Wednesday, 4 March 2015

North-West Contact Centre Update

Following consultation with Contact Centre TU reps from all North West branches, regional TU representatives identified a number of issues of concern. Members made it clear to reps that they were willing to take IA over the issue.

Regional TU representatives have now met with North West CCS Group management and secured agreement in the following areas:

Access to leave
It was agreed that site managers should not be imposing restrictions on the discretion of line managers to authorise leave, and that the leave should be authorised in line with national instructions. National restrictions on access to leave, including network days, need to be dealt with by national TU representatives.

It was agreed that line managers should be approaching the use of after call work, break times and medical appointment credits in a reasonable manner.

Agency workers
It was confirmed that there were no plans to recruit more agency workers in the North West. All staff employed by agencies had been given the opportunity to apply for FTA posts with DWP with a view to permanency.

Fixed term appointment staff 
Our position on the need to retain FTA staff, and offer them full time permanent postings was acknowledged. It was agreed that this needed to be dealt with urgently by national TU.

It was agreed that better planning was needed to maximise the number of staff who wished to work until 18:00 hours, in order to minimise the number of staff who did not wish to do so. AA staff on former transformation sites – it was agreed that the majority of AA staff in NW CCS, who were declared surplus last year, are no longer under the threat of redundancy, and that work needed to be undertaken to secure permanent postings for the remaining few.

CEF definitions
It was agreed that the revised definitions needed to be reviewed, in order to ensure that a claimant’s dissatisfaction with a decision outcome was not classed as poor service on the part of the agent. Part time preferences – it was agreed that all staff should be receiving 80% schedule preferences, irrespective of the number of days per week worked.