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URGENT UPDATE – Children’s Services Briefing


Further to a members meeting held on Thursday 19th January 2017, GMB Regional Officer Gill Ogilvie and I have today met with counterparts from the joint Trade Unions.

During this meeting GMB have made clear that after taking legal advice and following the Regional Officers email, a vote was held by the members on Thursday and a ballot for formal strike action will not be taken with regards to the Children’s Trust based on the following points:

  • A trade dispute (industrial action) cannot be taken against a TUPE decision, whereby a business – in this case the council, transfers part of its business to another company – in this case the Children’s Trust
  • A trade dispute must be lodged against the employer. However, as the employer SMBC have not made the decision to create a Children’s Trust a dispute cannot be lodged against them. Therefore a dispute would be against the Government and it is extremely unlikely that they are going to alter their decision
  • Any strike action would need to be sustained, weeks, possibly months. A 1 day strike would be a token gesture onlyWe are aware that some members may not be happy with this decision, but GMB remain committed to ensuring our members are fully protected in the workplace and this includes providing you with full information in terms of what a strike ballot would mean.
However, this does not mean that we are giving up any fight. The Government’s Commissioner has made it clear that he has not listened to the views of the staff, the Unions and the Council who have all attempted to secure a secondment model. Representatives from the joint Trade Unions have already met with Tom Watson, West Bromwich East MP & Deputy Leader of the Labour Party to express our disappointment at the decision and to question how impartial the Commissioner has been and we have provided evidence to this effect.
We are awaiting a response to the meeting and a subsequent letter issued but once we have a political response we will feedback to members.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or queries please contact me, Darren James, GMB Branch Secretary on 0121 569 5990, or by email or speak to your local workplace representative Ranjit Soomal.Many Thanks

Darren James
GMB S85 Sandwell Community Branch Secretary
0121 569 5990

Posted: 20th January 2017

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