This week the company intends to send out letters to individuals (by a combination of post and email) to invite them to 1:1 meetings where they will be told they have been provisionally selected for redundancy. Some of these meetings may take place late this week, but most are expected to be early next week. The letter is supposed to include the individual’s “scores” against the selection criteria, but it is currently unclear how much detail will be provided.
Applicants for Voluntary Redundancy (VR) are also expected to get a response in the same timescale. The company has had around 770 VR applications. Think how many more there can be if the company opens up VR to the rest of the company, resolves the pension/tax issue and provides accurate quotes to everyone.
The company’s proposed timeline for the redundancies is online, though not fully up-to-date. The company’s “Selection and Appeals Factsheet” is also online. All the company’s so-called “Fact Sheets” are well worth looking at, though some parts of them would be more accurately called “Fiction Sheets”. They also don’t cover the improved arrangements which apply for people in the UNITE Manchester bargaining unit.
UNITE will be providing further guidance shortly to members invited to meetings about selection for Compulsory Redundancy (CR) or rejected for Voluntary Redundancy (VR).
To assist with this, your reps are asking you to let us know your status, as soon as you know.
UNITE strongly recommends that every member attending any meeting concerned with Compulsory Redundancy (CR):
- Reads any documentation provided by the company, and the forthcoming UNITE guidance, carefully
- Prepares before the meeting
- Is accompanied
- Takes careful notes
Being provisionally selected for redundancy is not the end of the road. There are fundamentally three ways you could avoid redundancy:
- Changes to the overall situation arising from the campaign
- Appealing against selection
- Redeployment inside the company
Members who are selected but want to avoid redundancy need to get the balance right between these avenues (and also looking for jobs externally). This balance will not be the same for every individual.
Reps also need to get the balance right to support members effectively. There are likely to be a significant number of appeals and grievances over the next few weeks.
Soon after the company announced job losses, UNITE reps decided that:
While everyone will benefit from the work that UNITE and PCS are doing at a collective level, UNITE reps will only give individual support (in relation to these redundancies) to members who join before any selection for redundancy takes place.
This deadline has now passed. If there are jobs available, we want to ensure that members get them. It would be crazy to help a non-member to appeal successfully, as a result of which a member lost their job instead. There are still plenty of good reasons to join – not least access to information and of course the campaign.
Are you willing to volunteer to accompany another member in their initial 1-1 meeting? Please let us know. These meetings will be relatively short (less than 45 minutes) and are not part of the formal appeal process. If you volunteer, you would be asked to provide moral support to the member, take and write up notes, and help them use a checklist of questions and points that UNITE will provide. By doing so, you will help ensure that members can have their meetings with the minimum of delay, and free up your reps to focus on formal appeal meetings etc.