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

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Work until you drop or work smarter?

Many councils are already benefiting from a four day working weeks in areas like refuse collection. These type of arrangements avoid the back up of bank holiday bin collections by scheduling work to avoid Monday collections and expanding collection rounds on other days meaning fewer vehicles are needed. In some cases savings of £450,000 per year have been found – whilst there is a double edged sword for trade unions, as these working arrangements often also reduce overtime payments that members get used to, it also preserves jobs and generates savings. There are many more services that could be overlapped allowing better work life balance arrangements – particularly in areas such as call centre operations, but which would still meet the needs of better access to services.

This report in Scientific America also demonstrates the added benefits of carbon reduction in smarter working arrangements. Instead of salami slicing services public sector managers should be urged to look at smarter working solutions. To do this they need to overcome the command and control culture that stifles public sector innovation in working practices:

Anna Rose