Future Directions dispute in Rochdale and the use of anti union laws

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2013 National Delegate Conference
4 June 2013

Conference deplores the use of anti union legislation by Future Directions, a Community Interest Company, to frustrate a 96% vote for industrial action by its workforce in Rochdale on a ballot turnout of 72%.

On 24 May 2013, the employer secured an interim injunction to restrain a three day strike (barely 12 hours before it was due to commence) by exploiting a technicality regarding workplace addresses for non-DOCAS subscription payers.

The dispute exemplifies the growing problem of the NHS and local authorities exploiting commissioning in order to make difficult budget cuts. Outsourcing services often leads to third party organisations cutting pay and conditions when service funding is reduced within the commissioning exercise or ‘loss leader’ bidding is employed.

Conference agrees to:

1)send a message of solidarity to the 115 UNISON members at Future Directions who provide supported living and domiciliary care to adults with learning disabilities and are facing pay cuts of up to £10,000 per annum as well as attacks on conditions of service;

2)call on the National Executive Council to ensure that the union provides all necessary bargaining, financial and legal support to enable a successful outcome to the dispute;

3)donate £5,000 to the Rochdale branch Future Directions strike fund.