GMB Scotland Defending Your Interests
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GeoAmey

Dear GMB Member 

Coronavirus: Know Your Workplace Health & Safety Rights 

The coronavirus crisis has added another level of threat and uncertainty to your already challenging working environment.  

Following concerns raised by your fellow GMB members over the handling of prisoners either suffering from or suspected sufferers of Covid-19, we have urgently written to both your employer and the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Justice. You can read the letters below: 

GMB Scotland letter to Humza Yousaf Cabinet Secretary for Justice:

https://tinyurl.com/rq7wy7q

GMB Scotland letter to David Bond, HR Director GEOAmey PECS UK Ltd:

https://tinyurl.com/vv8n7yp

It is vital that you are aware of your health and safety rights at work and you can read about them here: 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1999/3242/regulation/8/made

The reported incident are in our view a clear breach of the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which provide protections for workers who desist from a task which they might reasonably consider to be dangerous to their health.

No worker should be exploited or put in danger by negligence. This is about ensuring vital public servants like you are able to take care of yourselves properly at work - and it’s about everyone doing the right thing. 

As ever, I will keep you updated on developments and responses when we receive them. 

Karen Leonard

GMB Scotland Organiser 

Dear GMB Member 

GMB Scotland In Geoamey – GMB Scotland Letter To David Bond GEOAmey HR Director

Please use the link below to view a copy of the letter Gary Smith, GMB Scotland Secretary sent to David Bond, GEOAmey HR Director following a meeting on Thursday 27 February.

GMB will continue to fight to end discrimination of PCO’s in Scotland.

https://tinyurl.com/vszh5qy

If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0141 332 8641 or email KL.Leonard@gmb.org.uk 

Karen Leonard

GMB Scotland Organiser

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in GEOAmey - Important Update

GMB’s absolute priority is to address pay discrimination suffered by PCO’s in Scotland.  You are paid less in Scotland than your colleagues in England and Wales.  Not only is the rate of pay lower but the type of work done in Scotland, such as the ‘externals’, is more demanding.

GMB has made it clear to the company that our priority is to address the pay discrimination suffered by workers in Scotland.

As you know, there is a logjam with the business and, in order to move things forward, we were prepared to moderate our position and set our issues aside to allow the company to focus on the issue of low rates of pay endured by Geoamey workers in Scotland.  The company have made it clear they will not agree to pay us the same rates in Scotland as those in England and Wales.

Let me be clear; you, our member, have made it clear you want fair pay in line with your colleagues in England and Wales.  Regardless of the rhetoric the company and Community have put out, this dispute has always been about your pay,  nothing more, nothing less, and it will continue to be so.

The Scottish Government make great play of the fact that Scotland is suposedly a ‘fair work’ country.  As such, it is absolutely scandalous that workers on a public sector contract in Scotland are the poor relations compared with colleagues elsewhere in the UK.

Geoamey stopped our members’ contributions from their salaries in an attempt to weaken our position in fighting for pair pay.  We are addressing this issue and with your continued support we will secure pay justice for PCO’s in Scotland.

We thank you for your continued support.

Karen Leonard

GMB Scotland Organiser

Dear GMB Member,

GeoAmey Are Trying to Cancel Your Union Membership

We have been alerted today that your employer GeoAmey has put a stop to payments of union contributions to GMB being made through their payroll system on behalf of our members in Scotland.

This means that GeoAmey workers who pay their union contributions to GMB directly from their pay could see their membership lapse through no fault of their own.

This is a brazen attempt by your employer to break our union, and this action is unprecedented in the Scottish public sector.

It is no coincidence that these union-busting tactics from GeoAmey come in the weeks following GMB members stepping up the campaign for fair pay, union recognition and a new collective agreement for GeoAmey workers on this scandal-hit contract.

Put simply, these desperate actions are designed to stop you, the GeoAmey workforce, from having a real say over your pay and conditions.

We are asking all GMB members in GeoAmey to check their most recent payslip to see if your union contributions are showing as having been deducted from your salary.

If no deduction for union contributions is showing, please urgently contact our membership department on 0141 352 8160 during office hours in order to set up a Direct Debit.

You can also switch to Direct Debit online, by going to: 
https://www.gmb.org.uk/direct-debit 

If you already pay by Direct Debit your employer’s actions should not cause any disruption to your union membership, but if you are at all unsure it is best to call and check.

GeoAmey are betting on your inaction, or worse still your fear, to kill off this campaign before it gathers momentum. We can only win a new deal for GeoAmey workers if we take them on and prove them wrong.

Karen Leonard

GMB Scotland Organiser

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in GeoAmey – Campaigning to defend your interests

Last week we notified GeoAmey of our demands for better pay, conditions and industrial relations and for the employer to sit down with us following our previous ballot.

In response, HR Director David Bond expressed his ‘shock’, ‘disappointment’ and ‘dismay’ and our modest campaign to achieve the following objectives:

  • A £12 an hour basic rate of pay;
  • Full recognition for GMB Scotland; and
  • A new collective agreement for our members.

Frankly, the employer has well and truly spat the dummy - but we have no sympathy whatsoever for their protests against our fight for better pay and conditions for you.

Your employer isn’t willing to acknowledge the huge and well-publicised problems in the SCCPES contract and the scandal of low-pay for our PCO’s.

That’s why we will ramp up our campaign even more in the coming days. Look out early next week for the latest update.

In the meantime, if you know a colleague who isn’t a trade union member then now is the time to join us. Doing so is easy. Simply visit: www.gmb.org.uk/join

Karen Leonard

GMB Scotland Organiser

Dear GMB Scotland Member

GMB Scotland in GeoAmey – All member meeting, Saturday 1 February 2020 at 11am, Fountain House, Glasgow G3 7UJ

You may have seen a communication this morning from Community which makes comment on our campaign for better pay, and repeats attacks on GMB Scotland by the employer.

Let's be clear that GeoAmey’s motivation here, and the legal action, is about trying to stop you from taking action to secure a better pay deal.

We’re glad Community have now acknowledged your anger about your pay and conditions – but they shouldn’t be surprised at this. 

The offer Community accepted is one of the poorest pay deals for workers delivering a public service in Scotland and imposes an hourly rate that makes you far poorer than English and Welsh PCOs.

And within their agreement with GeoAmey, Community have done little to publicly campaign and challenge some of scandalous working conditions PCO’s face on a daily basis.

So we’ll take no lessons from a union that isn’t prepared to fight against low pay and poor working conditions for its members, never mind one that echoes an employer’s words.

GMB has always been clear about the legal challenges the employer would seek to put in the way of you getting a better pay deal but that doesn’t distract us from our objectives.

Our priority is a better pay deal for GeoAmey Scotland staff employed on the SCCPES contract, and a safer working environment where you are valued for the vital work you do.

We may need to take the long way round to get to this point, but we will get there by continuing to fight and by growing our union.

I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow (Saturday 1 February) in our Glasgow Office at 11AM and we would encourage as many of you as possible to attend.

Karen Leonard

GMB Scotland Organiser



 

 

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland in GeoAmey – Ballot reminder

Our ballot for better pay and conditions in GeoAmey runs until Friday 24 January – if you haven’t already voted Yes and returned your ballot paper, please do so now.

Remember! You can only vote Yes by casting your vote and returning in the freepost envelope provided. 

Thank you to everyone who turned out for our meeting in Glasgow on Saturday morning. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us but if we stick together we will this campaign and change our working lives for the better. 

If you have haven't yet received your ballot paper or if you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0141 332 8641 or email KL.Leonard@gmb.org.uk 

Karen Leonard 

GMB Scotland Organiser 

Dear GMB Member

GMB Scotland In Geoamey: Industrial Action Ballot Is Now Underway – Vote Yes! 

Our industrial action ballot is now live and your campaign is in the media headlines once again as the fight for better pay and conditions in GeoAmey builds. You can read more below:

https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/scotland/1074263/custody-officers-responsible-for-transporting-criminals-between-prison-and-court-vote-on-strike-action/

A number of you have been in touch with us asking how you can vote in this ballot. Here is how you can have your say:

  • Your ballot will be sent to your home address by the electoral reform services at Civica.
  • Please read your ballot paper carefully.
  • Your ballot paper will ask you: “Are you prepared to take part in industrial action?”
  • We are asking you to place a cross ‘x’ in the box marked ‘Yes’.
  • Then return your ballot paper to Civica in the freepost envelope provided.

The ballot closes on Friday 24 January but don’t delay – vote ‘Yes’ as soon as possible. Please note that you cannot cast your vote any other way.

This is a statutory ballot and if you do not complete the paper and return it by post your vote won’t count. Your ballot paper should reach you no later than Thursday of this week.

If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to contact me on 0141 332 8641 during office hours (9AM – 5PM) or email KL.Leonard@gmb.org.uk

Karen Leonard

GMB Scotland Organiser

P.S. Remember! You can only vote ‘Yes’ by completing your ballot paper and returning it in the freepost envelope provided.

 

Dear GMB Scotland Member,

GMB Scotland in GeoAmey – Enough Is Enough – Vote Yes for Industrial Action 

From Monday (13th January), you will receive a ballot paper through the post asking you whether you are prepared to take industrial action over the 2 year pay offer.

The work undertaken by GeoAmey staff is unique. On a daily basis, you act as a human shield between prisoners and the public, protecting both. You provide a vital public service, but the value of your work is not recognised in the respect you are afforded by GeoAmey management, and not reflected in your pay.

Left unchallenged, even at the end of the term of the 2 year pay deal, many of you will still be earning less than £10 per hour. Taking into consideration your working environment, your responsibilities and the precarious conditions that you face every single day, that is a pittance.

GeoAmey’s stated corporate principles - safety and security, continuous improvement, respect and fairness - clearly don't apply to Prisoner Custody Officers.

That’s why GMB is asking you to tell GeoAmey that “Enough is Enough”, by voting YES when you receive your ballot paper.

With a strong mandate for industrial action, we can bring GeoAmey around the table with GMB to agree a credible pay offer that reflects your work and your worth.

You will be asked “are you prepared to take part in industrial action?” and GMB is asking you to vote YES and return your ballot paper right away in the prepaid envelope included.

If you have any questions, you can contact me at KL.Leonard@gmb.org.uk or by calling 0141 332 8641.

 

Karen Leonard

GMB Scotland Organiser