Author Topic: Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?  (Read 12231 times)

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Offline Geoff Reid

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Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?
« on: September 21, 2010, 03:19:55 PM »

Just had an interesting chat with someone who told me quite a lot of stuff, (more on this as it unfolds or I can verify it), but sugnificantly, they told me that one, or more of Swindons leisure centres will now be closed at weekends - starting from this weekend.

Information/Leaks to: leaks@talkswindon.org  - discretion assured   :)




Offline Steve Wakefield

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Re: Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2010, 03:29:24 PM »
I can confirm that the Link Centre will be closed this weekend and the Hockey Game will be moved to Friday Night, some staff may be covering the Jimmy Carr concert on Saturday night at the Oasis.
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Offline moley

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Re: Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2010, 03:32:36 PM »

Just had an interesting chat with someone who told me quite a lot of stuff, (more on this as it unfolds or I can verify it), but sugnificantly, they told me that one, or more of Swindons leisure centres will now be closed at weekends - starting from this weekend.

Information/Leaks to: leaks@talkswindon.org  - discretion assured   :)


BBC report on this is:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-11343621

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2010, 03:32:50 PM »
I think there's a lot more to this Steve  ;)

I'm hearing whispers of single-status problems as well.

Any comment?


 :popcorn:

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2010, 03:34:06 PM »
Thanks Moley  :)



Quote
Strike may close Swindon leisure centres at weekends

Leisure centres, parks and car parks in Swindon could close if strike planned by local authority workers goes ahead.

The dispute relates to the Tory-run borough council's decision to withdraw shift allowances paid to staff required to work evenings, nights and weekends.

Councillor Fionuala Foley said the action would cause disruption and apologised to residents.

The shift allowances stopped being paid on 1 July. The first strike is due to take place on 25 and 26 September.


The person I was chatting to did mention the same sort of scope for action, but seemed to think it was not common knowledge yet, in fact they were quite nervous about discussing it at all.  I wasn't going to mention the other stuff without confirmation first.


Open season now then....

Did the Adver cover this between the 17th September and now?

Offline Jarvis

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Re: Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2010, 04:42:01 PM »
 
Bang goes my weekly bath weekend dip then.

Fair play to the staff but I reckon thet're doing what the Tories want them to.  Industrial action will give foley, greenhalsh, bluh, mallinson and perkins the greenlight to slash and burn and blame the woprkers.

Offline Tea Boy

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Re: Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2010, 10:03:28 PM »
I think there's a lot more to this Steve  ;)

I'm hearing whispers of single-status problems as well.

Any comment?


 :popcorn:


I'll comment though, all council staff in leisure centres etc are on strike over the withdraw of enhanced weekend working pay.



The single status / pay and grading review, came up with the idea of making the weekend part of th eworking week for these staff, and so all enhanced rates were dropped, they are now paid straight time in some cases this is knocking a third off thier pay.

The guys who do weekend football duty for SCS/parks aren't on strike, (well not yet any way) , as that  duty is classed as extra to our normal hours, we get overtime with no bonus, although I understand the parks rangers are also out on strike.

Not really sure these staff aren't shooting themselves in the foot..... now is not the time to be worried about  enhanced pay, having a job is what to be worried about.



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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2010, 11:09:08 PM »

A friend of mine tells me that some of them feel they have been goaded into action by comments made to them by Cllr Foley.

I'll chase this up towards the end of the week - bit busy with some Westminter types tomorrow, discussing FOI requests and the like.

Offline Drone

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Re: Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2010, 06:22:01 AM »
A fairly limited ballot went out and I think the strikes will affect leisure and parks. Not sure why the strike isn't more publicised, though. If you are going to do it, make sure people know about it. If you're scared of the reaction, save the nucelar option for when things are really, really bad.


There's still a huge amount of ill-feeling about Single Status. Sorry...Pay and Grading Review. Not just the outcomes, but the council's handling of the whole process and that the benefirs for senior staff were retained while they wiped out some of the small enhancements the lowest paid and hardest working staff got.
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Offline Muggins

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Re: Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2010, 09:23:20 AM »
Tend to agree with Tea boy, for a priority I'd be protecting my job if I could.

I would by now have quietly recruited a few users of any said facility, pointed out to them their usage would be under threat with less and dissatisfied staff and got them to stand around with a petition whilst I worked stoically on.  And I would have in the run up to this be very visible and noisy in what I do as a job.

I would carefully consider whether or not I had been goaded into action by a few ignorant words from an ignorant person.   
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Re: Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2010, 01:16:23 PM »
good advice muggins

Offline Muggins

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Re: Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2010, 08:40:34 AM »
Of course, if my advise didn't work, I'd strike the pants off 'em.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2010, 02:48:32 PM »

Had another chat with my SBC friends today.

To quote one of them:

Quote
"We already know many of us are going to lose our jobs, and some of us will also lose our homes. What have we got to lose by taking a stand?"


They said some things about Cll Finuala Foley which I won't repeat.

Yet.

Offline Drone

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Re: Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2010, 06:31:48 PM »
Nice Adver front page expressing shock that a strike might impact the delivery of services, usually provided by those people who are going out on strike. Um...that's what a strike is, isn't it?

Also Fin Foley expressing surprise that people are unhappy about having their wages cut...


THE CLOSURE of the Link Centre will cause major disruption to thousands of users this weekend as council workers go on strike over pay rates.

Swindon Council’s Leisure Services will close the Link Centre this weekend after Unison members voted in favour of industrial action.

Last week the Adver revealed around 150 Unison members at leisure centres, country parks and in car parking services will not work weekends as of this weekend.

The strikes could be costly for the council, as the Link attracts an average of 2,000 users per weekend and draws an average income of £12,000 to £15,000 over a weekend.

All classes and sessions on Saturday and Sunday have been cancelled, while the Swindon Wildcats’ match against Guildford has been brought forward a day to Friday evening with a face-off of 7.45pm.

Wildcats’ general manager Steve Nell said: “It’s a big inconvenience not just for the senior team but also the juniors and the ladies’ teams.

“We have 150 juniors and 50 seniors who will be affected – we have had to cancel five games this weekend.

“Hopefully the fans will still come down this Friday but I don’t know how many will be able to and it could cost us a lot of money.”

Swindon Dolphins’ swimming championships, which were also scheduled for this weekend, will be moved to a date next month, while all skating lessons will be cancelled.

Louise Clayton, chief coach of the Swindon Dolphins, said the cancellations were frustrating but the club had rearranged the event over two weekends in October.

She said: “It is frustrating and everyone will be disappointed. A lot of people are volunteers and so they will have to make more time available.

“We get around 100 to 120 people come down for it and we like to hold them early in the season because we have a lot of events coming up.”

The decision to close the Link was taken after the majority of staff at the West Swindon leisure centre indicated they would take action either as union members or in support of their colleagues.

The library service at the Link will open as usual between the hours of 1am and 4pm on Saturday and closed as normal on Sunday.

The remainder of the council’s leisure centres will remain open including the Oasis, where the Jimmy Carr performance will go ahead on Saturday night as planned.

The council’s parks will be open as normal, but some changes will be made to the opening of some of the town’s car parks.

Carlton Street and Spring Gardens car parks will be closed on Saturday and Sunday, while Fleming Way, Wyvern and Brunel West car parks will be open as normal this weekend, although Brunel North car park will be closed at 6pm instead of 9.30pm.

Coun Fionuala Foley, Swindon Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Corporate Services, said: “It is extremely regrettable that we have had to take this action and I would like to apologise to everyone who uses the Link Centre for the inconvenience this is likely to cause them.

“This strike action was taken despite the fact only 43 people voted for a strike out of 747 staff. How can this action be legitimate if only 5.7% of the workforce voted for it?

“The salaries we are paying staff have been market tested and whilst we recognise that the impact for some staff does mean a reduction in their salary package, we believe that the new salaries are fair.

“We want to ensure we have fair and affordable taxes for residents, so we cannot justify paying people a higher rate for working at the weekend.”

Louise Clayton, chief coach of the Swindon Dolphins, said the cancellations were frustrating but the club had rearranged the event over two weekends in October.

She said: “It is frustrating and everyone will be disappointed.”

derp derp herp herp derp

Offline Tobes

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Re: Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2010, 07:14:42 PM »
Quote
“We want to ensure we have fair and affordable taxes for residents, so we cannot justify paying people a higher rate for working at the weekend.”

That logic sounds a bit warped to me. I mean, you could pay your workers NOTHING at all and offer the lowest council tax in the country?! Sounds like cant for 'low taxes get us elected, regardless of the real cost'. I wonder if Fin works for her standard rate at the weekend?

Yet again, SBC drive Swindon down the path to terminal mediocrity (and beyond). WTF does 'market tested' mean Fin? That you've pseudo scientifically decided on the lowest wage you can get away with?

Surely the test for whether its 'fair' can be judged that people in very insecure jobs are still willing to take the risk and suffer the financial hardship of going on strike at a time of complete uncertainty. Swindon's hardly a hot-bed of red militancy either, is it? - so to get people that motivated takes a special kind of rough-handling to achieve.

...And all this in the guise of 'hard but necessary cost saving' from a party which awarded councillors a pay RISE last year and which has frittered £500K on a moribund WiFi black-hole, spunked £2m+ on the vantity fair of The Big Weekend and is about to light god knows what new bungling blue-touch paper on The Mechanics.

I thought we were supposed to be able to trust tories with our finances?
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Offline Tea Boy

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Re: Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2010, 10:00:00 PM »
Yes and now we are all paying for it.....

Employees and service providers alike.

What other buisnesses does Ms Foley run, and what does she pay her staff to work weekends?

The adver article is a typical piece of anti-union, anti-strike hyseria, SBC staff can't afford to strike, we don want to , we don't like doing it. When your back's agaimst the wall what else can you do but withdraw your labour to show how upset you are.

I still think a work to rule would be more effective. The council only functions because we all give a bit more than we are paid for, god knows why!
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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2010, 03:47:55 AM »


Quote from: Finuala 'I'm standing down from the cabinet, you see if I don't Foley
“We want to ensure we have fair and affordable taxes for residents, so we cannot justify paying people a higher rate for working at the weekend.”

But they can justify spending nearly £2,000,000 (2 million), of our taxes being used to fund a vastly oversized and overpaid department of council Directors ?

Oink.

Offline Drone

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Re: Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2010, 06:54:18 AM »


Quote from: Finuala 'I'm standing down from the cabinet, you see if I don't Foley
“We want to ensure we have fair and affordable taxes for residents, so we cannot justify paying people a higher rate for working at the weekend.”

But they can justify spending nearly £2,000,000 (2 million), of our taxes being used to fund a vastly oversized and overpaid department of council Directors ?

Oink.

Perhaps the public should ask why if staff weekend enhancements were cut, and it was to ensure value for money, there wasn't a subsequent cut in council tax. Oh, that's right, because a significant number of senior managers actually got a pay rise on the back of Single Status. We can justify paying people a higher rate for working behind a desk, apparently!
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Offline Muggins

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Re: Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2010, 08:49:39 AM »
Well, here's a unique answer:  Our councillors VOLUNTEER to stand in for striking staff.  This would not only save having disappointed users, they would find out exactly how inconvenient it is and what skills are needed   to have to work weekends etc. 

"while all skating lessons will be cancelled" Where can my children stand with their placard?
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Steve Wakefield

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Re: Early Warning: SBC Leisure Centre Staff Working To Rule?
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2010, 10:13:36 AM »
Well, here's a unique answer:  Our councillors VOLUNTEER to stand in for striking staff.  This would not only save having disappointed users, they would find out exactly how inconvenient it is and what skills are needed   to have to work weekends etc. 

"while all skating lessons will be cancelled" Where can my children stand with their placard?

 :2funny: Muggins you do crack me up you know cllrs can't volunteer to stand in for striking staff, until an officer has done the helf n safteee risk assessment analysis thingybob and accredited their training course  ;)
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