Personal Alarm system

We were recently asked if the Orbis Red Alert system will be used as a 'tracking system' by NHBC.

We gave the advice that the company can only track you with your consent according to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

This is NOT the intention of the system. It is for your personal safety and NHBC have a duty to you to manage your health and safety risks while you are out on site. We would like to assure members that NHBC are not carrying out any monitoring of your location through any tracking data.

We would also remind members that the NHBC Lone Working procedures state that when you're carrying out lone working you must comply with certain conditions. Check these out here.

We understand that there has been an increase in threatening behaviour across the inspection areas,  and if you come under threat then the alarm will pinpoint where you are when it is activated so that help can be given.

Pay 2024-25 - an FAQ

In balloting on pay offers we have asked in the past for your comments if you are rejecting the offer made. We have been looking at the comments this year and have pulled together some themes around the negotiations and offer that we hope will help clarify our position.

Previous year’s deals
• Any annual pay deal is unlikely address previous year’s deals which may have been below inflation. It is a snapshot in time of both the economic position in general, and affordabiltiy for the company to ensure the business is sustainable.
• Historically, we have achieved above inflation deals, which gradually address this.

Pay comparison

Inflation
• We use CPI as the rate of inflation in our talks. Some public sector unions have RPI stated in historical agreements, but very few.
• We use forecasts from many sources for the year ahead and not the ‘live’ figures for the November/December period of talks.
• CPI is currently 3.4% (CPIH is 3.8%), so while the pay settlement may have been below inflation at December’s 4% rate (and compared through the year), it is now above inflation.
• Forecasts for 2024 by most economists show inflation will be somewhere between 1-3% by December 2024.

Discretionary Pot
• Members have been keen for there to be a way to move up the salary broad band, and this was a part of the new Contracts and Levels structure which was put forward by NHBC and accepted by all staff.
• The discretionary pot will in this year largely adjust for discrepancies in salary caused by the implementation of the second year of that restructure.
• We are in talks over how any future discretionary element may be allocated to reward high performance, and we are initially confident that there is a high level of oversight from Heads of Department through to HR to ensure that there are no biases.

Median pay
• NHBC have said in talks that their intention is pay at the median level. This is not a contractual right.
• We always look at the ‘live’ median pay data from the HMRC website. Headline reports are often for all employees, where the HMRC does allow us to look at the Finance and Construction sectors, which show a great deal of difference. 2016-2024 for finance shows a 44% increase in median pay where construction lags with only 25% increase.
• The median salary increase for the whole economy shown above is 35%, which, coincidentally, is around the average of the figures for finance and construction sectors.

Timing
• We negotiate in November/December so that any pay increase can be implemented in April.
• Previously, we negotiated later for a July implementation.
• Whenever we negotiate we will always be using forecasts on the future, which may or may not be correct.
• Examples of this are recent – 2020 for Covid and 2022 for the Ukraine war. Both happened after negotiations had taken place and could not have been predicted, but had very large impacts on cost of living and pay.

Ballots
• The ballot on the offer is a key moment for members to express their opinion.
• Your negotiating team do not make any decision on whether to accept or reject an offer. We have recommended acceptance to members and, at times, we have remained neutral, leaving the decision to the members.
• The offer that goes to ballot has not been accepted at that time.
• The ‘No’ vote this year was the largest we have had since we started balloting on the pay offer in 2017.
• Should we ever have a pay offer rejected at ballot we will return to the negotiating table to try to improve any offer, but ultimately members must be mindful that a ‘No’ vote is likely to require further ballots, perhaps on industrial action.
• Members must remember this point. If you vote ‘No’ to any offer, and then vote ‘No’ to industrial action, this really leaves us in a difficult position.
• Saying this, I do not believe that we will ever be in a position where we have to arrange a ballot on action.

Joint Comms
• We have had comments that the issue of Joint communication with NHBC may give the impression that the offer has been agreed. This is not the case.
• The communication always says it is subject to ballot of SA members, and we have indicated in the past whether we recommend acceptance or remain neutral. This year we remained neutral.
• We will take this feedback on board. Next year we perhaps will not issue a joint communication when going to ballot, and may do this later, following the ballot results.

Profits at half-year
• We had several comments on the half-year profits reported by NHBC.
• Clearly any pay offer has to be sustainable, and profits driven by investments returns can be wiped out as quickly as they appeared in the accounts.
• The figures were not available to us when we started negotiations, only being announced as we went to ballot. However, we would always look deeper than the headline, to operating profit which this year was weaker.
• Profits are, of course, a gateway measure on the NHBC Bonus Scorecard, so may affect total reward.
• In the past, NHBC have made pay offers even when a loss has been made, though this cannot be guaranteed.

Workloads
• There were a number of comments on individual workloads, which cannot form part of a pay negotiation.
• If you have concerns over your workload then please raise this with your line manager.

TUC Women's Conference 2024

Pic-2-1

The Staff Association has attended the TUC Women’s conference each year since affiliating with the TUC.

Women (and the occasional man) from all unions attend and submit motions which are female focused to the committee, these are seconded, supported or opposed by a number of sister unions and if carried will form the strategy for TUC Women’s committee the following year. We also vote on a motion to be carried to TUC Congress and also vote on any ballots for membership of the TUC Women’s committee for the following year.

Pic 1

For the 2024 Women’s conference there was a lot of focus on sexual harassment in the workplace. This of course can be received by anyone however, reportedly, women are much more likely to be victims.

The SA’s focus and votes are always in favour of motions that would benefit the female population at NHBC.

Motions of focus for the NHBC SA were:

  1. Closing the gender pay and pensions gaps – Julia spoke in favour of this motion
  2. Flexible working – voted for by the Staff Association delegates to be taken to Congress
Julia 1

We also voted in favour of a number of motions supporting:

  • Women’s rights
  • Ending violence against women and girls
  • Ending third party harassment
  • Women in Tech and STEM roles
  • Women’s health at every stage in life including menstruation, maternity, menopause and bereavement
  • Women’s caring responsibilities and the impact on cost of living

The SA Executive Committee will discuss actions to take forward and, as always, will work tirelessly in the background with NHBC to ensure that our members’ voices are heard.

Union Reps Conference Connect

YourSA Treasurer, Charlene Kisaalu, attended the TUC Union Reps Connect Conference.
Charlene Writes:

My first conference experience was one that left me excited to attend another. It was a day filled with key information from reputable sources such as ACAS, Thompsons Solicitors and LRD to name a few.

I went to this event with main purpose to learn from experts and gain valuable knowledge to further enhance our roles as representatives, although there were several workshops provided too.

URC23.0

Emma Mclean from ACAS emphasised the benefits of mediation, highlighted when it’s appropriate, who it’s appropriate for and how it can help.

Highlighted research published in May-21 that half a million people resigned because of conflict and workplace conflict costs UK employers £28.5bn each year, averaging just over £1k for every employee.

Brian Wilson from Thompson Solicitors who specialises in Employment law, provided a very insightful update on legislation which might be of interest to unions, and stipulated likely legal amendments in discussions.

URC23.4

First membership fee increase in 25 years!

Following our recent ballot, members have overwhelmingly supported a 50p increase in our membership fee. The increase will start from 1 May 2024.

If you have joined from February or through March/April, your first couple of months will be paid at the current rate of £2/month, and then all members will pay £2.50/month from the May payday.

Building Safety Registration Update 2

14 Feb Update - we have had some further discussion with HR colleagues. We believe that the points which you have raised have been fully considered and will shortly issue our FAQ in response via email, as stated below.

We are waiting for one answer regarding the registration fee for year 2. Our point is that this should be considered as a professional registration, and therefore covered by NHBC in common with the current policy on supporting two registrations.

Once have a response to this, we will add this to the FAQ.

8 Feb Update - we have had responses to some questions which we raised but discussion is ongoing. We have been told that no FAQ will be issued by the business, so we will compile one as soon as we are able and circulate this. As this is an external website, the FAQ will be circulated internally via email. We do have some positive news though:

  1. It was the intention that the recoverable amount will reduce by 1/24 for each month during the 2 year period. This was not made clear in the Docusign letter but will be applied.
  2. Ongoing registration fees outside of the 2 year period are not subject to a claw back.

Further updates to follow - please bookmark the page.

Original post - We have been made aware of various concerns and questions regarding recent communication regarding BSR. while I understand that you may have been directed to your Line Manager or others in the management chain, we are raising your concerns at the highest level.

We will post further updates to this news feed as we have substantive updates for you, and if you are concerned over the terms of the agreement that you have either signed or are yet to sign, please reach out to our usual Staff Association mailbox, your local rep or a rep for you functional area.

Transgender Day of Remembrance- 20 November

In support of Transgender Day of Remembrance 2023, the General Secretary of your Staff Association, Julia Georgiou, was asked by the TUC to write a short blog piece to be published on the TUC feed.

Transgender Day of Remembrance brings to a close Trans Awareness Week (13 November - 19 November)

TUC Blog page

Remember

Remember Brianna Ghey – her 17th birthday would have been on the 7/11 had she not been killed in a Warrington park earlier this year.

Remember Alice Litman, who died while waiting over three years for the care which is likely to have saved her – a wait which was heavily criticised by the Coroner for West Sussex.

Our thoughts are with you and your families.

Remember too, the 26 trans and non-binary people murdered in the US since the last TDoR. Violent deaths which all could have been prevented with greater understanding and empathy from society and political leaders in particular.

Remember that LGBTQ+ people face growing risk around the world but notably in countries in central Europe, Russia, Middle Eastern countries, the US, and others.

Remember that Uganda has enacted the most horrific laws against LGBTQ+ people this year, and other African nations are seeking to follow suit.

Remember that in 2017 Theresa May committed her Conservative Government to banning conversion therapy and improving trans rights.

Remember that on the 7 November Sunak & Co again failed our communities by not announcing legislation to ban this abhorrent practice for all LGBT+ people in the final King’s Speech of this failed Government, opening the door for further torture while those in charge of our country pander to a minority of their own MPs.

Remember that trans and non-binary people have been present in society for thousands of years, without causing any problems or diminishing women’s rights. That we stood at the forefront of Stonewall fighting for LGB rights, before LGBTQ+ was the umbrella term. That we stood with miners on their picket lines in the 80s. That we stand with women in the fight for their rights to equal pay and conditions, safe spaces in the same way that we need all of these equalities.

On Trans Day of Remembrance 2023, remember that we’re only human. Your friends, your siblings. Your children, your partners or your parents.

That all we ask is to be able to live freely and with dignity in an equal society without threat of ridicule, violence or death. To work in equal workplaces, for a fair week’s wage. To receive treatment if that is what we seek, without years of waiting.

Remember.

It's election time

You may have seen an email last week from Civica, our independent election provider, opening elections for two posts:

Deputy General Secretary

Secretary

Both roles are open to nominations from you, the wider membership. Full details of the roles and how to submit your nomination can be found within the email from Civica Election Services. Nominations close at 11:59 p.m. Monday 25th September 2023.

In addition to the two posts within the executive team there are a number of current department and geographical representative posts which are also due re-election. these are:

Re-election this year given our 3 year term of office:

  • Neil Wootton               North East and Tech Ops
  • Veronica Fiore            South East and Major Projects

The following co-opted reps to be confirmed:

  • David Topping             Northern Ireland and BI
  • Tracey Hughes           MK (Commercial – Regional Directors)

In addition we have two vacancies which could be filled in any of the following areas:

  • East & Central
  • Scotland
  • South West
  • West & Wales
  • Milton Keynes (Head office)

If you are interested an of the roles please e-mail us at staffassociation@nhbc.co.uk. You should be supported by one other member of the SA but in the first instance, we’re simply seeking expressions of interest.

You MUST submit a nomination if:

  • your existing role as rep is due for re-election
  • you wish to contest any of the roles due for re-election or confirmation following co-option,
  • you are interested in becoming a rep to either fill any of the vacancies.

Nominations will close on Monday 25th September at midnight.

Any nomination received after this time will be excluded. We will report back on nominations and arrange any elections soon after the closure of nominations.

Should we receive more nominations than there are posts available in any particular region or department we may need to hold elections which will be organised digitally.

Julia at TUC LGBT+ Conference

In June recently represented the NHBC SA members at the annual TUC LGBT+ Committee.

I was proud to be Chair of Conference for the first Thursday morning session, opening Conference and making sure everyone felt included, including those who were there on their own or for the first time.

As a member of the TUC LGBT+ Committee and a member of the NHBC LGBT+ Network steering group, taking part in this conference enables me to represent members’ views and further show NHBC as a progressive organisation.

At Thursday lunchtime, I chaired the Trans and Non-binary Worker’s Caucus, where other delegates could attend in a safe space. I heard some disturbing reports of bias and discrimination from other union reps, thankfully situations I don’t recognise as a trans woman at NHBC.

During the Conference I spoke in support of one motion and proposed an emergency motion regarding the behaviour of the Board of the EHRC who have taken some unusual positions on trans rights. In particular some advice to Government which, if made into laws, would affect many other gender non-confirming people be they trans, non-binary or just look different to other people.

I was successfully re-elected to the LGBT+ Committee for my 5th year

NHBC SA has taken all reasonable care to ensure that pages published were accurate on the stated date of publication or the last modification. Other pages which may be linked to the home page or to other pages, or which have a NHBC SA address, could have been published by NHBC SA teams or other parts of the organisation, or those associated with the organisation, or by staff acting entirely in a personal capacity.

NHBC SA takes no responsibility for the consequences of error or for any loss or damage suffered by users of any of the information published on any of these pages, and such information does not form any basis of a contract with readers or users of it.

Readers should verify information gained from the web with the appropriate NHBC SA authorities before relying on it as it is in the nature of web sites, many of which are experimental or constantly changing, that information published may be for test purposes, out of date, or the personal opinion of the author.

Material published by NHBC SA national office is copyright by NHBC SA and may not be reproduced without permission. Copyright exists in all other original material published on the web by staff of NHBC SA and may belong to the author or to NHBC SA depending on the circumstances of publication. The NHBC SA logo and the letters 'NHBC SA' are the registered trademarks and may not be used without permission.

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 imposes a duty on public authorities such as NHBC SA:

1 To confirm or deny that the information requested is held.
2 If the information is held, to communicate it to the applicant.

Anyone may make a request in writing for recorded information held by or on behalf of NHBC SA, who must comply promptly and in any case within 20 working days.  Unless subject to one of 23 exemptions described by the Act, the information must be provided.

The NHBC SA team has a strong commitment to excellence and aims to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines to ensure that the website is accessible as possible.

We intend to continue improving our accessibility, so if you do have any queries or problems, please contact us and we will try to sort them out quickly.

We only use 'strictly necessary' cookies; that is those that are required for the site to function correctly.