Venue: Commitee Room 2, District Council Offices, St Peter's Street, St AlbansItems No. Item
It was reported that on the UNISON side, Asha Wolfe-Robinson and Karen Hollands were now permanent replacements for Chris Dewdney and Riad Kurmally respectively.
Disclosure of Interest
Brian Peers declared a personal and non-prejudicial interest in the matter of the Green Travel Plan, which was a part of his work for the Council.
Minutes PDF 66 KB
To confirm the Minutes of Meeting No. 1 held on 27 August 2008 (copy attached).
The Minutes of Meeting No. 1 of the Joint Consultative Committee held on 27 August 2008 were taken as read and confirmed.
Unison Response to Green Travel Plan PDF 149 KB
UNISON drew to the attention of Members the manner in which the Green Travel Plan had been placed before Cabinet at its meeting on 6 January 2009.
UNISON highlighted the productive discussions which had already been held with management regarding carbon emissions and lease cars which demonstrated their members’ interest in and commitment to environmental issues. UNISON stressed that consultation with management prior to reports affecting staff being presented to Cabinet had always been beneficial.
The Head of HR and Customer Services could not explain why the report to Cabinet on the Green Travel Plan had been submitted to the meeting on 6 January without prior consultation with UNISON. Councillors expressed the view that it appeared a genuine error had been made in that UNISON had not been consulted first, although the reason for that omission was unclear. The Chairman commented that such a situation should not be repeated. He asked that the sequence of events leading to the inclusion of the Green Travel Plan report within the Agenda papers for the Cabinet meeting on 6 January without prior consultation with UNISON be documented and copied to all members of the JCC.
(i) That matters relating to or affecting staff concerns and contractual terms and conditions be conducted under the lines of consultation already in place at this local authority.
(ii) That such consultation procedures be utilised in order to maintain good relations with staff, UNISON and management.
HR Report - Green Travel Initiatives PDF 60 KB
Following the decision of Cabinet at its meeting on 6 January 2009, the Head of HR and Customer Services advised members of the Committee of the consultation planned with staff and UNISON in relation to Green Travel initiatives.
The planned questionnaire, to be agreed first between management, UNISON and the Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainability, was intended to be sent to all staff so that their views on the initiatives could be sought.
That the report be noted.
HR Report - Investors in People re-accreditation
The Head of HR and Customer Services reported on the confirmation of the re-accreditation of the Council as an Investor in People under the current IIP standard and highlighted the action plan for 2009 to address those issues requiring further improvement, as had been identified by the Assessment Network Ltd.
UNISON highlighted two particular issues for consideration. The first matter concerned those staff who were undertaking home study via the Open University and the requirement that they had to use annual leave in order to sit the examinations because the degrees being sought were not connected to their work. In reply, the Head of HR and Customer Services advised that if there were a number of staff in that situation it might be concluded that the Council needed to adopt a more flexible approach.
The second issue concerned the time involved for staff engaged with the appraisal process and whether the procedure might be shortened in order to allow them more time to perform their day jobs. The Head of HR and Customer Services replied that appraisals were critical to performance of staff in their jobs and that to require them to use a maximum of two hours twice a year in order to attend appraisals and six-month reviews was not a disproportionate length of time. It was proposed that simplified forms for use in the appraisal process would be included in the Consolidated Action Plan to be recommended to Cabinet in due course.
That the report be noted and that the action plan flowing from the findings in that report be recommended to Cabinet for adoption.
Date of Next Meeting
It was confirmed that, at the Council meeting held on 21 January 2009, a calendar of meetings for the Municipal Year 2009/10 had been agreed. The date of 18 June 2009 had been approved by the Council as being the date of the next meeting of this Committee.
That in view of 18 June 2009 also being the date of the UNISON National Conference, members be consulted by the Democratic Services Manager about an alternative date for the next meeting of the Joint Consultative Committee.