC only.  Various items discussed, including staff morale, restructure, pensions, Re-engineering Assessment Delivery (RAD), Design for Delivery (D4D), Customer Programme, and more.
  • Re-classification of policies and procedures – what is and isn’t negotiation, consultation, information
  • Discussed bullying in the workplace

This is with a management who dislike engaging with trade unions.

There are other members of that have worked very hard on behalf of the branch.  Particular mention should be given to Clare Wilson who organised a recruitment event.  Unison is conducting a national campaign.  Any ideas on how we can recruit and strengthen the branch, would be gratefully received.

Thanks should also be given to the Unison representatives who accompany members into meetings on a large range of issues.  They give their time voluntarily and are trying to negotiate with a management that is using negative management techniques.  Sometimes they are meetings with managers who appear to have very little knowledge of employment law.

The future picture is not rosy.  The move from modular to linear examinations will have a major impact on the organisation.  The proposal to remove internally assessed units. The failure of the diversification strategy has not helped.  These all have an impact on the job security of Unison members.

Grant continues his work at Regional and National level on behalf of Disabled Members.

Special thanks to Jane Dixon and George Fox.  Jane for her support and efficient maintenance of the branch records.  George because he has volunteered to be the next Branch Secretary.

It is not goodbye just yet – I have got another 16 months to go!  (Who is counting!)

Mary Whitby
Branch Secretary

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