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JOINT STATEMENT FROM BARKING & DAGENHAM LBC AND THE GMB UNION

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Industrial action affecting the Passenger Transport Service has ended after a settlement was agreed between the cou...
Industrial action affecting the Passenger Transport Service has ended after a settlement was agreed between the council and the unions.

Both sides entered into new discussions at the end of last week, which

resulted in a council proposal being accepted by union representatives and employees based at the Eastbrook Garage.

The deal is an enhancement of the original proposition on changes to terms and conditions of services of the drivers following a comprehensive review of the service.

The new proposal relates to an extra allowance being awarded to those

drivers who hold a PSV (Public Service Vehicle) licence to recognise the additional skills and responsibilities they have. Existing driving staff who qualify for the PSV licence in the future will also be offered the allowance.

Clarification was also given on the issue of occupational testing.

The settlement was announced yesterday in a joint statement by

the council and the GMB union, acting on behalf on all unions and employees in the Passenger Transport Service.

Director of education, arts and libraries, Alan Larbalestier, said: 'We are delighted that the situation has been resolved. The Passenger Transport Service caters for some of our most vulnerable residents, and this has been a difficult time for all involved.

'Officers were able to put together a proposal, which was accepted by the unions and endorsed by the executive. This is a good result for all involved and means we can now work together to continue to provide a quality service to our users.'

Justin Bowden, GMB organiser, said: 'The GMB union are delighted with the response we have had from the council. Our members' voice has been heard and their worries and concerns listened too.

'We at the GMB union are looking forward to an improved working relationship with the council from now on and would like to thank the residents and users of the service for their support.'

The issue of occupational testing was also clarified in the discussions, enabling the council to confirm that testing would not be used as a basis for taking disciplinary action against any individual employee or as the basis for selecting or deselecting any employee for a job.

The testing is to help employees to understand and achieve a common

standard. It is not about 'passing' or 'failing' them, but to ensure where individual employees are experiencing difficulties, such difficulties are identified and the individual employee assisted to overcome these.

Where a common theme is identified as a result of this process, such as customer care issues, arrangements will be made to address this through whole workforce training. This will ensure that the standards required are understood and applied uniformly across the service.

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