Our petition to the company demanding that all Manchester staff are paid on time seems to have got the company rattled.
They’ve sent a notice round managers trying to claim they can’t give us a pay rise because that would breach our agreement (as if that’s ever a problem for Fujitsu). HR have tried to invent a pay claim that never existed (can Amicus members invent the company pay offer then?). They’re even pretending they’re too scared to give us a pay rise in case employees take them to court! One would have thought we’d be more likely to do this if they discriminate against some of us by not giving us a pay rise.
Please keep taking the petition round your colleagues – it is getting a good response from members and non-members alike. Let’s make it as hard as possible for the company to delay pay rises yet again! Completed petitions should be returned to Phil Tepper as soon as possible.
You can read the correspondence for yourself. Amicus wrote to Larry Upton (“Employee Relations Manager”) on 8th March as follows:
From: Allinson Ian
Sent: 08 March 2007 15:51
To: Upton Larry
Cc: Thompson, Terry
Subject: AMICUS: Pay review 2007, dispute talks
We received the email notice to Manchester staff from Richard Bull and Ella Bennett dated 2nd March. Ella hasn’t taken any part in the talks, while Richard has only recently joined the company negotiating team and clearly had other pressing demands on his time. Their email makes a number of incorrect and misleading statements about an Amicus newsletter, what happened in the talks etc. Neither Richard nor Ella work in Manchester, and it is possible they are misinformed about the situation. We thought it might be helpful to contact you directly.
Amicus remains willing to talk at any time in an effort to resolve the dispute – a position endorsed by members on several occasions. Late last year we suspended action to allow talks, which the company decided to walk away from. This year we refrained from calling a planned strike to accommodate your concerns and provide a positive context for talks. Sadly, this opportunity was wasted again. At some stage we all need to bring the dispute to a conclusion, and that can only be achieved through constructive dialogue. Members might feel more inclined to alleviate the pressure the company complains of, if Fujitsu would alleviate the pressure it is putting on staff over a wide range of real issues affecting the business and its employees. If you can suggest a way the company can get back to the table with the aim of reaching a settlement, we would naturally welcome this.
We are extremely concerned by the statement “Our intention in the latest ACAS talks was to get swift agreement on the key issues of continued union recognition and redundancy terms, and also to use the opportunity to get an agreement on pay for 2007 in time for payment to employees in the collective bargaining unit from 1st April” contained in the notice.
As you are aware, Amicus registered a “Failure To Agree” on pay on 21st August 2006, leaving the company free to impose a pay deal and staff free to campaign for more. Indeed, the company did impose a deal on the remaining Manchester staff in October 2006, and Amicus has indeed campaigned for more.
Amicus has not submitted a new pay claim for 2007, as we anticipated that the company might once again prevent a timely deal in order to delay pay rises for some Manchester staff based on a dividing line unilaterally imposed by HR. Had the recent dispute talks resulted in agreement on outstanding issues, both parties agreed it would have been sensible to agree a 2007 pay deal as part of a settlement, giving a fresh start to the relationship between Fujitsu and its Manchester staff. The dispute talks didn’t make progress, so this approach was clearly not viable.
In the absence of either an agreement or a 2007 Manchester pay claim, the Failure To Agree stands. The company remains free to impose a pay review, and staff remain free to campaign for fair pay and benefits.
We are therefore seeking your assurance that the company will give pay rises to all Manchester staff punctually on 1st April. The responsibility for any failure to do so would lie squarely with the company.
Amicus senior rep, Fujitsu Manchester
Rather than getting on with pay planning, HR are keeping the correspondence flying, presumably in the hope they can leave it too late for managers to implement pay reviews for the April pay review.
From: Allinson Ian
Sent: 09 March 2007 17:15
To: Upton Larry
Cc: Thompson, Terry
Subject: RE: Amicus pay petition
Your surprising email (below) has been drawn to our attention.
Our members, who are “Amicus The Union”, decided at our EGM on 2nd February not to submit a pay claim. This was spelt out in our newsletter on 27th February. The company can hardly claim to have been unaware of this newsletter, having passed inaccurate and misleading comments on it in the Company Announcement to Manchester staff on 2nd March. You will find a copy of the newsletter here on CafeVIK (http://www.cafevik.fs.fujitsu.com/content/0289/public/00002/n_2006_manchester_2007_02_27.doc) if you have mislaid yours. Our Regional Officers were present at the EGM and have been fully aware of the position throughout.
If you were in any doubt about the situation, we would have thought my email to you yesterday (attached) would have resolved it. The email was copied to Terry Thompson, our Regional Officer. You could have responded to that email if you were still unclear. Instead you have chosen to send more misinformation around the management team.
In response to the specific question your email raises, our members have not asked for the “standard” pay review to be applied to them. They have recognised the fact that you have the right to do so (it would not break any agreement you have reached), and they have determined to continue campaigning for fair pay and benefits.
Some might find the company’s concern not to “breaching our agreement” by giving us a pay rise a little surprising, given the company’s lack of hesitation in breaking our agreements on almost every other question.
I have copied this email to Terry Thompson, so we hope this will be sufficient for you to provide the assurance we sought – that the company will give pay rises to all Manchester staff punctually on 1st April.
Amicus senior rep, Fujitsu Manchester
To: All Manchester Managers
Cc HR Managers, HR Advisers, HRLT
PLEASE LET YOUR EMPLOYEES KNOW THE CONTENT OF THIS NOTE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
WE WILL BE SENDING A COMMUNICATION TO ALL AFFECTED EMPLOYEES ONCE
WE HAVE RECEIVED THE CLARIFICATION FROM AMICUS DESCRIBED BELOW.
Amicus pay petition
You may have seen that Amicus is circulating a petition within the Campus which calls on the Company ‘to ensure all Manchester staff receive a pay rise on 1st April 2007’.
Our current agreement with Amicus requires us to negotiate with them in relation to pay for those employees within the ‘bargaining group’. This group consists of those employees previously covered by the recognition agreement at West Gorton with a salary below £38,018 per annum.
The vast majority of other employees on the Campus are covered by ‘standard pay planning’, a process which is currently underway across Fujitsu Services. These employees will receive notification of their pay review prior to 23rd April 2007
At Amicus request, we included negotiations with them on the 2007 pay settlement for the bargaining group on the agenda for the ACAS talks last month. Contrary to Amicus latest statement, and to previous communications from them, Amicus informed us at these talks of their pay expectations for 2007 and we made an initial response. As we have already said, however, we were not prepared to continue these talks once Amicus decided to recommence their strike action. The Amicus decision to recommence strike action clearly puts in jeopardy the likelihood of pay planning being completed in time for April for those in the bargaining group.
Fujitsu Services started negotiations for a 2007 settlement with unions (including Amicus) in other parts of the country some time ago; these have already been successfully concluded.
While we are keen to ensure that the pay review for all employees in Manchester is also completed in time for implementation in April salaries, we are not prepared to risk being accused by Amicus of breaking an agreement with them.
We are therefore currently seeking clarification from Amicus the union, as opposed to the local representatives, as to whether they are asking that all members of the Manchester bargaining group should be included in standard pay planning for 2007, rather than be subject to a negotiated settlement in line with our current agreement. We are only prepared to consider a request to move employees from pay bargaining into standard pay planning if we have a written assurance from Amicus that they will not regard this as breaching our agreement with the union.
When we have received that clarification we will decide on our response and let you know what actions we intend to take.
Employee Relations Manager
9th March 2007
With the latest inflation figure (Jan) at 4.2%, down from 4.4% in December, and IDS forecasting it rising to 4.4% for February and March, pay is a real issue for staff right across Fujitsu.
Are Fujitsu’s management really foolish enough to have a pay “pot” of just 2.5% in this situation? With profits on the rise? And let’s not forget that the “pot” figure exaggerates the real value by including promotions, progress etc.
Cutting staff pay in real terms yet again would do long-term damage to the company, especially when we’re already paid below market rates.