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Dear GMB member,

I’m writing to update you on a number of key issues on the PECS 4 Contract:

  1. As you will know, staff are being asked to wear face masks at all times. The GMB supports the wearing of masks to prevent the spread of the Virus and urges you to wear correct PPE at all times. However, SERCO are telling staff who are medically exempt from wearing a mask that if they cannot wear one at all times, they will be sent home from work and deemed to be off sick. This is not acceptable and GMB will be strongly challenging this.  If someone is medically exempt from wearing a mask, then alternative duties should be provided that mitigate or remove the need to wear one. If alternative duties cannot be found and someone cannot work from home then they should indeed be sent home, but this should be on full pay – NOT on sick pay. We will keep you updated on this most urgent issue. If you are unable to wear a mask, please provide medical evidence of this or alternatively your manager should send you to Occupational Health. The reasons for being mask exempt are many and varied, some will be for mental health reasons, others for physical health, no one should be penalised for genuinely being exempt from being able to wear one.
  2. Many of you will have heard that SERCO are intending to make redundancies amongst the CCM and DCCM community. The GMB have been notified that a collective consultation is due to start so at this stage we do not know the details of either the number of staff at risk or the business case for making these cuts. That aside, the GMB condemns these cuts. Making redundancies just before Xmas and during a time of mass unemployment is cruel and heartless. We cannot see how cuts to this community of staff can be justified at a time when workload is due to increase. The cuts also raise legitimate health and safety concerns. Please be assured that GMB will be fighting these wicked cuts. We will update you once we have more information.
  3. You will be aware that GMB has been campaigning for months to bring SERCO round the table to begin pay talks. Despite this year’s pay award being due on the 1st September SERCO have only just offered us a date for our first round of pay talks – Monday 14th December. In advance of these talks the GMB has requested information on the amount of money that was saved from overtime and other savings during the first lockdown, we have not been provided with this information, despite this being a formal request for information under our collective bargaining rights.

Thank you for all you continue to do during these difficult times. I will provide you with regular updates on the above as and when I am able to.

Nadine Houghton

National Officer

Posted: 25th November 2020

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