AGM Branch Officer Report
Officers Name: Kevin Byrne Officers Position: NES / PTS Officer
Unfortunately I have been absent from work since July 2016 due to a road accident. However I have managed to continue with some PTS Consultations, interviews and Dignity at Work investigations.
It has not been a good or productive year for PTS and little progress has been made on Meal Breaks and late finishes.
Essex and Cambridgeshire have had Consultations on new Contracts and this was very challenging as management failed to engage in any way with the Branch. They refused to set up a Joint Consultative Committee from the beginning so this caused a lot of stress and anxiety for staff.
A one to one process was conducted and I represented a large number of members at Cambridge, Huntingdon and Peterborough.
I Had meetings with members at Huntingdon and Peterborough to gauge feelings which were consistent with my own view that the Consultation process was a ‘sham and that there was no engagement with members.
Each member of staff was asked to nominate a ‘line and location and then had a one to one meeting to discuss their personal situation and choice.
The nominations were not consistent with what appeared on GRS which created challenges and ‘grievances so I had to represent many members through this process. Some choices that were offered were withdrawn without informing the Rep or members which effectively meant that they had no choice in the process and had ‘lines imposed on them.
The Cambridgeshire contract went live in September and the negative effects of not having a proper Consultation with ‘staff side are being felt and there are complaints and grievances being raised on a regular basis. I am representing those members affected but progress is slow and it has now been suggested another change to ‘rosters is about to implemented.
The Cambridgeshire Contract has been served an Improvement Notice and meetings with staff were organised by management. There were three meetings of which I attended one. The staff expressed their feelings forcibly to those managers that are responsible for a massive increase in complaints, late running and missed meal breaks etc.
Advised staff to start work on time, take their meal break within their window and finish on time.
An attempt by management to force staff without a C1 licence to pay for their own training on new vehicles they purchased was stopped with the help of the Branch at SPF. This was a very challenging period and took up a lot of time and energy and is another instance of management’s attitude towards their staff who, for the most part are low paid and no consideration was given to the alarm and distress that they caused.
Managed to promote the union and recruit some new members and signed up one ALO.
Attended a Bullying and Harassment Course and I am representing a member with a Dignity at Work (Sexual Harassment) claim which has now been referred to Disciplinary. This case has highlighted serious failings in management’s procedures and attitude to Bullying and Harassment but fortunately I was able to force them to take action and protect the victim.
Represented a member with a serious speeding offence and managed to ensure that he only received a six month final warning’ rather than dismissal due to the failures of management.
There was another member who had been suspended for a serious allegation outside of work and management attempted to dismiss him using his attendance and a breach of ‘contract in not declaring that he had three serious driving offences undeclared to them when he started his employment.
Managed to assist him through the process and advised him to resign as this was in his best interest long term. I gave him advice of the benefits system and have communicated with him since he left.
Attended a weekend training course on Mediation and I also completed an Employment Law Diploma Course and successfully completed it and received a Diploma.
Setting up a WhattsApp Group has been quite successful and is used by members when they need advice quickly. It has proved itself and incorporates a lot of experience and expertise.
Did more than 30 one to one Consultation Meetings throughout the year and have recorded them all in minutes which has proved very helpful so members are able to ask me for copies when they require them.
The coming year will throw up some more challenges and issues but I think I will be better prepared to handle them. I have been learning to navigate through the union machinery and raised my concerns for PTS members on many occasions and hope to get their profile raised to the same level as ‘frontline within the Branch.