6 October 2017
Since the Council’s statement of 11 August 2017 on proposed changes to the terms and conditions of the employees of Borough Care, the Council is aware that the consultation period has concluded. It is understood these changes involve care staff moving over to longer shift patterns, and a new rotational system of shifts, and that these contractual changes are due to be implemented on 1 November 2017.
Following the conclusion of the consultation period, a situation of uncertainty remains as to whether all Borough Care employees are willing to agree to the proposed new terms and conditions. This uncertainty is of considerable concern, particularly in light of concerns shared with us by Unison regarding the consultation and implementation processes.
The Council has been assured by Borough Care that due process has been undertaken. However, we would be concerned if Borough Care nevertheless proceeds with these changes irrespective of individual concerns. Proceeding in such a way may mean that should any staff still be unwilling or unable to accept the changes then this could effectively mean they would have their employment terminated.
The Labour Group do not want to see jobs lost in such circumstances. We remain concerned for the welfare of staff, who deserve to be treated with respect for the valuable roles they carry out and deserve to receive meaningful consultation. Furthermore, staff welfare cannot be uncoupled from the service and care residents receive.
Stockport MBC’s own Ethical Care Charters go further than the minimal requirements for legal due process, as they incorporate the principles of the the Unison Ethical Care Charters (see ‘Dignity in Social Care’ Council Motion, passed 30th March 2017: http://democracy.stockport.gov.uk/documents/s114915/Dignity%20in%20Social%20Care%20Motion%20Altered%20Motion.pdf).
We reiterate our full commitment to these Charters. While the Council is clear that Borough Care is an independent organisation and will engage with the Trade Unions under its own policies, as providers of Council care placements , this Group expects Borough Care to abide by the letter and spirit of the charters. In so doing, it should constructively engage with Unison toward an amicable and constructive conclusion.
Cllr Alex Ganotis, (Labour) Leader, Stockport MBC
Cllr Wendy Wild, (Labour) Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care