Unite, Britain’s leading union, has expressed serious concerns over plans seen by the union which will give local authority employers in London new powers to redeploy workers under the threat of disciplinary action.
Rather than harnessing the growing spirit of volunteerism, Local Government employers in London are attempting to bulldoze through excessive new measures during the current COVID 19 crisis. But Unite will oppose these changes at a time of great anxiety amongst local government workers across the capital.
Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “We understand that the capital faces a health crisis and local government workers are rising to the challenge but this is the wrong approach. It’s a poor way to treat public service workers who are providing vital services day in, day out.
“We have seen how people have come forward to volunteer all over the country – yet London councils seem to think that volunteering should be accompanied with threats – that is not volunteering, it’s force. We have already had some members in London reporting that they have been threatened with disciplinary action.”
“Local Government employers must quickly drop these measures and continue to harness the spirit of volunteerism rather than resorting to threats and damaging morale at a time of crisis. Workers are pulling together but threats could quickly lead to fear and anger.”
The proposed new ‘framework’ from London Local Authorities is entitled; “Deployment of Staff in Emergency Situations for London Local Authorities”. The ‘framework’ is intended to take precedence over normal local government HR policies.