Agenda and minutes

Employment Matters Committee
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 7.00pm

Venue: Civic Suite - Level 2, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham ME4 4TR. View directions

Contact: Wayne Hemingway, Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

840.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 48 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 6 February 2014.

Minutes:

The record of the meeting held on 6 February 2014 was agreedand signed by the Chairman as correct. 

841.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

An Apology for absence was received from Councillor Mackinlay.

842.

Urgent matters by reason of special circumstances

The Chairman will announce any late items which do not appear on the main agenda but which he/she has agreed should be considered by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the report.

Minutes:

There were none. 

843.

Declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests and other interests

A member need only disclose at any meeting the existence of a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) in a matter to be considered at that meeting if that DPI has not been entered on the disclosable pecuniary interests register maintained by the Monitoring Officer.

 

A member disclosing a DPI at a meeting must thereafter notify the Monitoring Officer in writing of that interest within 28 days from the date of disclosure at the meeting.

 

A member may not participate in a discussion of or vote on any matter in which he or she has a DPI (both those already registered and those disclosed at the meeting) and must withdraw from the room during such discussion/vote.

 

Members may choose to voluntarily disclose a DPI at a meeting even if it is registered on the council’s register of disclosable pecuniary interests but there is no legal requirement to do so.

 

Members should also ensure they disclose any other interests which may give rise to a conflict under the council’s code of conduct.

 

In line with the training provided to members by the Monitoring Officer members will also need to consider bias and pre-determination in certain circumstances and whether they have a conflict of interest or should otherwise leave the room for Code reasons. 

Minutes:

Disclosable pecuniary interests

 

There were none.

 

Other interests

 

The Chairman, following the receipt of advice from the Monitoring Officer, declared a personal and potentially financial interest, on behalf of any officers present affected by the proposals, regarding agenda item 5 (Pay and Grade Review).

844.

Pay and Grade Review

The Committee will be asked to consider the outcome of the collective dispute between the Council and the trade unions in respect of the Pay and Grade Review should the dispute reach stage 3 of the Collective Dispute Procedure. Stage 3 of the Collective Dispute Procedure allows the Joint Consultative Committee to recommend a course of action which can be undertaken either under officers’ delegated authority or by the Employment Matters Committee.

 

The Committee will also be asked to consider any further proposals from the trade unions and, if necessary, make a final recommendation to Full Council on 20 February 2014.

Minutes:

Discussion:

The Assistant Director, Organisational Services introduced the report, which updated the Committee on the progress of the Pay and Grade Review Project and the collective dispute with the trade unions.  The report confirmed that discussion at the Joint Consultative Committee held earlier on 18 February 2014 had constituted stage 3 (the final stage) of the Collective Dispute Procedure, although this had been disputed by the trade unions.

 

The trade unions’ views from the meeting of the Joint Consultative Committee held earlier on 18 February 2014 in relation to the four recommendations set out in the report, were reported to the Committee.   The trade unions’ comments are shown in brackets against each of the recommendations set out below:

(i)                Note the position of the employer and the trade unions on the collective dispute and consider any proposals from the JCC (it was accepted that the trade unions were still in dispute with the Council)

(ii)              Note the trade unions pay claim and make a recommendation to full Council not to accept the pay claim (a request was received from the trade unions for this pay claim to be separated from the discussion on pay and grade and for further negotiations to take place between the trade unions and officers of the Council)

(iii)            Review the alternative proposals from the trade unions (a request was made that the alternative proposals should be debated at Employment Matters Committee)

(iv)            Confirm the proposal for a pause on the implementation of the pay progression scheme until the end of June to allow for further discussion and training of managers (while the pause was welcomed by the trade unions a request was made for the dismissal and re-engagement process to also be delayed until after the further discussion and training of managers has taken place)

The Committee considered the views of the trade unions and discussed the following issues.

 

Some Members queried the fact that, although there would be a pause before implementation of the new pay progression scheme to enable further discussions to take place and appropriate training given, it was still proposed to proceed with the dismissal and reengagement process by 1 April 2014.  The view was expressed that it was unrealistic to expect staff to sign new contracts before the final details on pay progression had been finalised.

The Assistant Director, Organisational Services, responded to questions from Members about the timescales attached to the discussions about the Pay and Grade Review including dismissal and reengagement of staff. She confirmed that a review of pay and grades had been initiated two years ago when incremental progression had been frozen. She explained that there had been a number of meetings with trade unions to discuss the implementation of the new Pay and Grade scheme. The formal consultation with the trade unions had been launched in October 2013. In law, 45 days had to be allowed for this process but it had been extended to 56 days following representations by the trade unions.

A Member  ...  view the full minutes text for item 844.