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BUG meeting at Lancaster Circus

Below are the notes from the Building User Group meeting relating to Lancaster circus sent to the branch by a Steward. To note: these are not official minutes from the meeting.

"The Lancaster Circus Building Users’ Group meeting was this morning (19/01/2017), these are my notes from the meeting.  There were a few issues that also relate to Woodcock St, which I will put first.  This is going to out all UNISON members in Service Birmingham, please share with colleagues.  The building manager did comment on how petty many of the items they raised are.

Building management re-iterated that they cannot do anything about temperature, lighting or ventilation.

There has been a mugging recently of an agency member of staff returning to his car in the evening.  This happened on the other side of Dartmouth Middleway on Great Lister St, past the workwear store.  The only description given of the muggers is that they were two young men wearing hoodies.  Please be careful if you park in that area and have to return to your car after dark.  If you’ve had to park far away when you arrive in the morning it may be worth moving your car closer in the late afternoon/early evening when the early arrivers have left for the day.

Some people are putting glass in the general waste bins which is causing injuries to cleaning staff.  Please put glass items in the glass recycling bins which should be found in kitchens/village greens and near to the stairs in Lancaster Circus.  Similarly drinks cups still containing drinks have been found in the bins and food waste has been found in recycling bins.  Some items donated in the pre-Christmas toy drive had to be thrown out due to people throwing food away in the donation basket which fouled of damaged donated items.

Vermin (rats/mice and black flies) have been reported in various areas of the building but when the pest controllers arrive they have been reporting that open food packets are usually found in the areas where vermin are found.  If you keep food at your desk where you don’t consume the whole packet at once then please use some sort of sealed container to store it in.

There have been multiple complaints of people putting their feet up on the sofa type chairs in the informal meeting and break out areas.  There have also been complaints of people sleeping on the sofas and distracting others with their snoring.  If you must put your feet up, please remove your shoes.

You may have noticed that the ‘Change Filter’ light may be flashing on the ZIP taps (the boiling and chilled water taps) in the kitchens and village greens.  The water is still safe to use.  The taps were due to be serviced and get new filters earlier this month but there was a hold up in the authorisation of the cost of renewal of the maintenance contract.  This has now been resolved and the servicing will go ahead soon.

People who do not have disabilities have been using the accessible toilets and causing delays for people who cannot use the regular toilets.  Please be considerate and only use the accessible toilets if the regular toilets are not usable by you.  If the toilets on your floor are being cleaned please try a different floor.  The cleaners have put in place steps to ensure that when the toilets on one floor are being cleaned then the toilets on the adjacent floors are not.

There is a problem of managers not inducting new staff to the buildings when they start.  This is causing problems with staff not knowing where facilities are or how to use them correctly (e.g. that there are recycling bins).

There have been recurring problems of staff apparently stealing bins, hand gel dispensers, signs and conference phones from around the building.  If you witness any thefts please report them as soon as possible.

There have been complaints of some staff doing their home shopping at lunchtime or in the morning and filling up the office fridge so others cannot put their lunch in the fridge.

A number of the microwave ovens in Lancaster Circus are missing or broken.  Building management are in the process of trying to replace them but are having issues as in these austere times all purchases need to have a business case.  Note that provision of microwaves is not required by law.

There have been complaints by the cleaners that work surfaces in the kitchen and village greens on the 4th floor are filled up with catering size boxes/bags/tubs of tea bags, sugar sachets, coffee &c so they cannot clean them properly.  The presumption is that these are the ones supplied by Service Birmingham.  Please use cupboards for such items where possible.

Acivico are moving out of Lancaster Circus (3rd floor) in week commencing 30th January.  In that week we can expect to see a large increase in traffic on the goods lift and through A Gate.  Avoid those if at all possible.

From 17:00 on Tuesday 24th of January (i.e. next Tuesday) there will be works being carried out in the basement carpark and A Gate so if you normally park your car or a works vehicle there, please be sure to move it out by 17:00.  Space may be available in other car parks at that time.  There will be access on foot or bike.

Room G03 has been block booked by the Future Council programme but many staff have complained that it is always empty.  Building Management are working on it with the programme to determine when they actually need the room and when it can be released to other staff.  As a general reminder, if you book a meeting room and no longer need it please cancel your booking.

I raised that I’d had a few comments fed back about the state of toilet seats on the fourth floor, mostly around staining.  It was noted that many of the seats are now 9 or more years old and, being white, show up any marks much more so than darker seats might.  If you have any cleaning issues, including issues with toilet seats, then please record them in the cleaning book which should be found in the ‘landing area’ desks by the lifts.  Please make sure to record the time and date as this will allow them to identify the cleaner on duty and any patterns.

One of the extractor fans outside the kitchen on the second floor appears to be blowing cold air at staff.  These fans, as the name suggests, should not be blowing air into the office but sucking it out.  There are no fans used to force air onto the floors, the floor vents operate by convection only.  Building management are looking into this.

There is an issue with staff who sit near to the perimeter radiators turning them off.  As these are the principle source of heat on the floor this causes staff in other areas feeling cold.  If you sit near a radiator please and turn it off, please remember to turn it back on before you leave. 

If you have any issues with temperature, lighting or ventilation please take it up with your line manager.  They may be able to identify a fix such as a diffuser for the light, a dark coloured mat to reduce glare on your desk or swapping you with someone with the opposite issue.  If you have a medical issue that means you are susceptible to cold then you may be able to be provided with an oil filled radiator (but note that this cannot be plugged in to the desk sockets as they are only fused for 3A and a heater will tend to pull over 10A so will blow the fuse).  No non-work electrical equipment can be plugged in to the office sockets.  If you are regularly too warm building management recommend that you use a USB powered fan plugged into your PC.  If you do please ensure that it is not blowing on the temperature sensors (white boxes on the wall approximately 4.5 x 3 inches) as this will cause it to read a lower temperature and increase the heat in the office."

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