Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Glasgow - Union Ballots

A kind reader from Glasgow has sent me a copy a letter from the local Unison branch confirming the outcome of a consultative ballot on the latest pay offer from Cordia.

The result of the Unison ballot was:

Accept - 24% 
Reject - 76%

So unlike the GMB vote the result was more that 3 to 1 to Reject which is a bit strange especially as it's the same group of workers, by and large.

Also unlike the GMB, Unison actually provides details of the number of members who voted which were:

Accept - 123 
Reject - 398 
Membership total - 1527

So the turnout was a rather disappointing 34% although I suspect this may have been higher than the GMB ballot, the turnout of which has been kept secret from the members, so far at least.

All of which means that the latest Cordia pay offer will be implemented as I believe the GMB is the majority union in this particular part of Glasgow City Council.

The trade unions clearly have a lot of thinking to do, but if they would like to sit down and have a chat they know where to reach me. 

I mean, for goodness sake, who conducts an important ballot at the height of the summer holiday period, when most school based staff are not even at their place of work  - where they would normally discuss topical issues with friends and co-workers?  

Completely mad, if you ask me, but watch this space as I intend to say more soon on why the local unions in Glasgow never held a ballot of their members over the WPBR.


Glasgow and Equal Pay (05/08/17)

Here are two of the readers' comments I've received on yesterday's post about the GMB's pay ballot


I have just seen your post regarding the latest GMB ballot. 

I have been a member of GMB for 27yrs, I and other co workers have not had any correspondence from GMB regarding this important information. 

I for one will calling and asking these questions.


GMB at it's best


Hi Mark

Can you explain why union members are being balloted over a pay offer - yet there was no ballot over the introduction of the original WPBR pay scheme?


Now that's a very good question about the absence of a workforce ballot over the introduction of Glasgow's controversial WPBR pay scheme - because the WPBR had profound implications for every council employee's pay.

Yet the trade unions didn't ask their members to approve the introduction of the WPBR, the WCD (Working Context and Demands scheme), the NSWP (Non Standard Working Pattern scheme) or the EDC (Employee Development Commitment scheme).

I'll have much more to say on this subject in the days ahead.


Breaking News! (04/08/17)

Image result for breaking news + images

A reader from Glasgow has been in touch to say that the recent GMB ballot declared an almost 2 to 1 majority in favour of accepting the latest pay offer from Cordia.

Apparently 64% voted to Accept and 36% voted to Reject although strangely the GMB does not seem to have released the total number of ballot papers issued.

Now trade unions normally withhold this information when they have something to be embarrassed about, such as a very low turnout.

Using the example from yesterday, if only 200 members voted and the result was declared as 64% in favour of Acceptance - this would mean that only 128 people decided the outcome on behalf of 1,000 members, or just 12.8% of the total. 

Now you could say this was perfectly democratic because while you can 'lead a horse to water etc', you can't force people to vote in a ballot which is not compulsory.

But on such an important issue you could also say something is very wrong if so few people bother to vote and take urgent steps to investigate why the turnout is so low.

So for any GMB members out there who are interested in asking their union a few pointed questions why not try these out for size:

  • How many ballot papers in total did the GMB issue and how many were returned?
  • Did the GMB arrange for the ballot to be independently scrutinised?
  • If not, who conducted and oversaw the count? 
  • Why was the ballot conducted during the peak holiday period?

Like lots of GMB members in Glasgow I'd be interested in what the union has to say.


Glasgow - Union Ballots (04/08/17)

A Home Carer from Glasgow has been in touch about the recent GMB of members over the recent pay offer from Cordia - regular readers will recall that the union regarded the Cordia offer as a big breakthrough and the first 'decent' pay in years.

In any event, apparently the GMB ballot went in favour of accepting the offer which came as a surprise to this particular Home Carer who says that everyone she knows voted to 'Reject' Cordia's proposal.

Most trade union ballots these days are scrutinised independently, so that everyone can have confidence in the outcome and although I've no idea what happened with the GMB ballot the following information would normally be declared in announcing the result.

1 Number of ballot papers issued - 1,000 (for argument's sake here)

2 Number of ballot papers returned - 600 (which would mean a 60% turnout)

3 Number of ballots in favour of ACCEPT - 340 (57% of the votes cast)

4 Number of ballots in favour of REJECT - 260 (43% of the votes cast)

The result might also show the number of spoiled ballot papers, if any, and in the event of a very low turnout there might be some additional comment on how to move the issue forward.

For example, a Yes vote to take industrial action based on a very low turnout would certainly have given me a big pause for thought when I was Unison's Head of Local Government in Scotland.

Because a vote based on a simple majority is not necessarily a strong mandate to do anything, if it is based on a very poor turnout of the members involved.  

As I said I don't know the details of the GMB ballot, but if anyone can throw some light on the subject I'll happily share this information on the blog site.