Ansa Staff Consultation Stakeholder Group 10.12.13


Ansa Staff Consultation Stakeholder Group
Meeting (2) 10.12.13
The Games Pavillion, Queens Park, Crewe

Ray Skipp                    Melanie Henniker
Jo-Ann Hewitt                Rob Harland
Steve Otter                    Richard Bramhall
George Broughton                Peter Shepherd
Bill Walmsley                    Anthony Murray
Michael Plant                Andrew McKeith
Doug Christie                Stephen Williamson
Shawn Reed                    Craig Nicholson


Garry Jones                    Mel Woolley
Paul Clays                    Graham Burgess

1. Introduction
RS reminded everyone that the aim of the group is to give staff the opportunity to come and discuss the key issues that people want to know about or need clarifying.  It needs to be a two-way discussion to make sure everyone is as informed as possible, and has as much opportunity as possible to influence the changes taking place.  

It is particularly important that people who come to the meeting, take time to ask their colleagues what they want to know about and also go back to them with answers / updates of what has been discussed at the meetings.

2. Actions From Previous Meeting
MH confirmed that the list referred to by CN had been picked up – where there were questions these had been included in the TUPE Q&A.  The list also highlighted issues that will be considered more generally in relation to TUPE and Ansa.

JH advised that the ARCO contract had been cancelled and other providers were being sourced.

JH advised that there had been an issue with some people not being aware of the date of today’s meeting.  MH confirmed that this had been discussed with Emma Owen and future notes will be sent directly to EO, James Barlow and Kevin Masser.

3. Matters Arising
RB advised that the third Ansa newsletter would be going out soon and would be in the new branding.

4. Ansa Values
RS referred back to the values that had been identified by the group at the previous meeting and it was agreed that it would be useful to consider examples under each heading.

MH advised that the work being done by the group on values had been shared initially with the seconded Ansa Management Team and with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Shareholder Board.  The work had been well-received.
Going forward, the values and behaviours will need to be agreed and “owned” by all of the above and the Board & Management Team will want to have an input into the final version.  

Fair Treatment
There was a discussion around
•    working practices and whether these were fair to all – examples discussed included working from home and task & finish;
•    the fact that sometimes there is a perception of unfairness when that might not be the case and that perceptions need to be highlighted and information shared that will explain any differences;
•    sickness monitoring and whether action taken in relation to intermittent, short-term absences may be too lenient.  CN advised that sickness triggers could change.
In relation to the above, it was recognised that there is not a “one size fits all” and that there should be a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.  

Trust, honesty and respect.
This discussion centred on the need for good communications; people must be truly listened to if employees are to become genuinely engaged.
Also mentioned was a need for a policy of Zero Tolerance in relation to abuse from customers – this would need publishing.

Customer Service
MH confirmed that initially, the Customer Service Team would remain with the Council with services “bought back” by Ansa.

There was also a discussion around visibility of Ansa to its customers – for example, the latest view is that customers would use the Council’s website and would not realise that there questions/compliments/complaints were being picked up by Ansa.

The Group felt there may be some confusion for customers if vehicles have Ansa livery and it was suggested that there will need to be good communications with customers in advance of April 14, to inform them of the change to Ansa etc.

Public Sector Ethos
The Group felt it was important that Ansa:-
•    is seen to be serving the community and working with them
•    takes ownership of problems that may come in and provides the solutions;
•    achieves a good reputation through word of mouth.

It was believed that the public would consider Ansa to be a quality company by:-
•    seeing excellent presentation of grounds, streets, parks, flowerbeds etc;
•    experiencing employees with a “can do” attitude;
•    all customers receiving equal treatment and ensuring that our core services don’t suffer when any private sector / other customers come on board;

Examples of how Ansa could proactively market itself included creation of a short DVD showing how well presented the grounds, streets etc. are; ensuring that if one part of the business received new customers, then the Ansa management team offer other services to compliment it e.g. where a waste contract is awarded, offer grounds maintenance, litter picking etc.  Services could also be offered to big events e.g. Tatton Park.  Other parks could also be advertised as venues for events.

There was a lot of discussion around training, having a skilled workforce and offering in-house training.
It was important to the Group that Ansa offers Apprenticeships, has good succession planning, and “grows its own” with possible links to education providers e.g. Rease Heath, South Cheshire College & Macclesfield College.
A proper Induction Process was also considered important.

Safety & Standards
The Group felt that Health & Safety should be core and should be prioritised.  There is a need for good continuity and Ansa needs to better define what is required from H&S e.g. they need to walk the paths in the parks.
Safe working practices were described as vital and no cutting of corners.

Discussion was around having something in place to recognise all employees e.g. regardless of whether they are front-line or in the offices.

It was felt that an annual reward for the whole company based on profits/targets achieved should be considered.  There was some discussion about possible shares in the company in the future.

There was also a discussion around greater visibility of the Ansa Management and Board Members.  
It was recognised that Recognition could be a topic for a whole meeting in the future.

The Group discussed:-
•    a need for Business Development
•    possible need for additional technology
•    that Ansa could offer others the training that we currently do in-house e.g. driver training; hand/arm vibration HAVs Training, manual handling.
•    The need for diverse, rich job roles.

Realism / Timeliness
The Group felt it was very important that Ansa does not make the mistake of being so cheap in order to get new business that it has to cut staff and then can’t deliver on its promises.  This would clearly cause huge reputational damage.

It was acknowledged in the Group that people’s roles are all likely to change even if only slightly; and that there would be a need for services to provide cover for other areas if there is a gap – we will all be one Company.

The Group highlighted the need for Ansa’s Service Level Agreement to be achievable and realistic.

5. Staff Issues
Members of the group then highlighted issues that they had been asked to raise by colleagues:-

•    No-one has said there will be no redundancies – will there?
MH advised that Phase 3 of the management review was about to begin.  It was expected to be different to previous phases and there could be targeted redundancies as a result of this Council requirement to save more money but it is always hoped that any redundancies will be voluntary.  MH and RS highlighted that this was not linked in any way to Ansa but is a Council requirement.

•    What other consultation will happen in relation to Ansa?
MH advised that individual letters would be going out that week to all employees whose jobs are in scope to transfer to Ansa;
At the beginning of January, there would be 121 or Group meetings with staff to answer any questions/concerns they may have about the transfer and to make sure that we have up to date personal information for staff.  There will also be HR drop-in sessions.
Later on, the Ansa Board and Management reps will meet with employees and Trade Union Reps so that people can start to put names to faces.
And at the end of March, employees will receive letters welcoming them to Ansa.

Meeting Ended

Date of Next Meeting

Monday 13th January, 3pm  
Congleton Leisure Centre - TBC


1. Previous notes and actions
2. Management Update
3. Staff issues and updates
4. Date of next meeting


Join UNISON in just 3 minutes - all you
need is your bank details and you’re set.

Join now

Need help?

Find out who to contact for help, or where
to find the information you need.

Tel: 01244 346894