The civil service action plan, which outlines reforms set out in the Building Momentum agreement, has been finalised. The plan has been circulated to Fórsa’s civil service branches, and briefings are planned after next week’s divisional conference.
The key actions in the plan are set out under four priorities:
- Improving access to services and increased flexibility in resourcing models to deliver better services
- The potential for technology to transform service delivery
- Flexibility and strengthening capacity
- Business, operational and policy changes leading to internal efficiencies.
The agreement explicitly references the unprecedented display of commitment, flexibility, hard work and agility in service provision across the civil and public service during the pandemic, and reflects a commitment by the parties to harness this momentum for change to meet the immediate challenges that present in the lifetime of the agreement, and to prepare for future challenges.
The action plan says existing consultation processes will be used to discuss any proposed revisions to flexible working arrangements. Any amendments must take account of the current agreement on flexible working, as well as blended working policies across the civil service.
The question of reconfiguring office space, designated workstations, single occupancy offices, and working towards more agile open plan offices will be related to blended working policies.
There is also an understanding that temporary assignments for Covid-19 priorities will continue, but further consultation is required if management want to extend the scheme for non-Covid purposes.
Fórsa also won agreement that an extension of the mobility scheme to professional, technical and service grades will be considered. And the plan also references the recently-agreed secondment plan for the civil service.
Although challenges lay ahead under the plan’s digital and automation proposals, the union reached agreement on language to ensure continued consultation, which references staff upskilling and retraining as on automation impacts on jobs, roles and work processes. This presents a chance to improve career opportunities for all staff.
The parties will also engage on amending opening arrangements with a view to providing optimal service to customers. This will take account of the growth in online services, and will be subject to consultation with Fórsa.
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