Like other Councillors I was recently contacted by the trade union Unite about the decision of the Cordia LLP Board not to grant Unison or Unite members the Diamond Jubilee as an extra public holiday, despite it being awarded to 7000 GMB members in Cordia, all other Arms Length Companies (Aleo’s) and all the city council staff.
Normally I have nothing but praise for the work of Cordia but I must admit that as a former negotiator for Unison I was shocked by this and even more so when I was advised that the Cordia Board comprising four Labour and one SNP Councillor had backed this decision.
In correspondence the Managing Director of Cordia has advised me the issue of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee holiday is tied into a range of changes in staff terms and conditions which Cordia feel are necessary in order to deal with the financial challenges faced by the company. Ominously the letter states that:
Whatever the dispute between Management and Unions over the wider package of service reform it cannot make sense to say that 94% of your workforce can have the Jubilee holiday but 6% cannot. The cost of bringing those staff in, especially given all council staff will be off, will clearly exceed the cost of granting the holiday.
I’ve written back to Cordia urging them to separate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Holiday from this dispute with two of their unions. I hope commonsense prevails and that the new Cordia Board, which will be selected after May’s elections, will reverse this decision.