The threat of strike action at Neath Port Talbot leisure centres has receded following a meeting between Celtic Leisure Executives and UNISON representatives.
The company had told staff they wish to break away from the way pay increases have been agreed for the last 16 years and warned its workforce of lifeguards; instructors; supervisors; clerical staff and others, they had to agree the change otherwise they will be sacked and re-engaged on lesser contracts.
Outraged leisure staff voted by 99 per cent in favour of holding a ballot for strike action.
Now Celtic Leisure has withdrawn the legal 45-day notice period to force through contract changes and so allowing for further talks to take place with the trade union.
The notice period had been activated by the employer after just the second meeting between the parties and UNISON says its withdrawal is sensible.
Mark Fisher, UNISON Neath Port Talbot County branch chair said,
“We welcome Celtic Leisure’s decision to remove the legal 45-day notice period. This allows us to negotiate and identify how staff employment conditions and pay rises will be protected for the long term.”
Notes for editors
Celtic Leisure has provided leisure services under contract to Neath Port Talbot council since 2003.
For the last 16 years it has abided by the UK national agreements negotiated between employers and unions as part of the NJC settlements which cover all local government workers.
On 17 September Celtic Leisure gave notice it wished to cease implementation of nationally negotiated NJC pay awards and gave notice the 45 day period of collective consultation had started – that if agreement is not reached, it would terminate employees’ current contracts and offer re-engagement on new contracts.
Mark Fisher, branch chair 07971 25 51 30
Jane Gebbie, branch secretary 07508 64 30 52
Alastair Gittins, UNISON press officer 07816 53 83 9