Tuesday, August 02, 2005

MoD and Unions hold “inconclusive” talks in UK

Future of the naval base labour force

Rt Hon Dr John Reid MP - Secretary of State for Defence
TGWU District Officer Luis Montiel yesterday described the meeting with the Ministry of Defence in UK as “inconclusive.”

For its part the MoD said the discussions were “very helpful” and “more detailed work is to take place.”

Speaking to the Chronicle, Mr Montiel who led a Union delegation that included Prospect local branch secretary Michael Tampin, said talks will continue in Gibraltar on Friday with local MoD officials. He described the talks as “exploratory” and “without prejudice.”

Mr Montiel explained that Defence Secretary Dr John Reid, who was not present at yesterday’s meeting, had proposed a costing exercise of two different possibilities: the ISP contractorisation, which is the MoD preferred choice, and the in-house option with directly employed labour which the Unions favour.

On both counts meeting the parameters of efficiency savings and expectations of reduction in trading and manpower was the ministerial requirement. The MoD would then accept the option which represented greater savings between the two.

Mr Montiel said that greater definition of the concepts being used was necessary to see what is to be evaluated and the scope of comparison between the two.

The TGWU District Officer said dialogue had to continue and further described the talks as “neither positive nor negative.” He said the MoD wanted to rush an agreement through but this had not been acceptable to them.

“In the final analysis we have to see how we benefit and protect MoD terms and conditions of employment,” added Mr Montiel.

PJHQ and Trade Union Statement

Meanwhile the MoD and TGWU yesterday issued the following joint statement after the meeting:

“Senior officials from PJHQ (Permanent Joint Headquarters) and the Transport and General Workers Union and Prospect have met in London today [Monday] on a without prejudice basis.

The meeting was arranged as a follow up to the talks between the Secretary of State for Defence, John Reid, TGWU Deputy Secretary Jack Dromey and Prospect National Secretary Steve Jary when the current position on the outsourcing of facilities management within Gibraltar was raised.

Command Secretary Susan Scholefield led the PJHQ team. HQ Gibraltar Command Secretary Phil Mallion was also present.”

Susan Scholefield said:

“John Reid and the Trades Unions had useful discussions regarding the current position of the outsourcing of facilities management within Gibraltar.

Today’s meeting was a natural follow up. The discussions have been very helpful and more detailed work and engagement is to take place.”

Related Links:

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

29 July 2005 - TGWU/Prospect to meet MoD officials in UK next week

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

14 July 2005 - MoD refrain from appeal in Unions case

30 June 2005 - Contractorisation gets big 'NO'

29 June 2005 - Chief Justice gives Union go ahead to challenge cuts

19 April 2005 Unions declare a united front on MoD Contractorisation

Gibraltar News Online Contractorisation Poll

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