The Branch has members who work for Quarriers in projects based in England. At a meeting with the Chief Executive on Wednesday we were advised that they intend to withdraw from all England based services and have started formal consultation. There are approximately 90 staff working for Quarriers in England across a number of projects – many of whom are UNISON members. All of the projects have fewer than 20 staff in each and as they are all separate contracts then statutorily they only require to provide a two week consultation period. However we have asked for an extension to this if required. All staff were informed of the decision yesterday.
The services which Quarriers provide are in three locations:
South Shields – There is one project here and the local authority have indicated that they will be seeking a new provider to deliver the service. This means that a TUPE transfer of staff is the likely outcome.
Cheshire West – Before the decision to withdraw from England had been taken, Quarries had actually lost this contract as it was recently put back out to tender. So the TUPE transfer process has already begun.
Bath (and surrounding areas) – There are five projects and a regional office in Bath, Swindon and surrounding areas. Only one of these projects looks at present as if the local authority will seek another provider and it remains to be seen what will happen to the others. The Quarriers Paddocks project is the most vulnerable as notice has been served that they intend closing the project at the end of this month. The project has no service users at present due to a number of issues not connected to the decision to withdraw. We are discussing with Quarriers an option to redeploy the Paddocks staff to other projects either into vacancies or to be held as surplus cover to avert them being made redundant on the 31st March. Each of these contracts has a built in notice period and it looks like Quarriers will be in a position to withdraw from all England based service by August/September of this year.
Unison (Inverclyde Branch)
30 Bawhirley Road,