UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

UNISON stands firm against Section 188 notice in Rhondda‏

In Rhondda Cynon Taff (RCT), one of the largest council’s in Wales, UNISON is battling to defend the terms and conditions of over 10,000 workers after the Labour controlled council issued a section 188 notice. Yesterday the branch has issued a briefing updating members on developments:

The joint union position has not been helped by go-it-alone gesture politics of the GMB. Last week the story was that the GMB pulled out of negotiations with the Council (claiming on the issuing of the S188) without first discussing with the other unions This was seen as a cynical attempt to garner publicity for themselves (on local TV, Western Mail etc). UNISON didn’t comment to avoid any public disunity on the issue:.

The background is that two weeks ago at a Joint Council for Wales staff side UNISON, GMB & UNITE discussed opposition to issuing of S188 but never discussed boycotting negotiations if notices were issued.

A few days later GMB in RCT walked out of negotiations and issued a press statement and garnered lots of publicity – UNISON’s stance has been to continue to negotiate after issue of S188 and hold in reserve industrial response depending on how negotiations progress.

For a week or so GMB continue to make noise and headlines outside negotiation table however on Tuesday they crept back into negotiations without any press release or fanfare after completely undermining the staff side.

Note: A section 188 notice serves as notice that an employer intends to make a number of employees redundant and that the required consultation period has begun. In this case it relates to the imposition of new contracts