Good things take time.
In the case of sleepovers, it took seven years. The recent equal pay settlement took five years and last year’s pay talks started in October 16 and finished in July 17. So, while we shouldn’t be surprised that the 2017 collective bargaining at IDEA will carry on into 2018.
Back in September members voted on a two-tier process with the focus on a short-term agreement through till May 2018. We’ve called that Plan A. Plan B was to table a wider set of goals with a greater focus on weekend and overtime pay – but only if Plan A didn’t work.
Our goal in both plans has been to work out a fairer result for member in four key project groups:
- The impact of service reviews on job security and guaranteed hours
- Restoring the margins (relativities) for senior staff now paid the same as others.
- Fixing pay equity and relativities for our admin members
- An agreed worker participation process.
Despite three days of formal bargaining IDEA has not agreed to our proposals and is insisting any new agreement running till October 2018. IDEA has rejected the union timetable for the project groups and has not (yet) committed to the terms of reference we suggested.
E tū are holding firm that there needs to clear union participation in both Service Reviews and Schedule Reviews with more fair and reasonable process around reviews, there is a real need to reduce stress and anxiety for members around the service reviews process.
Members have a right receive accurate and relevant information to be provided to the union and members so that members have real informed choice, and to ensure that IHC take every practical step to sure members hours are maintained or increase.
For our admin members the principles of equal pay are as relevant to their job as it was to support workers.
What’s very disappointing is that IDEA won’t even discuss the first step. Even their pay offer of 5% doesn’t restore the relativities to the pre-July position.
IDEA has made an ‘offer’ which fell well short of our claims. In a strange move they told us it was a ‘package’ available until December 4th, despite us explaining it was simply not possible to consult with 3000+ members with such short notice.
The good news IDEA does seem to have withdrawn its own claims to:
- Cut sick leave for new staff
- Cap sick leave for current staff
- Limit stress leave
- Reduce the 2 weeks notice require for schedule changes to just 24 hours.
Getting any employer to remove their ‘nasty’ claims is part of the bargaining dynamic, but it was disappointing to see IDEA roll out the same old claims that disrespect hard won rights.
Your bargaining team told IDEA we would NOT be recommending their offer and even if we wanted to the timeframes were just not practical. Instead we are going to ask IDEA to meet again before Christmas to try and reach a settlement that genuinely respects the issues staff have raised.
We are still waiting for IDEA to agree to meet.
If we make progress, we’ll update you in the New year. If not then we will start over with Plan B, or C, or D and keep pushing till we get a deal that is fair for everyone. Whatever happens we will be holding paid membership meetings early next year and, as always, it makes a difference if you attend.
IF we make progress you get to decide if it’s enough.
If we don’t make progress, we need to get ready for action.
If you’d like to discuss the report talk to your local bargaining team member or Union Support on 0800 1 UNION (0800 186 466).