Wednesday, October 04, 2006

UNISON NEC discusses Equal Pay

The UNISON National Executive Council (NEC) meeting today received a detailed report on Equal Pay. In fact we received four reports, about two of which I would like to say more (but then I would have to kill you!) (seriously – two of the reports are confidential and legally privileged so I am not going to refer to them here. NEC members asked that an official summary be provided in the “News from the General Secretary”). If any London UNISON branch wants to discuss this with me privately call me on my UNISON number 07957505571 or Email me at j.rogers@unison.co.uk.

Branches should have received some detailed guidance in the very recent past (look out for Equal Pay: negotiating strategy and guidance for local representatives) – you need to have a look at this! I suggested that we organise Regional briefings on equal pay (on the model of the meetings organised about pensions over the past year or so) and I hope that that idea will be taken up. I expect this will appear on the website soon either here or here.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal will hear the appeal by the GMB against the ruling of the employment tribunal in Allen –v- GMB in January and any documents produced by the Union could be discovered and used in that case – which is why reports of our discussions have to be cautious. The other report which is in the public domain and about which I can report is a joint union protocol which has been agreed between the “big four” and which deals with how we handle equal pay litigation in local government.

Regional officers are to be instructed to provide progress reports by the end of October so that the unions can assess progress in pay and grading negotiations across all local authorities. The intention of the protocol is that the unions will work together and agree not to “poach” members around equal pay litigation (a problem which has clearly arisen in some parts of the country). The protocol will be issued from the trade union side of the National Joint Council in the next few days and local government branches should look out for this.

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