External provision of Streeetscape & Parking Maintenance Services

13/09/2012

Colleagues

At yesterday afternoon's Places & Organisational Capacity Directorate JNCP, the Places Director John Nicholson made the Joint Trade Unions aware of the intention of Cheshire East Council to seek external provision of Streeetscape & Parking Maintenance Services. A report will go to Cheshire East Council Formal Cabinet on Monday 17th September 2012 seeking Cabinet delegated authority approval to enter into Contract negotiations with Ringway Jacobs regarding the TUPE transfer of the employees carrying out the services listed below. (Copy attached)

This report seeks Cabinet approval to extend the scope of the Highways Services Contract by the inclusion of existing Streetscape and Parking Maintenance (excluding parking enforcement) activities that are currently undertaken directly by the Council (refer to 10.2 and 10.6 for full details).

Read report here

TUPE Information

To note that extending the scope of the Highways Services Contract will trigger the automatic application of the TUPE Regulations which will affect a transfer of a number of existing Council employees within the Streetscape, Parking and Fleet Services to Ringway Jacobs. Achieving the target date of 1 January 2013 for the commencement of service delivery under the revised scope of contract is dependant upon the successful completion of 2 key activities, namely, concluding the terms of the extension with Ringway Jacobs and liaising with staff and trade unions in relation to TUPE transfer.

There are currently 143.3 full-time equivalent (FTE) Council employees employed on Grounds Maintenance, Street Cleansing and related Fleet activities, along with 17 FTE agency employees. These 138.3 members of staff within the Streetscape Service (operatives, apprentices and a mixture of office-based staff) along with 5 employees who work within Fleet Services, maintaining vehicles and plant. The exact numbers of staff eligible for TUPE transfer will be determined as scope of the contract extension is finalised.

Services to be included within the revised scope of the new contract:

•       All highway verges (Already included within scope of works for Ringway Jacobs);
•       Grounds maintenance activities in parks and open spaces;
•       Horticultural activities;
•       Tree Management;
•       Street Cleansing activities;
•       Litter & dog bin emptying;

Services to be excluded from the revised scope of contract:

•       Allotments;
•       Public Conveniences;
•       Markets;
•       Bereavement Services

There are currently 2 Council employees employed directly working on Parking Maintenance activities that have been identified eligible for transfer.

Services to be included within the revised scope of contract:

•       Maintenance and management of all off-street and on-street parking facilities.

Services to be excluded from the revised scope of contract:

•       Civil parking enforcement activities
•       All other services within Community Services.

Key Priorities – Trade Union and Staff Engagement

Ringway Jacobs have already demonstrated their ability to work closely with all employees that are eligible to transfer from the Council. During the Highways Services procurement, over 140 eligible staff from both the Council and the existing term maintenance contractor (BAM Nuttall) transferred to Ringway Jacobs. A Staff Stakeholder Group was created and was active throughout the transfer process. A new Stakeholder Group will be established during the proposed change in scope of the Highways Services Contract. The group will facilitate employee engagement and cascade information to colleagues as things progress. The group includes union representatives and allows all issues and concerns to be raised and discussed on behalf of the wider employee group.

Key issues and concerns raised during previous meetings have been:

•       Pension issues;
•       TUPE issues, when will information be released to staff;
•       Depot/accommodation strategy – ‘Where will I be based’;
•       Programme – timeline of events;

Cabinet Approval Request

The report seeks delegated authority to commence discussions with Ringway Jacobs that will ultimately aim to result in the new service arrangements commencing on 1 January 2013.


Craig Nicholson

Unison Branch Secretary
Cheshire East Unison Branch

tupe

TUPE stands for Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations. These protect people when their employer changes such as when a company is taken over or a public service is contracted out.


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