Following further legal opinion from PCS CMEC/CSA Management withdrew letters it was intending to send out to those staff who were unable to agree to change their hours to within the new CMEC/CSA business hours of 8am to 8pm.
PCS had agreed at earlier meetings that what management was proposing to do – imposing new contracts on staff was illegal, but it was their failure to consult under Section 188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (TULRCA) that stopped management from giving notice of dismissal.
Management have now written to PCS to open formal consultation under TULRCA and a meeting has been arranged for Tuesday 8th September.
Section 188 Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (TULRCA) places a duty on an employer to consult with recognised independent trade unions where it proposes to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees at one establishment within a period of 90 days. “Dismiss as redundant” is widely defined to include any dismissals for a reason “not related to the individual concerned”. Dismissals in order to impose new terms and conditions are covered by this section.
Consultation should begin in good time and in any event 90 days before the date the first dismissals take effect where the employer is proposing to dismiss 100 or more employees.
TULRCA states that consultation shall include consultation about ways of:
- Avoiding Dismissals
- Reducing the number of employees to be dismissed
- Mitigating the consequences of the dismissal.
PCS is campaigning for staff not to be worse off as a result of management’s desire to change contracts. This can be achieved and the staff affected could then offer to change their hours without suffering detriment.
PCS branches have been asked to organise all members meetings to discuss this unprecedented attack on our terms and conditions. It isn’t just a matter for those directly affected. If management get away with changing contracts without agreement for staff, what is to stop them changing your contract when it suits them. Ask your rep when your meeting is.
CMEC has the opportunity to become an employer of choice a place where staff committed to lifting children out of poverty can be pleased to work. In threatening to rip up contracts CMEC has not made a good start.
PCS is continuing to raise the matter nationally within PCS and is asking for the matter to be raised by the PCS Parliamentary group.
PCS will update you further following the consultation meeting.