The Committee received a report from the
Service Director, Human Resources and Workplace, and considered the
public forum statement by Cllr Craig in conjunction with this
item. The report set out some areas of
HR policy and practice that the HR Committee could explore as part
of its work programme for 2016-17.
In discussion the following points were
improving diversity and tackling inequality
- Cllr Craig summarised the key points
of the public statement and introduced Professor Bamford. The Committee was asked to include culture
change, improving diversity and tackling inequality in the work
programme and consider a review of its Terms of Reference
(ToR) to ensure that these were
explicit in the committees ToR.
Action: Culture Working Group
- There was a case for working in
partnership with other public sector employers who were facing the
same challenges within the constraints of budget cuts.
- There was an opportunity through the
Apprenticeship Levy from April 2017 – to consider how this
could be used to further the committee’s aims. Action: James Brereton
- There was suggestion that
recruitment of staff from outside the organisation could have a
demoralising effect on staff. There was a strong argument for
developing staff within the organisation. Developing vehicles to
progress people with protected characteristics to address
under-representation at higher grades. It was recognised that
meritocracy was important, and that external candidates could
sometimes offer a fresh perspective, especially with regard to the
aspiration for culture change.
- Members sought clarification and
analysis on leavers data and why
representation amongst equalities groups had fallen. Action: Culture Working Group
- The Committee noted that the data
identified 30% of the work force as over 55 whereas the population
of Bristol had an increasingly diverse young
population. Research had shown that
millennials sought a different work proposition than their older
counterparts. Were there opportunities
to bring younger people into the workforce? Or an opportunity to
emulate the work Birmingham had done on a City System level,
working in partnership with other public sector organisations to
develop the concept of a Birmingham Public Servant. Action: Culture Working Group
- It was confirmed that UNITE would be
keen to progress the Staff Survey which had commenced under the
previous administration. Timing would be critical as well as
sensitivity around job losses to maximise staff engagement. Closing
date of the Stonewall survey is 4 November. Liz McDougall had led on a staff health survey and
emphasised the need for focused questions, which led to clear
outcomes that could be acted upon and fed back to
- The committee noted that the 2011
staff survey had a 43% response rate.
The Committee wanted to ensure that the views of the staff that did
not engage were still captured. It was agreed that a joint survey
with trade unions and Bristol City Council would be welcome. A sub
group to be set up to progress and develop with the trade unions.
Cllr Craig proposed that Professor Bamford who had offered pro bono support to help
progress the staff survey work be included on the sub
group. A draft copy of the survey to be
presented that the next meeting in September and link to a theme,
‘How the Council should look in
Culture Working Group
- There were two facets to the living
wage accreditation. 1. As an organisation paying its own employees.
2. Building the living wage into third party contracts. At present the Council could only encourage but
not stipulate the contractual obligation to pay the living wage.
There may be an opportunity to progress this more robustly through
the Social Value Act. Confirmed that
the living wage had effectively replaced the lowest five grades in
the Council’s pay spine. Professor Bamford suggested that the Council look closely at
what John Lewis Partnership had achieved in this area. Action: James Brereton
Use of Agency
- Concern was raised over the use of
agency staff in the Council. Officers
to provide a report on the wider context for use of Agency staff in
the organisation. Action: James Brereton
- The committee requested an update on
the Collective agreement over holiday pay. Action:
RESOLVED to note the report and actions arising.
Cllr Hopkins joined the meeting.