Post scheduling dispute

The Branch is in dispute on the future scheduling of Post Production craft staff.

It is understood Post Production management intends to move all craft staff onto middle core shifts starting at 0900.

Management have indicated that this is the beginning of a move to Mon - Fri 0900-1700 working.

Other required hours will be scheduled as needed but will revert to 09:00 start wherever possible.

All work that is not is not required to be done at another time will be moved into the "Core Hours" period.

BECTU is concerned that this is an unnecessary move away from the hours that Post Production staff usually work.

Specifically if there were to be a move to a core shift for all, then it should start at 0800.

A 0900 start moves everyone's travel further into the rush hour and makes travel more stressful in most cases.

0900 was the most unpopular start-time indicated in a recent poll of Post Production staff.

The Branch view is that non time-constrained work could continue to be scheduled from 0800 - ie Tech reviews, Versioning, Digitising, Worldwide Dubs, etc. Non time-constrained work also could be used to support staff who have a requirement for later shifts.

Post Production management could give no evidence for their belief that moving all work to middle shifts was more efficient than 0800 shifts.

However they were clear that they would not place work to fit the staff's needs.

Contrary to the other argument they use about this being a name-led business when asked to spread the work around.

Although some 1200 start shifts will continue to be scheduled as at present, most will be withdrawn.

Since it is management's belief that all staff have had plenty of time to prepare for this change there will be no transition arrangements.

It is Post Production management's belief that the payment of UPA2 allowance allows for these changes.

It is ironic that they are using UPA2 allowances to justify the changes that are likely to lead to their withdrawal.

Any staff who want to retain any of their original pattern will need apply for a "Flexible Working" agreement.

Despite the best efforts of your representatives, we have exhausted the Avoidance of Disputes procedure, and have been unable to reach an agreement with Post management regarding their proposals.

A summary of the main areas of disagreement:

  • Management have repeatedly claimed they have done lots of work to establish 0900 core shifts are essential for the future of the business.
  • Despite countless requests from BECTU they have not been able to provide any evidence to substantiate their claims (both "essential for the future of the business" or "done lots of work")
  • Similarly management have been unable to provide a credible explanation as to why 09:00 shifts are generally best for the business.
  • Regardless of our concerns for the impact on the staff, Post's management have insisted on imposing these changes from the beginning of March, giving the staff affected little time to make arrangements to cope. Management's justification for this very short notice is "they already know".
Due to the lack of credible explanation ESPG is extremely concerned that the imposition of 0900 shifts is pre-emptive; the Branch fears that more detrimental changes to staff work patterns, UPA allowances, conditions of service, as well as redundancies will follow.

BECTU feels the imposition of these changes is not acceptable and have asked for:

  • A move to 0800 starts rather than 0900.
  • Non time-dependent work to continue being placed from 0800 (and some to midnight) where possible.
  • Transitional arrangements for staff with particular needs to work certain hours.
These have been refused.

27 February 2006