This irrelevant group of activists is now being dealt with firmly. The tiny handful of members will soon be substantially depleted in a continuing process of industrial relations cleansing.
"This Branch has campaigned continually to draw the attention of Councillors and senior managers to what it believes are significant drawbacks of a joint venture company to run a range of administrative services for Somerset County Council and others.
This Branch has commissioned independent research work that has provided advice to Councillors about the issues involved. It has advocated this advice to the Council and articulated its views through correspondence, presentations and discussions at Authority officer meetings, industrial relations consultation meetings and at the public speaking times of Council Boards and meetings.
This Branch has sought information from the Council about the proposals but, at all stages, access to information has been restricted such that the Freedom of Information mechanism for obtaining information has had to be used by the Branch.
In addition to considering that the general anxiety of the Branch about the proposals has been disregarded, the Branch believed that it had not been consulted properly over staffing issues at the time that the contract was signed to engage the Council with the joint venture company Southwest One and felt obliged to pursue its concern at an Employment Tribunal.
The Branch has conducted its campaign through its Branch Council of elected Branch Stewards and Officers. The Branch Secretary, as the leading officer of the Branch recognised for industrial relations liaison by the Council, has necessarily had an extremely prominent role in undertaking the campaign of the Branch, with the full support of the Branch endorsed at regular Branch Council and other meetings.
This Branch Council is extremely alarmed at the way in which its Branch Secretary and some Stewards have been treated by the Council since the closure of the Tribunal hearing. It believes that the treatment has been disproportionate and considers that an atmosphere of victimisation and corporate bullying has been created by the Council, so undermining the proper conduct of industrial relations. This conflicts with recent assurances given by senior Human Resources managers to regional and local UNISON officials that they wanted to build good industrial relations.
This Branch Council expresses its whole hearted confidence in its Branch Secretary, that he has undertaken his role in the campaign in good faith, with commitment and to the best of his ability.
This Branch Council anticipates that the regional and national tiers of UNISON will also be alarmed at the impact on industrial relations of an inadequately addressed instance of corporate bullying and instructs its officers to liaise with the South West Regional Secretary to ensure that the position is resolved in accordance with UNISON’s policies. "