Trade union members across all three trade unions have now twice given overwhelming votes against Sandwell Leisure Trusts proposals attack NJC pay levels and withdraw from NJC body that nationally negotiates terms and conditions. Below is a joint union message to the Board members of SLT.
Dear Board Members of SLT,
We would have liked to have spoken to you in person, but we have been denied that opportunity.
It is regrettable that we appear to be close to a bitter dispute. Our members have now twice given us an overwhelming mandate to fight any attacks on pay, terms and conditions. Most of our members have already been hit financially whilst being furloughed. Instead of entering a bitter dispute with staff, we ask you to reconsider your position, drop any attacks, and work with the trade unions to campaign for the funding you need to stay afloat. It is the Council that has the funds to plug the financial gap from the loss of income.
If you seek to plug any financial gap by worsening pay, terms and conditions, it will only create a bitter, resentful workforce in SLT – the very same staff that work so hard to make SLT the success it has been.
The attack proposed the second time saved as little as £97,000 in the first year. This is nothing compared to the support we understand you need to get through the crisis. Is it really worth creating conflict with staff and the trade unions?
Unless all the proposals are dropped the trade unions will begin formal industrial action ballots, that given the size of the consultative ballots, we expect to win. If we must fight, we will fight to win. We will also campaign for Sandwell MBC to directly run the leisure centres.
We would rather be concentrating on working together to re-open what operations we can, and campaign with you to secure the necessary funding from Sandwell MBC.
We hope you reconsider.
If you would like to discuss in person, we would welcome that opportunity.
Sarah James Tony Barnsley Andrew Harris
GMB UNISON Unite the Union