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SCOTTISH EMPLOYERS AGREE TOTAL STAFF TRANSFER

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Scottish employers and trade unions have agreed that all 308,000 council employees should transfer to a new authori...
Scottish employers and trade unions have agreed that all 308,000 council employees should transfer to a new authority during reorganisation.

In a statement which will be put before the joint Convention of Scottish Local Authorities/trade union negotiating committees for ratification, the two sides spell out a six-point plan they hope will be adopted by existing and new councils.

The aim is to 'provide a major boost to staff morale and ensure services are transferred between authorities seamlessly', said Mark Irvine, Unison head of local government, and Pat Watters, of Cosla's personnel services convenor.

It will also be circulated to the Staff Commission in Scotland, which has yet to publish its advice on staff transfers. 'The Staff Commission has been listening very carefully up until now,' said Mr Irvine.

It gives three categories of employee who would be exempt from the transfer process: those who make a successful job application to another post before 1 April 1996, those whose contracts of employment are due to terminate before 1 April 1996 and anyone granted early retirement/voluntary redundancy.

The joint statement also stipulates that employees should be allocated to a new council on the basis of current workload; transfer schemes should be agreed on the basis of fairness and equity; employee preference should be taken into account where possible; staff should be told as soon as possible of their provisional destination; and appeals mechanisms should be agreed at local and national level as a matter of priority.

Mr Watters and Mr Irvine declined to estimate the number of employees who could be exempt from transfer. Mr Watters said only that it would be 'minimal'.

The Cosla/trade union forum will issue advice on the appeals mechanisms shortly. Its statement this week also urged councils to continue their commitment to training and development.

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