Agenda and minutes

Employment Matters Committee
Tuesday, 28 November 2017 7.00pm

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

Contact: Michael Turner, Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

518.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor Godwin.

519.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 14 June 2017.

Minutes:

The record of the meeting held on 14 June 2017 was agreed and signed by the Chairman as correct.  

520.

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.  

521.

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

 

Councillor Khan disclosed that she was a member of the GMB trade union.

 

Councillor Maple disclosed that he was a member of the GMB trade union. 

 

The Assistant Director, Transformation declared an interest on behalf of those officers present at the meeting who would be affected by the proposals set out in agenda item 5 (Pay Negotiations 2018/2019).

522.

Pay Negotiations 2018/2019 pdf icon PDF 361 KB

This report provides details of progress on the pay negotiations for the financial year 2018/2019.

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

Members considered a report which provided details of progress on pay negotiations. The Assistant Director, Transformation stated that the Council had come out of the national agreement in April 2013, therefore, this was the fourth year of formal negotiations with trade unions.

 

She highlighted details of the joint pay claim from GMB and Unison as detailed in paragraph 4.1 of the report – this related to two claims (claim 1 = a 5% increase on all pay points and claim 2 = the deletion of all pay points below the Foundation Living wage of £8.45 per hour).

 

She gave details of the costs of meeting these claims, as set out in paragraph 5.3 of the report (claim 1 = £2.5m excluding on-costs and claim 2 = £122,000 excluding on-costs). There were currently 76 employees who would benefit from this proposed change. However, she further advised that the joint claim had been made before the Foundation Living Wage had been increased to £8.75 per hour. This would raise the minimum full time equivalent salary to £16,882 and there were currently 529 employees who would benefit from such a change.

 

The Committee considered a proposal that the Chairman of the Employment Matters Committee write to the Leader of the Council to review and extend the budget envelope for the pay award.

 

On being put to the vote, the proposal was lost.

 

Councillors Khan and Maple requested that their votes for the proposal should be recorded in the minutes as provided for in Council Rule 12.6.

 

The Committee then considered a proposal that an independent review of MedPay be undertaken.

 

On being put to the vote, the proposal was lost.

 

Councillors Khan and Maple requested that their votes for the proposal should be recorded in the minutes as provided for in Council Rule 12.6.

 

In response to a question from a Member, the Assistant Director, Transformation undertook to provide information to the Committee regarding the breakdown of the costs relating to claim 2 (£122,000), including reference to employees engaged on casual contracts.

 

In response to a question from a Member, the Assistant Director, Transformation undertook to include details of employees covered by national conditions (e.g. Soulbury) in the report on pay negotiations to the next meeting of the Committee (31 January 2018).

 

Decision:

 

The Committee noted the report, including progress made to date under the Pay Negotiations Protocol.

 

 

523.

Whistleblowing, Anti-Bribery and Anti-Money Laundering Policies: Report on Instances September 2016 - September 2017 pdf icon PDF 97 KB

This report advises Members about the nature of concerns raised, between September 2016 and September 2017, under the Council’s Whistleblowing, Anti- Bribery and Anti-Money Laundering Policies.

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

Members considered a report which provided details about the nature of concerns raised, between September 2016 and September 2017, under the Council’s Whistleblowing, Anti- Bribery and Anti-Money Laundering Policies, following initial consideration by the Audit Committee on 28 September 2017.

 

In response to a question from a Member, the Assistant Director, Transformation confirmed the process for ensuring that new starters were advised of the whistleblowing procedures through the induction process as well as specific information being included on the Council’s Intranet and named officers being available across the Council.

 

The Assistant Director, Transformation also undertook to find out when the Chief Legal Officer’s briefing note on whistleblowing processes in place at Medway Norse and Medway Commercial Group would be finalised.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee noted the contents of this report.

524.

Organisational Change pdf icon PDF 165 KB

This report covers new reviews and transfers since the last report on 14 June 2017.

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

Members considered a report which dealt with new reviews and transfers since the last report on 14 June 2017.

 

In response to a question from a Member, the Assistant Director, Transformation stated that there had been a decline in employment tribunals in recent years mainly as a result of the proactive approach taken by HR Services with regards to reorganisations.

 

In response to a question from a Member regarding the number and time taken to deal with suspensions, the Assistant Director, Transformation stated that she could not comment on specific instances but this could be reported to Members in the future.

 

Decision:

 

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

525.

Early Retirement and Severance Payments pdf icon PDF 87 KB

This report provides details of all decisions taken in relation to early retirements and severance payments for the period 1 May 2017 to 31 October 2017.

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

Members considered a report which detailed decisions taken in relation to early retirements and severance payments for the period 1 May 2017 to 31 October 2017.

 

In response to a question from a Member, the Assistant Director, Transformation stated that whilst the Council would continue to make every effort to redeploy schools based staff where it was the HR provider, it was becoming very challenging to redeploy schools based staff from, for example, multi academy trusts.

 

Decision:

 

The Committee noted the report.