TTG Redundancies – The Consultation Process February 4, 2011Posted by alancwu in News.
The 90 day consultation period for Talk Talk Group employees threatened with redundancy began on 31st January. So what does that mean? What should a consultation process involve?
Your employer has stressed in their guidance to your employee representatives that there is an emphasis on consultation not negotiation – in other words while you have the right to be consulted there is no onus on the employer to act on what you say, as long as they can demonstrate that your views have been sought and taken into account.
Having said that if you act collectively through a consultation process, coordinate your responses to management proposals, produce coherent counter arguments and communicate that fact to your colleagues it becomes more difficult for the company to ignore the alternative point of view of their employees – this is supposed to be a consultation process, a two way process, and the employer should be sensitive to the fact that many of you will still be with the company after other colleagues have been made redundant – if they want to maintain an atmosphere of trust with those employees that remain they need to ensure that you and your colleagues who are going are fairly and respectably treated, and seen to be fairly and respectably treated.
So, don’t be afraid to ask awkward questions – the company says there will be up to 580 redundancies – why?
Do those redundancies make business sense (management are not the only experts in the business – frontline employees will know where the strain on human resources will follow on from redundancies)?
What are the opportunities for redeployment in the business?
Voluntary redundancy has been ruled out – why?
Your employee representatives are crucial in this respect – they have access to privileged information and access to senior management, and they are your representatives – make sure that they have your vocal support but insist that your views are relayed undiluted to management; there is a tendency for employee representative forums to be treated as a management tool for relaying information, rather than as a genuinely consultative forum – it is difficult for your representatives to resist that pressure unless they have your support, management has the power and the only way for you as employees, in a relatively powerless position, to make your voices heard is to act collectively – it’s a core value of trade unionism: together we are stronger.
So, how do you make sure that the consultation process works for you? We’ll examine that question over the next few weeks.
And in the meantime remember you are not alone – the CWU has members and reps throughout Talk Talk Group, those reps are there to offer advice and support and are themselves supported by a network of CWU branches, organisers and the union regionally and nationally. If you want to get in touch with your own site CWU rep or local CWU branch please use the contact details that follow this post.
We will be posting on this blog on a regular basis over the next few weeks, updates from individual sites and across the company, and general and specific advice on handling the redundancy process as well as related items. And please feel free to address any questions directly to this site and we will endeavour to answer them.
In the meantime this link http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=747
will give you access to a pdf file that outlines what a good redundancy process should look like.
Contact: Alan Smith – 07894 461710 firstname.lastname@example.org