TO REACH THE PROMISED LAND YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR PROMISES
At the moment it looks like she is on course to break them all.
1. Agreed Offers by Xmas. Well that ain’t happening. Thank goodness because it would mean nonsense numbers. And we agreed to extend discussions. If only they had listened to me a year ago when I told them this would be difficult but they wasted 10 months.
2. We can afford it. No need for help from Nicola S. Now that they know our numbers weren’t plucked from thin air, this is looking increasingly dodgy. I’ve always said this was too big for GCC alone. Yet again their pride may come before a fall. Now they are working to a ‘budget’. This is putting everything at risk. (And no I can’t give you numbers as it’s confidential, but it’s not big enough)
3. We will pay what the women are ‘due’. Well this too is under threat - see 2. It is not possible to agree what’s ‘due’ within their budget. The leadership are starting a ‘cake and eat it’ strategy. It didn’t work for TMay and it won’t work for SusanA
4. We accept NSWP and 37 hour rule is discriminatory. Well SA might say that but that is still not GCC’s official position. If we can’t get agreement then they will defend it in tribunal. This week they told the tribunal that they stand by the defence they filed in the Cape tribunal. So nothing has changed.
5. We will end the litigation- this was always a lie. This week they told us they were willing to litigate until 2028. Yes 2028.
6. We will not send out ‘unilateral offers’ without the agreement of the claimant team. I think they are reconsidering this. Bad idea. This would be the equivalent of Chaotic Brexit. But I think they are getting frustrated by our refusal to roll over and agree their proposals.
7. I will meet with the claimants. My door is open. Sadly it looks as if she’s been sucked into the bowels of City Chambers. She has met the claimant group only twice. Once to say hello and once in the summer. Both times she ignored what we said. She promised to meet Frances’s group but has refused for over 9 months now.
Now it’s not all bad. It’s true we made good progress on comparators for most jobs and protection but we are still a long way apart on nswp and the total cost amongst other things. But it’s nothings agreed unless everything is agreed and we are nowhere near agreement on everything. This includes the terms of any memorandum and settlement agreement. We have been requesting these for a year now and they have produced nothing. Apparently their in-house lawyer, Raymond Farrell, is too busy. It seems we can never get to the top of his to-do list.
As things stand I would put the possibility of an agreement at only 30%.
Now renewed strike action is not my decision but I would still say that would be premature. We are still talking. If we issue new strike notices they will walk away again and as I said in the last post, we must stay calm and keep talking. But I think we now only have a window of a month.
Sorry this all sounds very negative. My last post was received as very positive, probably a bit too positively. This will probably be too negative! Negotiations are not over and we still have hope for a successful outcome but I felt I needed to be honest with you as to where we stand. We are entering the most difficult phase. Trying to resolve the big differences between us. Remember that rollercoaster. Well we are at that bit when we’ve just done a loop the loop and feel a bit sick. We might still get to the end, get off and say ‘that was good’. Or we might throw up! Who knows.
Don’t get angry,yet. Trust us for a little longer.
To get to the promised land, an agreed settlement, Susan A will need to keep those promises. Will she or won’t she?