ACAS brings in GCI as strike action mounts

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), seen as the final route to avert strike action, has brought in GCI as its first retained agency.

ACAS: played a central role in last month’s postal disputes
ACAS: played a central role in last month’s postal disputes

The appointment comes as the service deals with a ­resurgence in strikes. ACAS played a leading role in last month’s mail disputes, which saw the Communications Workers Union call further action.

But ACAS now wants to gain more coverage for its work outside of industrial disputes. GCI will help ­make the body as well known for its proactive work giving employment relations advice and training. 

Last year, GCI was brought in for a project following the introduction of ­age-discrimination laws.

The agency was tasked with positioning ACAS as an ‘impartial ­authority on the legislation’ (PRWeek, 7 October, 2006).

GCI will work on the same legislation, one year after its introduction, and communicate imminent changes to holiday entitlement. Within the European Union, the UK is near the bottom of the league for the number of days given as holiday entitlement, but a rise, which takes effect in April 2009, will increase entitlement to 28 days.

The agency will also help build the profile of new ACAS chair Ed Sweeney, the former deputy general secretary of union Amicus, who formally takes up his new role in November.

‘The whole area of work is undergoing tremendous change,’ said GCI CEO Mark Cater. ‘Our task will be to help ACAS to be seen in a new light by employers and employees.’

Cater reports into ACAS head of communications Alasdair Frew.

GCI won the retained ­corporate brief following a competitive three-way pitch.

Apologies... if your copy of PRWeek was delayed this week. This was due to a strike by postal workers.

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