Thursday, July 23, 2009

RHS - Don't cut the flower of your staff

(Hat-tip thingy SERTUC - dirty dealings in the RHS - What is the world coming to? double click on scan for further details)

I wanted to alert you to a dispute that is currently taking place within what would normally been seen as a near perfect working environment, namely the Gardens of the leading Horticultural charity,

The RHS continues to make large operating surpluses (£3.1million in 08/09 ) and yet it has decided to slash staff costs and are forcing all staff to sign new contracts which include working a 5 out of 7 day rolling working week, with no financial incentive, and many redundancies will fellow.

Despite the RHS flagship Garden at Wisley having many Unite and Prospect members the senior managers are refusing to meet with union officials and are trying to bulldoze through change with minimal consultation.

It is important to remember that these Gardeners are some of the most highly skilled practitioners within the industry while at the same time are the least well paid employees of this highly profitable charity.

Unite is currently turning this into a National campaign and I would urge you to write to : - Inga Grimsey, Director General, RHS, Vincent Square, London and register your disapproval and in particular can I encourage anyone from within Surrey to write to the local paper and express your outrage.

Can I finally ask you to send this email on through your own email networks.

(from members of the local Labour Party and Unite/GMB)


Fran said...

If I'd known this we wouldn't have gone there for the day in May.... Although I gotta say John, the Wisteria was magnificent.

John Gray said...

Hi Fran

Maybe next time have a "flower power" protest?

Anonymous said...

Dont stop visiting the gardens - that will only reduce the profits and make it harder for the staff. They need your support.

John Gray said...

Fair point anon - go there and ask to speak to duty manager about your concern?

Anonymous said...

As one of those whose job is at risk (which is the only reason I'm not giving my name) I just want to say that the information being given out by Unite isn't accurate. The union's view of what is actually happening is wrong and the information they are giving out is misleading. Most staff have been positive in putting forward alternative proposals to the RHS management through our own Employee Representatives and the reps are working hard to make sure that the views of RHS staff are heard. The majority of us just want to make sure that as few of our friends and colleagues as possible lose their jobs. This is a very difficult and worrying time for me and my colleagues and it is not helped by people who don't know what is going on making ill informed and argumentative comments. The RHS senior managers may not be bothered by Unite's comments but many of us are angry that they are trying to make people think that they represent the veiws of all RHS staff, they don't. If people want to support the RSH staff, join the RHS or visit one of our gardens and spend money so that the senior managers don't need to get rid of staff to solve other financial problems.