Saturday, August 06, 2005

Discussions continue but prospects for agreement improve

Naval Base contractorisation dispute

The Ministry of Defence and TGWU/Prospect appear to have adopted a more conciliatory posture in the on-going dispute regarding the proposed contractorisation of services in the naval base.

Yesterday a joint statement was issued where the MoD has agreed to look at in-house option procedures that are similar to the Project Pegasus, while the Unions accepted to adjourn the legal case and withdraw industrial action.

Rt Hon Dr John Reid MP - Secretary of State for Defence
Meanwhile discussions will continue on a ‘without prejudice’ basis, while approval for the proposals on the table is sought from the Secretary of State for Defence Dr John Reid.

For its part the TGWU/Prospect alliance yesterday reaffirmed that their opposition to contractorisation remains unchanged, but expressed a willingness to “meet the MoD’s need to save money and be more efficient.”

The MoD-Unions joint statement said:

“Negotiations between the Gibraltar Trades Unions and British Forces Gibraltar continued today on the ISP project.

These discussions have been useful and clarification of both positions has been reached.

Following the Trade Union representations to the Secretary of State for Defence, the Command and Trade Unions locally have been able to discuss how the proposed “In House Option” may be facilitated. The procedures that have been proposed are likely to be similar to those agreed for Project Pegasus.”

Phil Mallion, Command Secretary, said:

“Today’s meeting has been very positive.

The recent instructions of the Secretary of State has now afforded local Trades Unions, Management and Staff the opportunity to develop proposals for an in house option.

We will now seek approval for these proposals from the Secretary of State.”

Luis Montiel, TGWU District Officer on behalf of the local Unions said:

“The Trades Union’s position on opposition to contractorisation remains unchanged. However, we have agreed to adjourn our legal case and temporarily withdraw industrial action while meaningful, without prejudice discussions continue.

The outline proposals we have agreed with local management will result in our members having an opportunity to develop an in house option that will meet the MODs need to save money and be more efficient.

Assuming the Secretary of State accepts our outline proposals, without prejudice negotiations will continue locally to ensure the process is robust and fair to our members.

Notwithstanding this, the Unions reserve their position with respect to the outcome of the proposal.

Both parties recognise that staff will be anxious to know the details of the proposal and information will be provided to staff over the coming weeks as and when agreement is reached.”

Related Links:

02 August 2005 - MoD and Unions hold “inconclusive” talks in UK

30 July 2005 - Unions express discontent with Reid “way forward” proposals

28 July 2005 - House approves bill to enshrine court ruling into statutes

21 July 2005 - Caruana spells out conditions for settlement at Naval Base

20 July 2005 - Negotiated settlement to Naval Base jobs crisis gains ground

19 April 2005 Unions declare a united front on MoD Contractorisation

Gibraltar News Online Contractorisation Poll


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