I wanted to provide an update on discussions this afternoon regarding with UC management on both Public Office Re-opening and Blended Working.

Public Office Re-opening

We have been engaged with management for the last few weeks regarding the reopening of JBO offices to the public. These discussions are continuing and nothing has been finalised. That said, we have agreed that any re-opening would be on a staged basis with Stage 1 being on an appointment basis, 1 in/1 out basis and only where appropriate cleaning was in place. It is planned that this re-opening would be on 05 May 2021. Management have drafted communications for, customers, managers and staff and TUS have provided comments on this. These comments are being considered and it is hoped that agreement can be reached soon. I will be writing out to members when we have reached an agreement.

Members will also know that a risk assessment for offices re-opening was carried out before Xmas last year. It is important that this risk assessment is revisited. It is unlikely that there will be significant change to this assessment but it is important that local safety reps review the risk assessment and if needed, engage their local management on any concerns. If reps need any assistance in this, please contact your seconded officer or contact me.  

Blended Working

TUS welcomed the communications to date from management and it was agreed that there had to be a balance between the needs of the business and retaining the opportunity for staff to work from home. It was agreed that there should be agreement on broad principles to provide a framework about what blended working is and how it will work, notwithstanding the fact that different business areas may have different solutions. A paper will be drafted by the management and shared with TUS for consideration. It was agreed that flexibility was crucial to meeting the needs of the business and the needs of members and that both sides would work to achieve an agreement on blended working for UC by the end of the April. TUS have also engaged Dept management to agree a Dept policy for blended working and we are awaiting a response from management on this request.

I hope this provides some clarity about the ongoing work on both these issues and the fact that nothing has been agreed with UC management to date. Thanks

Dooley Harte
Assistant Secretary