Message for Coventry City Council Staff – Consultation on Christmas Closure Arrangements

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Dear member,

Coventry Council are proposing that there be a period of closure of Council offices during the Christmas period. They are currently consulting with unions until 14th May 2014.  The proposal would require employees to reserve a number of days from within their total annual leave entitlement (27 or 32 days (new holiday arrangements) respectively depending on their length of service) and to take these on pre-determined closure days. In future years the set days would be determined and communicated to employees by March of each year, although this consultation is too late to give that length notice for the coming Christmas. Subject to when statutory day closures fall within the week, It is anticipated that employees would need to reserve up to 4 days in any one year.

For example, this year the proposal would be as follows:

Thursday, 25th December 2014 – statutory closure day

Friday, 26th December 2014 – statutory closure day

Monday, 29th December 2014 – reserved closure day

Tuesday, 30th December 2014 – reserved closure day

Wednesday, 31st December 2014 – reserved closure day

Thursday, 1st January 2015 – statutory closure day

Friday, 2nd January 2015 – reserved closure day

This would require employees to reserve 4 days holiday and Council offices would be closed from 25th December to 2nd January. Those not affected by the proposals are Term Time Only (TTO) and  anyone on teachers’ pay and conditions. Some part time employees may also not be affected, depending on the days they work. Some essential services may be kept open. Advantages of the proposal – the Council has listed these as:

*    Addresses the reduction in customer engagement with the Council over the Christmas period, which results in some employees having little work to do

*    Removes services operating with a skeleton staff arrangement

*    Addresses large office spaces being left empty over the period

*    Acknowledges employee suggestions for Christmas closures via the JEEP initiative and The Room

*    Complements the Kickstart principles of New Ways of Working NWOW), Flexibility and Adaptability

*    Contributes to achieving a better work-life balance as most employees will have a guaranteed block of time away from the workplace

*    Removes the annual “team  Christmas leave lottery” scenario arising, which can cause tensions within teams

*    Financial Savings in commuting & petrol costs for employees

*    Financial savings in heating and lighting costs for Council

You are asked if (in general) you accept or reject this proposal by voting on this post. If you have any more detailed comments to make, we would welcome these by return of e-mail to office@coventryunison.co.uk or by phoning our office on 02476 550829.

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