Agenda and minutes

Employment Matters Committee
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 7.00pm

Venue: Meeting Room 2 - Level 3, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham ME4 4TR

Contact: Michael Turner, Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

710.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 19 November 2014.

Minutes:

The record of the meeting held on 19 November 2014 was agreed and signed by the Chairman as a correct record. 

711.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

None 

712.

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 

713.

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

 

There were none.

714.

Pay Negotiations 2015/2016 pdf icon PDF 130 KB

This report covers the progress on the annual pay negotiations with the trade unions and makes recommendations to full Council for the payment of an annual cost of living award and performance related payments

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Assistant Director, Organisational Services introduced this report which  covered the progress on the annual pay negotiations with the trade unions and made recommendations to full Council for the payment of an annual cost of living award and performance related payments.

 

The Trade Union pay claim was in two parts:

 

Claim 1: That Medway Council recognises and commits to the National Living Wage for all council employed staff.

 

Claim 2: An across the board pay increase of 2.3% (current RPI).

 

The pay claim had been discussed with the trade unions at the meetings of the Joint Consultative Committee held on 21 and 28 January 2015.

 

Tabled at the meeting was a paper giving details of information requested at the meeting of the Joint Consultative Committee held on 21 January 2015. This covered comparative information about staff turnover and salaries and also the variance between current range 1 entry salary with the national minimum wage rate and the implications of increasing the lowest salary to point 8 (£13,189) and how this compared to the minimum wage.

 

The Assistant Director advised that the council were unlikely to be able to offer any more than a 1% increase to the current bill (a budget increase of around £800,000). The Trade Unions had been invited to consider the split of the 1% between a cost of living increase and performance pay and to consider improvements to non-pay elements of the employee remuneration package. The proposal from the Council was that of the possible £800,000 available, 60% would be allocated to cost of living and 40% to performance. The cost of introducing the Living Wage was £324,000 pa, involving 379 employees.

 

A member commented that the position of the Labour Group was that the Council should agree a 1% cost of living pay increase with no performance pay element and that the Council should also commit to the Living Wage, at a total cost of £1.124m. For a relatively small extra investment, the Council could help a large number of employees and also send out a message that the Council cared about its staff. He argued that the authority could afford to pay the Living Wage and noted that many others facing similar financial difficulties had agreed to this.  It was time to reflect on the concerns raised by the trade unions and employees and recognise that years of pay restraint had affected morale and this inevitably had an effect on services to the public. The proposal to award a 0.6% cost of living increase represented a miniscule sum.

 

In response to a question from a member, the Assistant Director advised there were less than 100 employees who were engaged under nationally negotiated terms and conditions of employment and entitled to receive pay increases and automatic incremental pay progression. The cost of this was around £40-50,000 pa and this sum would be met from the proposed £800,000.

 

The Committee were advised that removing the lowest pay point would affect around 300 employees and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 714.

715.

Pay Policy Statement 2015/2016 pdf icon PDF 176 KB

This report details the Pay Policy Statement for the financial year 2015/2016 for referral to Full Council for agreement.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Assistant Director Organisatonal Services introduced this report which dealt with the Pay Policy Statement for the financial year 2015/2016 in accordance with the Localism Act 2011.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee noted the Pay Policy Statement 2015/2016, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, and referred it to Full Council for agreement.

 

 

716.

Budget Proposals and Implications for Staff pdf icon PDF 124 KB

This report covers new reviews and transfers since the last report.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Head of HR and Organisational Change introduced this report which covered new reviews and transfers since the last report

 

Decision:

 

The Committee noted the present position and the support arrangements for staff.

717.

Review of Internet, E-Mail and Social Media Policy and Guidelines pdf icon PDF 119 KB

This report seeks Members’ agreement to the revised Internet, E-Mail, and Social Media Policy and Guidelines 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Head of HR and Organisational Change introduced this report which sought agreement to revised Internet, E-Mail, and Social Media Policy and Guidelines.

 

In response to a question, members were advised that the trade unions had been consulted about the revised policy. Noting that the cover report did not make this clear, it was agreed that in future all reports of a similar nature should always set out what consultation had taken place.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee agreed to:

 

(1)          approve the revised Internet, E-Mail, and Social Media Policy and Guidelines as set out in Appendix 1 to the report

 

(2)          review the policy in two years time and that any proposed changes be referred to this Committee.

 

718.

Introduction of a Shared Parental Leave Policy and Guidelines pdf icon PDF 122 KB

This report seeks agreement to introduce a Shared Parental Leave policy to meet the requirements of The Shared Parental Leave Regulations 2014

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Head of HR and Organisational Change introduced a report which sought members’ agreement to introduce a Shared Parental Leave policy to meet the requirements of The Shared Parental Leave Regulations 2014.

 

The Committee were advised that officers did not expect large number of staff to make requests for shared parental leave. A member noted that the policy asked employees intending to take shared parental leave to give their line manager at least eight weeks’ notice. In response to a question, officers assured members that the policy would be applied in a compassionate and common sense manner where circumstances meant eight weeks’ notice was not reasonable or possible.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee agreed to

 

(1)          approve the revised Shared Parental Leave Policy and Guidelines as set out in Appendix 1 to the report.

 

(2)          review the policy in two years time and that any proposed changes be referred to this Committee.

 

719.

Exclusion of the press and public pdf icon PDF 83 KB

This report summarises the content of agenda item 11, which, in the opinion of the proper officer, contains exempt information within one of the categories in Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. It is a matter for the Committee to determine whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of document.

Minutes:

Decision:

 

The Committee agreed to exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of the exempt material contained within agenda item 10 (Early Retirements and Severance Payments) because consideration of this matter in public would disclose information falling within paragraph1 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 as specified in agenda item 12 (Exclusion of Press and Public) and, in all the circumstances of the case, the Committee considered that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information. 

 

720.

Early Retirements and Severance Payments

This report outlines all decisions taken in relation to early retirements and severance payments for the period 1 August 2014 to 31 December 2014. 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Assistant Director – Organisational Services introduced a report detailing all decisions taken in relation to early retirements and severance payments for the period 1 August 2014 to 31 December 2014. 

 

In response to a question, the Committee were advised that the capitalised costs of early retirement were unavoidable and were met by the Council in one financial year.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee agreed to note the report.