Cabinet agrees new Birmingham Contract

By on 14/02/2011 in News

Proposals to make employee contracts fit for the challenges facing the public sector were discussed and agreed today by Birmingham City Council's Cabinet.

The council, as with all other local authorities, is facing the massive challenge of providing quality core services to its community whilst making huge budgetary savings.

The Birmingham Contract addresses the dual task of being able to use staffing resources effectively and of ensuring that the cost of staff is value for money. The proposals will give reasonable flexibility of staff deployment.  They also challenge many of the historic allowances which may well have once been justified but are not sustainable in 2011.

The council has reviewed employee allowances and terms and conditions and the proposals aim to give the council's workforce the flexibility to meet the demands of the future.

The council has been consulting extensively on the proposals with the Trades Unions since July 2010. Consultation with employees has been running since December 2010, via individual and team meetings and a survey.

Cabinet has approved a range of measures which would result in savings of £9.7 million per year including:

  • The end of some enhanced allowance payments (alternate shift, unsociable hours and weekend working) and amendment of others (night shift)
  • Review of local allowances and practices to ensure compliance with employment legislation
  • Amending car allowances so they reflect the HM Revenue and Customs recommended rates
  • Ensuring free car parking is only provided to approved car users
  • Revised JNC Chief Officers' terms and conditions
  • Revised people management policies and procedures
  • The introduction of broad job groups to create a more flexible workforce which will be able to move around the organisation more easily than before - reducing the future risk of redundancy
  • The issuing of a new contract of employment incorporating the proposals.

Cllr Alan Rudge, Cabinet Member for Equalities and Human Resources at Birmingham City Council, said:

“The contract brings our organisation into line with other leading employers and will make the council more resilient to future pressures, through the reduction in costs and the introduction of broad job groups - which break down an historic silo approach and give employees more flexibility to move around the organisation.

“Greater flexibility will enable the council to make best use of the skill, knowledge and experience of its people and, in turn, this will help the organisation to continue to meet the needs of Birmingham's residents.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

The Birmingham Contract proposals cover around 26,000 Birmingham City Council employees.

The proposals relating to allowances (alternate shift, unsociable hours, weekend working and night shift) affect everyone who is employed by the council on NJC terms and conditions of employment (the majority of the council's employees), except those directly employed by schools.

The other Birmingham Contract proposals affect everyone who is employed by the council on NJC terms and conditions of employment (the majority of the council's employees) and JNC Chief Officers.

Teachers and people who are directly employed via schools are not affected by the Birmingham Contract proposals.

For further information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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