28th October 2010

Dear All

I write to inform you that Corporate Trade Unions Representatives were issued with two Section 188 Notices yesterday (27/10/2010) covering :

(i) All Constituency Staff

(ii) All WNF or other externally funded staff employed in Constituencies

The areas currently under review are:

WNF/ other external funding sources – S188

Neighbourhood Management
Town Centre Management
Constituency Employment and Skills Co-ordination
Community Safety Management

Generic – S188

Community Libraries
Community and Play
Sports and Leisure
Ward Support
Management and Administration
Constituency Engineers
School Crossing Patrols

The Section 188 notice is the name given specifically to the written communication that is sent to the trade unions to mark the start of collective consultation. Employees may, however, also find this document useful.  A copy of these Notices is attached, for your information.

The issue of a Section 188 Notices begins formal consultation about the HR implications of :

(i) achieving the required budget savings for this and future financial years;

(ii) managing the end of various external funding streams, such as WNF.

Services are facing challenging in year efficiency targets and the impact of the Government Spending Review. Initial business cases for 2010/2011 have been developed and discussed informally with staff and local trade union colleagues. Many of the required savings for 2010/2011 have already been implemented.  However, additional savings will be required for future years.

We are consulting with staff and trade union colleagues to explore whether it is possible to avoid the need for redundancy, reduce the numbers of potential redundancies and/or mitigate the effects of any redundancies made.

A range of informal initiatives had been introduced within the Directorate as a means of avoiding the need for potential redundancies. Unfortunately, the nature of the challenges faced means that there is a potential scenario for posts to be made redundant.

The formal consultation processes will include discussions with trade unions via the Constituencies Joint Consultation Forum (CJCF) and further specific meetings about functional/service areas.  In addition, there will be group staff briefings (involving union representatives) and individual meetings will be arranged where appropriate.

An email address is being set up as an additional channel to support the consultation. It is anticipated that this will be “live” by the middle of next week. Whilst it will not be possible to guarantee that we can respond to individual queries directly, we will collate and respond to messages received at regular intervals through the consultation.

A proposed timetable of consultation has been prepared for discussion with the trade unions and so is subject to change. Further details will be provided in due course and will include arrangements for staff briefings and individual consultation. Staff and managers will also receive regular reports on the development of the consultation.

We will keep staff informed of developments and ongoing consultations. The views of staff will also be actively sought and considered during the consultation process.

In the meantime, should you have immediate queries or concerns, please contact myself and I will arrange to meet you individually or in groups (whichever you prefer).

You can also access useful information on People Solutions which covers a whole range of relevant issues including redundancy and redeployment.

I would be grateful if you would forward this email to all of your staff or work colleague and inform those staff who are without email access or who are absent due to maternity leave, long term sick leave etc.

Finally, I am sorry to have to write to you all in these terms but I thought it appropriate that I inform you personally of the situation.

Yours truly,

Bret Willers
Constituency Director
Hall Green Constituency                                


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