STAFFORDSHIRE POLICE UNISON
                      BRANCH EXECUTIVE MEETING
                        Of meeting held on 19th October 2005
  Staffordshire Police UNISON Branch Office, Rising Brook, Stafford, ST17 9QN.

                               Dawn Critchley - Asst. Branch Secretary

        John Barlow                 Claire Bruus            Paul Coogan
        Cath Goodfellow             Philip Hopkins          Hossein Heideripoor
        Ann Jones                   Mick Spalding           Pauline Webb
        Tony Wright

        Regional Organiser – Charlie Sarell


        Apologies were noted from Jenny Gilbert, John Axon, Michael Shepherd,
        Janet Gavin and Rob Williams.


        The Minutes of the last meeting were accepted, proposed by Philip Hopkins,
        seconded by John Barlow.


        Due to the absence of the Chair there was nothing to report.


        Due to the absence of the Branch Secretary, the Assistant Branch Secretary
        gave a brief update regarding her busy work schedule this month. She
        reported on the messenger email regarding the Police Staff member who has
        been convicted of a breach of the Data Protection Act.

        The Asst Branch Secretary also reported on an Equal Pay Course which she
        attended on behalf of the Branch. She felt the seminar was very worthwhile
        and would be advantageous for another Branch Executive Member to attend.

        The Regional Organiser reported that if Police Forces do merge the issue
        concerning equal pay will be more in the forefront as we will be having equal
        pay issues from a wider area.

Objective 1: Recruiting, Organising and representing members

       New Stewards/Branch Officers

        No new stewards or Branch Officers to report.
      New Members

       Rachel Donegan – Stafford
       Lynn Cottrill – SACR – HQS
       Michael Dunn – Road Crime Team Assistant, Weston Road
       Lesley Gaunt – Registration Clerk, Lichfield
       Andrew Kirby, Scientific Support Manager, Headquarters
       Rashid Haroon, PCSO – Bucknall
       Peter Rollison , Scenes of Crime Officer, Scientific Support
       Karleen Salmon, PCSO, Kinver
       Sylvia Adams, NACF – Detention Officer


       The Asst Branch Secretary had concerns that Police Staff employees have
       been contacting the Branch, seeking advice, even though they are not
       UNISON Members. She had been advising them that they were not entitled to

       General discussion took place concerning advice given to non members. It
       was generally felt that advice should not be given to non members, although
       some Stewards do use ‘giving advice’ as a way of recruiting a non member.
       The Branch Administrator felt that a full paying member would be very
       aggrieved to find out that a non subscriber to the union is receiving the same

       The Regional Organiser asked Stewards and Branch Officers to note the 13
       week rule in that members cannot receive legal representation for the first 13
       weeks. Also Branch officers and stewards are also not obliged to give advice
       to new members for pre-existing work place issues.

Objective 2: Negotiating and bargaining on behalf of members and promoting equality

      Dogs

       At the last meeting the Branch Secretary agreed to write to the Chief
       Constable concerning this issue. Due to the absence of the Branch Secretary
       this item will be deferred to the next meeting.

       Cath Goodfellow reported that she had attended a divisional health and safety
       meeting and the issue concerning dog fouling was brought to the meeting.

       A Superintendent from Stoke Division had also agreed to write to Mr Liddiard
       concerning this issue.

       Weston Road

       Mr Wright reported on the situation concerning dog kennels at Weston Road.
       Unfortunately the Police Authority has suspended the rebuild due to costs and
       they are possibly looking at outsourcing. Noted.
   Regionalisation

    The Asst Branch Secretary updated the meeting concerning regionalisation.
    Emails have been sent out from the organisation updating Staffordshire Police

    Discussion took place concerning the many rumours circulating at present, the
    most recent one being the amalgamation of the four Police Forces –
    Warwickshire, West Midlands, West Mercia and Staffordshire.

    UNISON national office are holding a National Seminar on 1st December
    which the Branch Secretary from Staffordshire will be attending, in order to
    report back to the Executive.

    Discussion took place concerning the amalgamation of the UNISON
    Branches. The Regional Organiser reported that various Branch Secretaries
    are having a chance of putting their views forward, but the Regional Service
    Group Executive will be trying to coordinate any changes.          The Regional
    Organiser reported that it is very early days with regards to negotiations.

    The Regional Organiser also stated that he will be writing to HR Managers
    asking for the redeployment, redundancy and early retirement policies.

    A special Police Staff Service Group meeting will be convened within a few
    weeks, which gives the branches chance to put forward their views. Those
    sitting on the Police Staff Service Group are Dawn Critchley, Claire Bruus,
    Pauline Webb and Michael Shepherd as Chair.

    The Assistant Branch Secretary stated that we must reassure members as they
    will all have concerns regarding their employment, although we cannot
    speculate how it will affect people at this early stage.

    It was noted that an announcement will be made by the end of December
    2005, and all regionalisation will be done by 1st April 2007.
   Enquiry Office Interview Room - Hanley

    Cath Goodfellow reported on an email which had been received from Ch Insp
    Pete Owen concerning the enquiry office interview room at Hanley.

    Mr Owen had made two proposals, which he believed would dramatically cut
    the risk to the PEO's and would also incur minimal costs. Firstly the 'inner'
    two rooms should not be used by PEO's for interviews as they are small,
    cramped and provide little opportunity for escape if staff are threatened. This
    is especially so when the PEO, to escape, has to negotiate a locked door which
    is key coded.

    Mr Owen believes the larger room off the public area does provide additional
    security in that when the PEO has withdrawn from the room and shut the inner
    door they are to a greater extent safe.

    The second proposal is that of the layout of the room and the furniture in it in
    that the furniture re-arranged to place the 'visitors' away from the 'escape'
    route, the PEO next to the 'escape' route and a desk as a barrier between them.

    Mr Owen pointed out further improvements such as:

    (i)     removal of unnecessary furniture and objects
    (ii)    a review of the furniture to ensure it is suitable
    (iii)   physical adjustment to the 'escape' door to enable it to be easily opened
            by a PEO when necessary and for the security mechanism to activate
            when closed. This may be achieved purely by adopting the right
            working practices with the door.

    Ch Insp. Owen has proposed that the above actions are carried out and
    working practices adopted and that the situation is then reviewed in 3 months

    The Branch Executive noted the comments but Cath Goodfellow believed that
    this is a force wide issue not just at Hanley.

    Further discussion took place concerning the health and safety of members
    working within that room.

    The Regional Organiser felt that the Branch should put out an email to the
    effect that the office is not to be used for interviewing.

    Discussion took place.

    Item to be brought to the next Branch Executive meeting.
   Career Progression Scheme

    The Branch Secretary wrote to Mr Liddiard requesting all career progression
    schemes be cancelled. To date a response has still not been received.

    Discussion took place regarding the scheme which may take over from the
    career progression scheme. It was generally believed that the Force are
    pulling away from a yearly increase and are working towards entries in your


   Redeployment Policy – Changes In Job Location

    At the last meeting the Branch Secretary reported on the draft Redeployment
    Policy. Since the last meeting this Policy has been accepted by the Branch

   Weston Road – Weston Road - Reception Area / New Build

    Tony Wright updated the meeting regarding the findings of the ergonomic
    report. He had attended meetings and unfortunately no improvements
    mentioned in the review will be carried out until planning applications and
    allocation of monies has been decided and agreed. Noted.

    Tony Wright reported that the new build at Weston Road is going ahead now
    and will hopefully be fully functional in 2007.

    Tony Wright also voiced his concerns regarding a meeting whereby he tried to
    seek clarification that his members were allowed to leave their place of work
    during their period of unpaid break time. The Ops Support Business Manager
    informed him that they could leave. Tony also wanted clarification that his
    members would not be responsible if an incident occurred and his members
    were off site. Tony was also verbally told that his members are able to leave
    the site. Tony Wright wants this clarification in writing should a problem
    occur in the future.

    The Assistant Branch Secretary advised Tony to email the Business Manager,
    outlining the verbal agreement, and copy the email to the managers and
    UNISON Branch Office in that Police Staff members could leave the site
    during their break period. The Regional Organiser also stated that when you
    email an individual you can ask the email to be flagged to the sender when the
    email has been read.

Objective 3: Campaigning and promoting UNISON on behalf of members

      Charity Challenges

       Hossein Heideripoor reported on his charity walk that he undertook for
       UNISON Welfare and raised in excess of £300.00

       Congratulations were passed on to Hossein on behalf of the Branch Executive
       for his achievement.

Objective 4: Developing an efficient and effective union

      Pensions

       The Regional Organiser reported on the public sector pension’s deal which has
       been agreed and widely reported in the press.

       This pensions deal ONLY affects civil servants, health and education workers
       and NOT the Local Government Scheme (Police). Under the new deal, which
       will have to be ratified by the leaders of several unions, existing workers in the
       civil service, health and education will be able to retain their existing pension
       arrangements although new employees will be guaranteed index linked
       pensions and will still be able to retire at 60 if they want to.

       The Regional Organiser reported that we are still currently looking to go to a
       ballot. The Regional Organiser was going to write to the Chief Constables
       regarding the tri-partite meetings involved with the Unions, Government and
       Local Government Association (Councils) as they do not represent the Police.

       The Regional Organiser felt strongly that the Police are not being kept in the
       frame, and fully supported the fact that if there is to be a strike, they should
       have been given a chance to be at the discussions.

       Discussion took place. It was agreed that we send out a small email to
       everyone advising members that local Government has not been part of the
       negotiations and that a ballot to strike may still take place.




       The date of the next meeting will be held on 23rd November 2005 at 1000 hrs.

       ……………………………..                            …………………………………………
       Tony Wright                              Dawn Critchley
       Acting Vice Chair                        Asst Branch Secretary

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