agenda for these minutes
Councillor Greenslade (Chairman), Councillors Bray, Mrs Channon, Hart, Haywood and Owen
Mrs Andrews, Ms Flemington, Mr Franceschini, Mr Goodes, Mr King and
Mrs Barnes (Director of Personnel Performance)
The minutes of the meeting held on 29 September 2005 were signed as a correct record (subject to the addition of Councillor Smith).
PP/20 Local Government Reorganisation
The Chairman raised this item as a matter of urgency at the request of the Staff Side, in view of recent reports that Minister of Communities and Local Government, The Rt Hon David Milliband MP was considering a review of local government reorganisation, the last major reorganisation affecting Devon having occurred during the mid 1990s.
It was noted that no proposals had yet been made and the level of support for this was being ascertained. The view of the County Councils Network and this authority was of not supporting further reorganisation and no support was forthcoming from Devon District Councils at this time. No additional funding was expected for this either.
PP/21 Member Appeals
The Partnership considered the report of the Director of Personnel Performance regarding results of past Appeals, projected efficient savings and comparisons with other authority practices following the Partnership s initial consideration at its June meeting.
Only 8 appeals had been considered by the member Personnel Panel between January 03 and August 05. A minority of SW County Councils and Devon Unitary/District authorities continued to hear grievance appeals at member level and none considered appeals against final written warnings in this way. Devon could be falling behind neighbouring authorities in modernising its Appeal procedures. Each member Personnel Panel cost an estimated 52 hours member time and 61 hours Chief Executive directorate officer time. The authority was also mindful of the efficiency savings it was required to take by the Gershon Review and that this area may be a less undesirable area to implement some of these.
The Staff Side however referred to its membership s strong opposition to these proposals when last consulted and so the representatives felt unable to be able to agree (particularly in relation to grievance appeals) without further consultation.
(a) that from 1 April 2006 final written warning appeals be heard at Chief Officer level;
(b) that consideration of grievance appeals continuing to be heard by the Personnel Panel be deferred, pending Staff Side s early consultation with staff, with the view to an agreement being reached by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of this Partnership by 1 February 2006 (following which the corporate grievance policy be revised for proposed implementation on 1 April 2006);
(c) that exceptionally, in order to expedite the consultation with staff in (b) above, Staff Side be authorised to use the authority s intranet, subject to the agreement of the wording with the Director of Personnel Performance;
(d) that if (b) can be achieved, efficiencies gained by the approval of these changes be recorded in the three year plan for Improvement and Efficiency and in the annual efficiency statement required of this authority by the Gershon Review;
(e) that the new policies already agreed (i.e. the Corporate Conduct and Capability policies) be released (for implementation on 1 April 2006);
(f) that the number of outstanding grading appeals be circulated to the Partnership.
PP/22 Local Government Pension Scheme Proposed Changes
The Director of Personnel Performance reported that the latest information was set out in the national statement made on 22 November 2005 and she referred to the Local Government Association and Employers Organisation website. It was noted that no national agreement had yet been reached but that progress had been made.
The 85 year rule in particular continued to be debated.
The Vice-Chairman referred to his recent meeting with the Director of Finance IT and proposals to inform staff in due course of both the current and proposed scheme.
A meeting of this Partnership could be called if necessary to discuss the regulations when received as part of the consultations.
PP/23 Peer Group Report
Staff Side enquired of the IDA (Improvement and Development Agency) report expected today but this was not yet available. Feedback on this authority s performance was however favourable and the report would be circulated as soon as it was received.
PP/24 Domiciliary Care Grievance
Staff Side requested that they withdraw this item following recent legal advice received.
PP/25 New Corporate JCC Constitution
Staff Side reported that they welcomed the finalisation of this in the near future and the agreement between themselves and the Director of Personnel Performance over its content.
The Director of Personnel Performance concurred with the above and hoped that this could be approved at the next Corporate JCC. Following this, the Personnel Partnership would be invited to review its constitution particularly in respect of voting and issues of disagreement. A robust mechanism would be welcomed by both sides given some difficult negotiations expected over the next 18 months.
The Partnership also noted that Councillor Haywood would be the elected member sitting on the newly constituted Corporate Joint Consultative and Negotiating Committee.
PP/26 Dates of Future Meetings
(a) that an invitation be extended to this Partnership to attend the JTLC meeting on 20 January at 2pm;
(b) that further meetings be held on:-
Friday 21 April at 10.30am (revised date);
Friday 9 June at 10.30am
(proceeded by the usual briefings)
(c) that dates of 15 March and 27 April be deleted;
(d) that dates for the remainder of the municipal year be arranged at the next meeting.
The meeting started at 10.30am and finished at 11.30am
The Minutes of this Committee are published on the County Council's Website at:-