Dispute resolution breakthrough welcomed

Unions
have welcomed new procedures introduced by the Government to settle disputes on
‘two tier’ workforce issues in local government.

Alternative
Dispute Resolution (ADR) can now be invoked by either the contractor, local
authority or trade union, but only after existing negotiating and dispute
procedures have been exhausted.

Under
the Code of Practice on Handling Workforce Issues, ADR can be applied in cases
where a local authority transfers staff to an external provider as part of a
contract to provide a local public service.

Any
dispute will be considered by an independent expert appointed by arbitration
and conciliation service Acas and the decision will be binding.

Mick
Graham, GMB’s national secretary for public services said: "This is a
major victory for the trade unions because it should ensure that, regardless of
the employer, terms and conditions of public service workers in local
government will be protected."

www.odpm.gov.uk

By Michael Millar

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