Employer stalls - Let's Deliver a Clear Message - Vote for Action

Dear UNISON Member

You will recall that we carried out a consultative ballot around the imposed Managing Workforce Change policy. You responded by voting overwhelmingly in favour of strike action and action short of strike, giving your branch officers a clear mandate to inform discussions with the employer. We met with the employer on 18 April and again on 8 May where it was clear that although there was willingness to talk about the three contentious issues, there was no willingness to remove any preconditions set when they imposed these changes.

The three contentious issues are:

  1. Removing the no compulsory redundancy policy
  2. Capping flexible retirement at 2 years
  3. Reducing cash conservation (pay protection) from 3 years to 1 year

Given the strength of feeling we received as a result of the consultative ballot and the unwillingness of the employer to engage in negotiations without their preconditions, then we are left with no option other than to formally ballot you for industrial action.

The employer has been served notice today of our intention to ballot members from 16 May 2019. That ballot will end on 6 June 2019. You will be aware of the ballot threshold introduced by the current Westminster government which mean that more than 50% of members must vote in the ballot, we therefore urge all members to participate. Ballot papers will be sent to home address and this ballot covers both Dundee City Council and Leisure & Culture Dundee members.

We have organised a UNISON members meeting for Monday 20 May at 17:30 in The Steps Theatre, Wellgate Centre, Dundee. Your branch officers and reps will be there to answer any questions you have and this will also allow us to discuss what action might look like. Please make every effort to attend.

We will be working closely with Unite and the GMB who are also balloting their members. Lets send a huge message to the employers that the way they have treated you and your union reps is unacceptable. We will continue to make ourselves available to talk to the employers who somehow expect us to trust them and just accept how they imposed the Managing Workforce Change policy. You have likely received the communication sent to you last night by the employer, where they attempt to justify what they did and convince you that you should just accept it and that it has all been done for your benefit.

That communication is full of contradictions and is an attempt to cast doubt in your mind about taking action, it is an attempt to undermine any action you plan to take. You should probably expect more communications like that as the ballot process gets underway, we will not be drawn in to petty squabbles with the employer. Instead we will inform our members and encourage you all to participate in the ballot, ultimately trying to negotiate with the employer from a level playing field.

We will now be writing to all Councillors seeking support to have this policy decision reversed to allow meaningful negotiations to take place, essentially resetting the clock back to 17 February 2019.  We plan on lobbying the next Policy & Resources Committee at the City Square on 3 June at 5pm, if you can attend and show Councillors your strength of feeling then that would be appreciated.  

Lets tell the your employer that Enough is Enough.