Best Value union/council deal will cover 1.4 million

21 Oct 99
Local government employers and their recognised trades unions signed a partnership agreement this week guaranteeing greater consultation with employees and their representatives throughout the Best Value process.

22 October 1999

The deal, covering 1.4 million council employees, involves the Employers' Organisation and the three main unions – Unison, the T&G and the GMB. It aims to counter criticisms that the views of employees have been ignored in the Best Value consultation process.

Rob Pinkham, deputy director of the Employers' Organisation, said the agreement provided a framework that could be used at local level. It also clarified the approach employers should take if they intend to outsource a service.

'There is a commitment that the employers will use all the legal options they have to protect employee service conditions and pensions. Our view is that with those safeguards in place, employees will find the possibility of reorganising the way we provide services a lot less threatening,' he said.

But Malcolm Wing, Unison's national secretary, emphasised that the deal did not signal a lessening of union opposition to outsourcing. 'We draw the line at this being interpreted as a charter for privatisation,' he said. 'If councils do decide to externalise services as part of Best Value, this agreement will not prevent us from campaigning against it.'


Did you enjoy this article?