Supplementary memorandum by the House
of Commons Whitley Committee Trade Union Side
Many thanks again for inviting the Trade Union
Side to give evidence to your inquiry.
There is one item we should have perhaps mentioned
and did not.
At least 50 per cent of House staff are rosteredthat
is, they take lunch on one or more days a week at predetermined
times, set by their management, or depending on the times of committee
sittings. If House Departments could arrange their rosters such
that no break began or finished at exactly 1300, then I think
the most oppressive overcrowding in the cafeterias might be relieved.
In other words, lunches could be timed for 1250, 1310 or 1320.
This expedient would spread the "ultra peak" over half
an hour rather than concentrating it into five or 10 minutes as
happens at the moment. No expenditure would be involved, just
some coordinated administrative action, after consulting local
union reps. The same could be applied to committee sittingsif
there were five committees, perhaps some could be timed to finish
relatively earlier or later than 1300.
15 May 2002