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HPC update 03/07

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You will have seen that SPS have been able to adapt the coaches they have in the fleet by installing screens behind the seats. This means that we can run buses with a capacity of 26 people per coach whilst meeting social distancing requirements. As more of the fleet are brought back into use this will alleviate the pressure which is felt at the peak times currently.

Bars and pubs in England can reopen from 4th July. We are sure this hasn’t passed many people by. Our reps went along with EDF to check out the measures brought in by HOST at the campuses to allow them to reopen. From midday on Saturday the bars will be open, with table seating available both inside and out. There will be strict guidance to follow and you will see that the bar itself is completely surrounded with Perspex.

We also discussed with HOST the potential charging of individuals for extra towels during the week. This issue has now been resolved. We received communication from HOST this morning to apologise for the miscommunication as well as giving us confirmation that there will not be any charge for a midweek towel change.

The other part of the announcements which caught people’s attention was that around hairdressers. HOST have been in contact with the barber who was operating at the campuses previously and are working to establish a Covid secure set up for them as soon as possible.

Following government announcements regarding “1 metre plus”. The measures on site will remain as they are at this point in time. The official advice remains the same around 2-metre distancing, where it is possible to do so. We have been able to adapt across site to meet the 2-metre requirement so will continue to do so. Where 2 metres is not possible then mitigating factors have to be brought in such as the screens installed on the coaches.

We have been able to reconvene the Union Learn steering group this week and discussed potential ways to restart and expand on the learning courses we are able to offer. We are hopeful that we will have exact details on the subject by the end of the month.

Balfour Beatty

TGT working under the umbrella of Balfour Beatty have stated they intend to make 159 employees redundant, Unite’s stewards will be fully prepared and trained over the next few weeks. The redundancies will take place over the next 3 months and will be conducted in line with HPC agreements.

Unite and GMB will be meeting with Balfour Beatty to discuss a redundancy matrix and the segregation of working disciplines. Matrix will consist of Timekeeping, Attendance, etc. It’s a points-based system using length of employment as a tie break for people with matching scores.

Redundancy pay will be paid in line with the CESA agreement, everyone will be informed by letter if they are at risk. If they are a Unite member, they will be entitled to be represented at the at-risk meeting.

The reason for redundancies is a section of work has sadly come to an end.

Bylor

We are disappointed to say that this week we were called to a meeting with Bylor who informed us of a change to the agreed return to work schedule for those workers remaining on furlough. We were disappointed because we felt we had an understanding around the timeframe for consultation which in this case has not been adhered to. We have however listened to what Bylor had to say so that we could inform you, the members. Next week (w/c 6th July) will see approximately 70 people being brought back from furlough, mainly steel fixers. w/c 13th July will see approximately 75 people return and w/c 20th July will be the same again. This should mean that all Bylor workforce, other than those who are extremely vulnerable and have shielding letters, are back in work on one of the 3 shifts in operation. This will then mean that, subject to any change, Bylor can commence recruitment of new workforce in August. Current shift patterns will be evaluated for any possible change at the end of July. Any changes will be subject to social distancing guidance. As stated earlier in this update, we are still maintaining a 2-metre social distancing policy at this time.

Earlier on this week the Trade Unions were invited to visit Bylor’s new onsite training facility. It is based near to the Hinkley campus on K23 and has been set up to run whilst maintaining 2-metre social distancing. This facility will allow for a faster turnaround of much needed training and retesting of people qualifications with some attending courses there this week. We have also been in contact with the training department who have now started to work through the backlog of cards which need to be renewed. This has not been possible for the past few months due to services being shut down during the pandemic. We have also identified approximately 300 people working for Bylor who maybe overdue for uplift within the grade progression framework. Information was given to Bylor today (03/07) and we have asked that a comprehensive response is given at the next Bylor LJC (28/07).

The cycle to work scheme. We are well aware that a lot of you are waiting with bated breath for a response to this request and we thank you for your patience. We are almost constantly asking Bylor for a response to this but to date we are unable to receive one. As soon as there is any development, we will contact you all with an update.

We held elections for new reps across the Bylor project in June. 4 people have been elected unopposed and will be brought onboard in the very near future. We will be conducting a vote shortly for the position of Safety Rep on the Galleries (BOP) due to having 4 people coming forward to represent the membership.

Kier BAM

Kier BAM are now over halfway through the initial redundancy consultation period.

Whilst the individual consultations have run smoothly, there are a few issues that we are currently dealing with including holiday pay calculations, pay in lieu of notice and overpayments.

There are approximately 180+ at risk of redundancy, leaving approximately 130 on-site once the redundancies/transfers have been completed.

We are still waiting on Plantforce in relation to the ex-Hawk employees in terms of redundancy etc. We will update you as soon as we hear anything.

We would like to thank the last of the Unite Reps (Mark Hutchison, Gary Stiff, Gareth Fairburn and Florin Dima) who are sadly leaving Kier BAM via redundancy for all their work and effort over the last few years in supporting you, our members and for representing you to the best of their ability. A special thank you goes to Gary Stiff who has returned from furlough to help deal with the redundancies, knowing that he is also on the redundancy list.

Great news for future projects in that HS2 is about to start in the next few months and other projects around the country.

Good luck to all those who are leaving. Hopefully, see you all soon.

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