Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1 - Bromley Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Steve Wood  020 8313 4316

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Simon Fawthrop. Councillor Keith Onslow attended as substitute.

 

Apologies were also received from the Leader, Laurence Downes, Sally Tsoukaris and Josie Meade.

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

To record any declarations of interest from Members present.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

MINUTES FROM THE PREVIOUS MEETING OF THE LOCAL JOINT CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE HELD ON 9th JANUARY 2019 pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Minutes:

No queries were raised concerning the accuracy of the minutes of the meeting held on 9th January 2019.

 

A Member referred to minute 10, relating to the wellbeing survey being undertaken by ACAS. The minute referenced a previous discussion that was purported to have taken place between the Director of HR and the unions with respect to the ACAS well-being survey. The Staff Side expressed the view that the discussion mentioned in the minutes had not taken place, and had requested a copy of the minutes of the meeting. The Director of HR had promised to provide a copy of the minutes and the Member asked if this had been actioned.

 

The Director of HR apologised and said that he had confused the discussion referenced in the minutes with a different discussion. He had met with the unions subsequently, and these minutes had been disseminated.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 9th January 2019 be agreed and signed as a correct record.  

 

4.

REVIEW OF THE LJCC CONSTITUTION pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A paper had been submitted for the Committee’s attention, outlining proposed changes to the Constitution and Functions of the LJCC. The changes proposed were to reduce the number of Trade Union and Departmental Representatives, and also to amend the rules relating to quoracy, so that a meeting could take place if any two members of the Staff Side were in attendance. The Chairman felt that this was a sensible idea in that it would make it easier to form a quorum, thus avoiding the previous issues of meetings being cancelled as they were not quorate. In the revised LJCC Constitution and Functions document, it was also proposed to remove the provision that currently allowed for external trade union representatives to attend the Committee, subject to the agreement of both sides of the LJCC. 

 

The Staff Side pointed out that the existing provision (Regulation 8) allowed for external trade union representatives, who were not employees of LBB, to attend to represent staff. They expressed concern that there was a proposal for this provision to be abolished, as Regulation 8 which allowed for external union representatives to attend the LJCC (without voting rights and with the agreement of both sides) did not appear in the proposed LJCC revised Constitution and Functions document. The Staff Side expressed the view that it was vital to keep Regulation 8, as it was important to allow external representatives to come along and contribute to discussions. The Chairman had agreed that external trade union representatives could be invited to attend the meeting on this occasion.

 

The Staff Side expressed disappointment that agreement to allow external trade union representation had been provided late for this meeting, and this had resulted in trade union apologies.

 

The Staff Side stated that if the intention was indeed to remove Regulation 8, that this intention be re-considered, and that the ability to allow external trade union input to discussions be retained, as they felt it was important to allow external trade union representatives to attend and contribute to discussions as they represented Council staff.

 

The Chairman responded and stated that in his view, the trade union representatives, who were able to have an input at the LJCC, should be part of the Council and that in this way they would be more familiar with Council issues. This position was shared and supported by most of the Chairman’s colleagues at the meeting. 

 

A Member stated that the description ‘external trade union representatives’ could be misunderstood and misconstrued. The trade union representatives would be attending simply to support members of Council staff who were trade union members. The Staff Side expressed the view that the matters they raised on behalf of their members affected all staff. 

 

The Director of HR clarified that the proposal was to remove Regulation 8 and to thereby remove the provision, and this was why the provision had been excluded in the proposed revised Constitution and Functions document. Subsequent to this clarification, the Vice Chairman requested that the intent to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

PROVISION OF SERVICES UNDER THE TRANSFORMATION PROGRAMME

The Staff Side would like to ask the following question:

 

In house staff experience significant additional workloads resulting from the outsourcing of services; this can impact on their ability to carry out their functions and their mental health. As the Council moves towards its programme of Transformation, will the externalised costs of outsourcing be fully factored into decisions about how transformed services are provided?

 

Minutes:

The Staff Side had asked the following question:

 

In house staff experience significant additional workloads resulting from the outsourcing of services; this can impact on their ability to carry out their functions and their mental health. As the Council moves towards its programme of Transformation, will the externalised costs of outsourcing be fully factored into decisions about how transformed services are provided?

 

The Assistant Director for Governance and Contracts was not able to attend the meeting but had provided the following written response:

 

The Transformation Programme, (as detailed in the recently published Transforming Bromley: Our Four Year Roadmap 2019 to 2023), has a much broader purpose than may be inferred from the question.  The commissioning of services is only one of seven activity headings within the Roadmap; and the identification of potential third party delivery opportunities is only one of eighty separate actions identified within the nine Priority Themes within the Roadmap.

 

Bromley has described itself as a commissioning organisation for several years, with one of its long established Corporate Operating Principles being that we are a commissioning organisation seeking who is best placed to deliver services to the community based on value for money principles.  Any commissioning proposal, particularly where it concerns a potential proposal for the outsourcing (or insourcing) of a service, should be based on a fully costed Business Case that compares the baseline budget (including controllable and non-controllable costs) and outcomes against alternative delivery models.  The functions, resources and cost of any client management resource should be considered within the Business Case.

 

RESOLVED that the update from the Assistant Director for Governance and Contracts be noted.

6.

PAY SETTLEMENTS AND THE LONDON LIVING WAGE

The Staff Side would like to ask the following question:

 

The LJCC is asked to recommend that the Council consider the Council’s leadership role, and assess the impact on staff and the local economy of sub London Living Wage pay settlements for staff (in house and contracted) who provide Council services and reside or shop in the Borough.

 

Minutes:

The Staff Side asked the following question:

 

The LJCC is asked to recommend that the Council consider the Council’s leadership role, and assess the impact on staff and the local economy of sub London Living Wage pay settlements for staff (in house and contracted) who provide Council services and reside or shop in the Borough.

 

A discussion took place regarding the rates of pay for Bromley Staff. The Committee was briefed that 36 staff members were paid below the rate recommended for the London Living Wage. The London Living Wage was not a statutory obligation. The Committee heard that the rate for the London Living Wage was £10.55 per hour. The statutory national minimum wage and national living wage was £8.21 per hour and the minimum rate of pay applied to Bromley Staff was £9.65 per hour. So although Bromley Staff were not paid the London Living Wage, they were paid above the statutory rate for the national living wage. The Staff Side expressed the view that unlike the London Living Wage, LBB’s minimum rate did not adequately account for the higher cost of living in Bromley/London compared to other parts of the country. 

 

The Staff Side highlighted that the London Living Wage was paid by many Conservative Councils in London, and that it would not cost much to upgrade workers in Bromley to the London Living Wage. A Member responded that any artificial adjustment arising from the London Living Wage would have a knock-on effect on other pay grades in the organisation with possible significant financial and equal pay impacts. The Chairman expressed the view that LBB was looking after their staff because in the majority of cases Bromley staff were being paid £9.65 per hour which was above the National Minimum Wage.

 

The Chairman highlighted the fact that LBB paid its staff a higher rate of pay than what was usually agreed by National Terms and Conditions, and that they also retained the £200k fund for merited pay awards for staff achieving exceptional performance.  A Member mentioned that at the GP&L Committee, other incentives to retain staff were being looked at.

 

The Staff Side asked the GP&L Chairman if she would provide them with a list of workers who were being paid less than the London Living Wage, and she agreed to do so.

 

The Vice Chairman maintained that the London Living Wage should be paid to Bromley Staff, as in the view of the Staff Side it was the minimum level of money that was needed to function, and that LBB should take the lead in rewarding lower paid staff. The performance incentives mentioned did not benefit everyone equally.

 

RESOLVED that the Staff Side question be noted, and that the GP&L Chairman provide a list to the Staff Side, of those workers being paid below the London Living Wage.  

 

 

 

 

7.

REVIEW OF DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES AND UPDATE REGARDING THE ACAS WELL-BEING SURVEY

The Staff Side are seeking updates on the following issues:

 

1- Review of Disciplinary Procedures

 

2- Time table and Union involvement in the ACAS Wellbeing Survey

 

The Staff Side express the view that the delay in addressing these issues is resulting in ongoing stress and mental health issues for staff.

 

Minutes:

The Staff Side were seeking updates on the following issues:

 

1- Review of Disciplinary Procedures

 

2- Time table and Trade Union involvement in the ACAS Wellbeing Survey

 

The Staff Side expressed the view that the delay in addressing those issues had resulted in ongoing stress and mental health issues for staff.

 

The Director of HR expressed the view that progress was being made with these issues, after meetings had been held with the trade unions; he thanked Kathy Smith for her assistance in achieving this. He said that regarding the review of disciplinary procedures, agreement had been made on both sides to see what could be done. It was felt that in some cases the concerns were more around how disciplinary matters were conducted by officers, rather than problems with the Disciplinary Procedure itself. It had been agreed that as well as looking at procedures, guidance notes would be drafted to support managers and also to provide managers with additional training and support and also the possibility of joint training with the unions. The Chief Executive was monitoring the situation.

 

The Vice Chairman requested that any issues around improvements in the provision of training and guidance for managers be reviewed (in consulttaion with the Trade Unions) as soon as possible.

 

The Director of HR acknowledged the need for managerial and cultural change, along with improved training. A Member asked if the Departmental Representatives would be involved in discussions relating to the review of disciplinary procedures and the Director of HR confirmed that they would be consulted and involved.

 

 

 

8.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The Committee is requested to note that the next meeting will be held on October 30th 2019.

Minutes:

It was noted that the LJCC would meet next on 30th October 2019.

 

Original Text: