News round-up, August 2016

News round-up, August 2016

A snapshot of what's been happening in and around Prospect during August 2016:

  • Intergenerational Foundation wrong on pensions
  • Unfair dismissal victory for BT member
  • Call to reject pay offer linked to performance
  • Write to your MP about redundancy changes
  • 9% of NPL staff at risk of redundancy
  • Prospect hails ruling on Scotland’s “Named Person” law
  • Pension talks continue at Urenco
  • Prospect responds to Uniper plans
  • Workplace survey on domestic violence
  • All aboard for Union Week
  • Latest blogs
  • Latest publications
  • Events

Intergenerational Foundation wrong on pensions

Prospect pensions officer Neil Walsh argued in a letter published in the Guardian on 16 August that the latest long-term projections from the Office for Budget Responsibility show that the cost of public sector pensions is projected to fall consistently in the future as a result of recent reforms to the schemes. This contradicts a report by the Intergenerational Foundation

Unfair dismissal victory for BT member

Prospect supported member Paul Pigott, a BT employee for more than 30 years, in winning an employment tribunal case for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination. The tribunal found that the employer had not done enough to support him back to work when he faced a period of illness after being marked down in his performance appraisals.

Call to reject pay offer linked to performance

Prospect has rejected a controversial Cabinet Office pay offer for 2016. The offer is based on an increase calculated at 1% of the mid-point of pay ranges, but excludes those who received a “Must Improve” performance rating – affecting around 10% of staff.

Write to your MP about redundancy changes

Prospect is urging you to write to your MP to protest about the government’s proposals to change the civil service compensation scheme.

Despite an agreement with the unions in 2010 that then Cabinet Office secretary Francis Maude deemed “right for the long term”, thousands of members will face penalties under the planned changes. Find your MP’s details on the parliament website.

9% of NPL staff at risk of redundancy

Up to 9% of the 800-strong staff at the world-leading National Physical Laboratory could face redundancy because of a new business strategy, Prospect has warned. The union said that the NPL’s definition of future skills needs is unclear and that decades of scientific knowledge and experience may be lost.

Prospect hails ruling on Scotland’s “Named Person” law

Education and children’s services professionals have welcomed the additional privacy and confidentiality safeguards that the Supreme Court has said should be incorporated in the Scottish government’s redrafted Named Person legislation.

Pension talks continue at Urenco

Prospect and other unions at Urenco have secured some improvements to pension changes planned by the enriched uranium manufacturing company. The unions have focused on achieving the best possible defined contribution pension scheme for all employees and achieving compensation for employees who face being taken out of the final salary scheme.

Prospect responds to Uniper plans

Energy company Uniper (formerly part of E.ON) has announced a change programme called Voyager. One of its desired outcomes is a “bare minimum” operating model. Prospect is in the early stage of consultation on the changes and has set out its priorities for negotiation.

Workplace survey on domestic violence

UNI Global Union has partnered with researchers at the University of Western Ontario to conduct an international, anonymous survey on the scope and impact of domestic violence in the workplace.

Prospect members are invited to take part, whether or not they have personally experienced domestic violence. The research is seen as a first step towards improving policies in the workplace to support and assist affected workers.

All aboard for Union Week

#talkProspect – 3-7 October 2016

Why are you in Prospect? – make and share a 30-second video!

In the run-up to Prospect’s upcoming Union Week from 3-7 October, members are encouraged to enter a 30-second video clip into our competition around the theme “Why I’m in Prospect”. The prize is a camcorder worth £250. Please upload your videos to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram by midday, 12 September, using the hashtag #talkProspect. Tell us about your video by emailing a link to [email protected]

See more details and a video about the competition.

Add a Twibbon to Facebook and Twitter

If you are on Facebook or Twitter please help spread the word by adding the “Let’s talk Prospect” Twibbon to your profile photo. Visit the dedicated web page and follow the instructions.

Events and resources

Keep an eye on the Union Week web area over the next few weeks to see what’s happening in your area. On the “resources” page you can download stickers, posters, a get involved form, “I want to help” cards and more. Welsh-language materials are also available. Email [email protected] for hard copies or for guidance on running an event.


Sexual harassment – “just a bit of banter?” – Marion Scovell, Prospect’s head of legal, blogs about a report from the TUC and Everyday Sexism Project, which found that that nearly two in three young women have been sexually harassed at work. She also describes a successful case taken by Prospect on behalf of a member working in a male-dominated environment.

Climate change – Deputy general secretary Sue Ferns draws on the examples of Germany and Denmark in her blog considering how a sustainable industrial strategy can help to tackle climate change. The issue is also addressed in a new TUC report, Powering Ahead: how industry can match Europe’s environmental leaders.

Pensions triple lock – The current system for applying annual increases to most state pensions is the triple lock. Prospect pensions officer Phil McEvoy discusses whether this is sustainable in the long term and what could replace it.

Also new this month - hot off the press

PublicEye for members in public services

Contents include: Our manifesto for professionals; new “hubs” policy; MOD rethinks demotivating performance management; VOA appraisal pilot; write to your MP about changes to exit payments; agency staff costs; and specialist pay in MOD.

EnergyEye for members in energy industry supply sector

Contents include: Hinkley C delay; national health and safety inspection day; Powering Improvement project; electric cars; new exposure limits for electric and magnetic fields; and energy pay deals.

From your legal team

LegalEye newsletter

Contents include: DfT’s sickness absence rules case win; member wins damages for burn at work; TUPE case win, personal injury cases and a workers’ rights quiz.

New employment law briefings

Giving evidence in a Tribunal (*Member log-in required)             

Preliminary hearings and case management orders (* Member log-in required)

For non-members

A new video and post-Brexit leaflet both highlight the value of being in Prospect – please feel free to share them via Facebook, Twitter or face to face.

Video: ten reasons to join Prospect

Whatever the climate… we will stand up for your rights at work: Prospect’s post EU referendum leaflet reiterates the union’s pledges to support the organisations that employ our members; campaign for science and engineering resources; remain politically independent and politically influential; treat people fairly and respectfully; and condemn all racist and xenophobic behaviour. 


Young professionals’ forum

Members aged 30 and under are invited to this year’s young professionals’ forum at the People’s History Museum, Manchester, on 12-13 November. Download a leaflet with all the details.

Scotland: campaigns and communications

Prospect is organising a communications and campaigns seminar on Monday 26 September at the Mercure Hotel, Perth, for representatives in Scotland who want to play a leading role in the union’s campaign work in 2017 and beyond. Email [email protected] for details.


Prospect Extra

Prospect Extra is the union’s free cashback and comparison service for members. Sign in (or create a free account).

If you have any questions about Prospect’s member benefits, please email [email protected]

Prospect – union for life.

Are you changing jobs or retiring in the near future? Did you know you can stay with Prospect? There is no need to cancel your membership and you can continue to receive professional support and services from Prospect regardless of whether your new employer recognises a union or not. Also, if you’re between jobs or retired you can get Prospect benefits at a reduced subscription rate.

Find out more about staying with Prospect.

Have you kept us up to date with details?

If you have moved home or changed your email address or other contact details, please email [email protected]. You can also amend your details online if you have registered on our website.

Recruit a colleague

For every member you recruit to Prospect, you can claim a £10 voucher or ask Prospect to donate to a charity.