Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Tupe or not Tupe?

Well, it's been an interesting 24 hours.
I think it's fairly safe to say that my councils stock transfer is rapdily becoming a bit of a sick joke. It was originally supposed to happen last month, but was put back due to "Technical difficulties". It was then supposed to happen on Monday, and lo and behold, all the staff were in their nice new uniforms and raring to go.
Unfotunatley, as we got told yesterday, there are still some "difficulties" in finalising the documentation. Considering that this has been a project of the councils for at least two-three years, the thousands (probably hundreds of thousands or more) spent on consultants and legal advisers, not to mention the smallish team of dedicated staff directly employed by the council, they haven't got the documents right!
Now they aren't saying anymore than that at the moment, no details, but considering the amount of work that needs to be done on the stock (so much so that 16,000 properties, the land they sit on and associated land actually has a negative value!) and the fact that there will be some sizable warranties involved in the transfer, it's not beyond the possibility that someone is getting a little worried about what they are taking on....ho hum.
And of course the 500 staff due to transfer are in limbo. When the story originally broke that transfer was to be delayed, it was suggested that Novemeber was pretty much as far as the council could push it before having to reballot the tenants on whether they wanted to transfer or not. Have to wait and see what happens, although should it all go tits up, it will be the staff who moved prior to TUPE who'll be in the most trouble, as if the transfer collapses and the company folds, they have no-where to go except down the road.

Anyway, I've spent today in the big smoke at a TUPE conference run by these lovely people. Was very interesting, there were some very good speakers and the opportunity to ask questions was a godsend. I've picked up some useful case law to through at HR and also some useful negotiating points. I won't got into much detail here, although the conference did note with concern that any new government is likley to try and reduce the, sometimes meagre, protection TUPE currently affords those of us unfortunate enough to be transferred out of the public sector.

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