Balfour Beatty Living Places refuses to recognise agreement with council

Wiltshire Times: Unison members protest at County Hall, Trowbridge, before the vote over senior councillors' allowances in January Unison members protest at County Hall, Trowbridge, before the vote over senior councillors' allowances in January

Trade unionists are planning to campaign against Wiltshire Council’s highways contractor Balfour Beatty’s decision to ignore them.

Balfour Beatty, which took on the £25m-a-year contact, last June, sent an email to Unison, Unite and the GMB informing them they will now be negotiating with staff internally and that it does not recognise an agreement which was in place with the council.

Since Balfour Beatty started overseeing Wiltshire’s highways maintenance around 300 staff have been transferred from the council and previous contractor English Landscapes.

Organisations GMB, Unison and Unite are sending back a joint letter to Balfour Beatty explaining their anger and requesting the company reconsider their plans.

Carole Vallelly, GMB organising officer for Wiltshire, said: “This means that our members have lost all their collective bargaining as well as pay and condition negotiations support.

"In theory, this allows Balfour Beatty to decide not to give pay rises out with no form of redress.”

Sue Anderson, Wiltshire Unison secretary, said: “We are not happy about Balfour Beatty’s stance and we have requested a meeting to discuss the issue.”

Balfour Beatty Living Places said that it addresses any issues staff may have through its staff association and employee forums.

A spokesperson said: “We are satisfied that this procress ensures that employees can share their views with us and that we can take them into account in our plans.

“Naturally we also recognise that employees may wish to join a trade union.

"We respect their right to do so, and we already work informally and closely with a number of unions in a number of our other contracts.

"We are very happy to continue to do so here in Wiltshire but we do not propose to enter into any formal recognition agreement.“

Wiltshire councillor Phillip Whitehead, portfolio holder for the highways contract, said that because the transferred staff have been integrated into Balfour Beatty there was no requirement under the transfer of undertakings to work with trade unions.

He said: “There is no deterioration of terms of conditions of these staff as appropriate alternative staff consultation mechanisms are in place.”

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:40pm Thu 10 Apr 14

kimcrawley says...

Oh what a surprise, Balfour Beatty don't want to talk to public sector and other unions. Is this the same company that was happy to take millions of pounds of public money for their part in the cash cow that was Metronet?
Another useless privatisation, they are happy to take our money but refuse to acknowledge unions. This shower of money grabbers should be shown the door at the first opportunity, they are not providing value for money. Take a look at the things they have assumed control of, there is not one example of an improvement in levels of service.
As for Philip Whitehead again what a surprise, perhaps he could tell us how he has been mandated to destroy public services in this county.
What next children sweeping chimneys?
Or is it yet another instance of this grubby group of tories forcing their childishly dogmatic obsessions on the people that suffer as a result.
Recognition of the unions should have been a condition of the bidding process, as is common with many other contracts outsourced by such left wingers as the mayor of London - Boris Johnson.
Oh what a surprise, Balfour Beatty don't want to talk to public sector and other unions. Is this the same company that was happy to take millions of pounds of public money for their part in the cash cow that was Metronet? Another useless privatisation, they are happy to take our money but refuse to acknowledge unions. This shower of money grabbers should be shown the door at the first opportunity, they are not providing value for money. Take a look at the things they have assumed control of, there is not one example of an improvement in levels of service. As for Philip Whitehead again what a surprise, perhaps he could tell us how he has been mandated to destroy public services in this county. What next children sweeping chimneys? Or is it yet another instance of this grubby group of tories forcing their childishly dogmatic obsessions on the people that suffer as a result. Recognition of the unions should have been a condition of the bidding process, as is common with many other contracts outsourced by such left wingers as the mayor of London - Boris Johnson. kimcrawley
  • Score: 6

8:25pm Sun 13 Apr 14

moonraker77 says...

It's possible that Wilts CC being unable to provide insufficient resource to maintain the county infrastructre, went to an 'attractive' alternative. I suspect that those employees transferred across will not gain any benefit. http://www.telegraph
.co.uk/finance/newsb
ysector/supportservi
ces/10680868/UK-trou
bles-batter-Balfour-
Beatty-profits.html. The problem is that with a dissatisfied workforce, the standard of work will suffer. Such a pity that the taxpayers will not get value for money methinks.
It's possible that Wilts CC being unable to provide insufficient resource to maintain the county infrastructre, went to an 'attractive' alternative. I suspect that those employees transferred across will not gain any benefit. http://www.telegraph .co.uk/finance/newsb ysector/supportservi ces/10680868/UK-trou bles-batter-Balfour- Beatty-profits.html. The problem is that with a dissatisfied workforce, the standard of work will suffer. Such a pity that the taxpayers will not get value for money methinks. moonraker77
  • Score: 1

11:34am Tue 15 Apr 14

shed says...

Two big mistakes
Unitary authorities.
Outsourcing of roads maintenance.
Since this sort of work has been contracted out the roads in Wiltshire have gone down hill fast.
The dogma saturated incompetents at the top of WCC cannot make the connection between selling off a contract to a private company and that company wanting to make a profit by dong the minimum necessary with the least expense..

Oh 3 big mistakes, Balfour Beatty have realised they dropped a gooley with this contract.

Everything about WCC and its affairs stinks like rotten fish
Two big mistakes Unitary authorities. Outsourcing of roads maintenance. Since this sort of work has been contracted out the roads in Wiltshire have gone down hill fast. The dogma saturated incompetents at the top of WCC cannot make the connection between selling off a contract to a private company and that company wanting to make a profit by dong the minimum necessary with the least expense.. Oh 3 big mistakes, Balfour Beatty have realised they dropped a gooley with this contract. Everything about WCC and its affairs stinks like rotten fish shed
  • Score: 1

12:43pm Tue 15 Apr 14

kimcrawley says...

shed. Well said, particularly this authority that made the post of chief executive redundant - in order to ensure that there is nobody there to tell them to take note of the advice from their officers.
Scott and her associates have bulldozed their way through public services in this county, they pretend they are saving money however most of their short sighted dogmatism - (Transport, recycling, road maintenance) will require an increased spend in the future as a result of ideologically driven cuts.
Who will they blame for the mess they leave?
shed. Well said, particularly this authority that made the post of chief executive redundant - in order to ensure that there is nobody there to tell them to take note of the advice from their officers. Scott and her associates have bulldozed their way through public services in this county, they pretend they are saving money however most of their short sighted dogmatism - (Transport, recycling, road maintenance) will require an increased spend in the future as a result of ideologically driven cuts. Who will they blame for the mess they leave? kimcrawley
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree