Report on Fujitsu Manchester EGM

Reps gave a brief overview of key issues, including progress and difficulties in the implementation of the new agreements, offshoring, Out Of Hours harmonisation, learning, pensions and organising.
A number of members reported how valuable the new agreements and the support from reps had been in relation to current issues such as redundancy and offshoring.
The main debate was around pay and benefits. The following motion was agreed unanimously:

The recent Manchester agreements resulted in most employees in scope (those below the old salary threshold) getting an additional pay rise of £150 from October 2007, and about half of those in scope (those who were receiving a disturbance allowance) having their disturbance allowance consolidated into basic pay (an average increase of around £1000).
As company pay budgets are calculated as a percentage of the existing pay bill, the effect of these salary increases has also been to increase the size of the pay pot for April 2008 for everyone, whether they personally received a rise in October or not.
As a result of recent agreements with UNITE, the company is already committed to:

  • Discussing company plans to change the career structure and its link to pay and benefits. UNITE wants this to include published pay and benefit scales which take account of external market rates.
  • Funding all promotional pay rises outside the annual pay review “pot”.
  • Ensuring that employees who change roles or receive pay rises between general pay reviews are paid at least the lower guideline level (with certain agreed exceptions, where a plan must be put in place to rectify this).
  • Monitoring to ensure that the company consistently agrees a plan (including reward and development) with individuals who are promoted.
  • Providing proper pay progression by ensuring fair relative pay levels within the pay band for each Professional Community role.
  • Clarifying the D1-4 scales and who is on this pay system.
  • Preventing the salaries of employees on D1-4 scales affecting the medians used for the pay reviews of those who are not.
  • Implementing the review of benefit cars agreed in the 2005 pay agreement and reiterated in the recent ACAS talks.
  • An Equal Pay Review with UNITE.
  • Reviewing policies relating to Equality between April and December 2008.

In addition, UNITE is representing employees in national discussions around the “harmonisation” of contracts in relation to overtime, shifts, standby and normal working hours.
During the dispute talks, UNITE had proposed a two-year pay deal, partly to help provide a period of stability after the settlement. The proposal would have allowed time for staff and management alike to feel the benefits of the new agreements and to build trust and new relationships. However, the company did not include this in their offer. We want the benefit of this stability while continuing to vigorously pursue improved pay and benefits for Fujitsu employees.
We believe that the best way to improve pay and benefits over the next few months is to focus on:

  1. Campaigning and organising in Manchester and on other sites to influence the national approach Fujitsu takes to pay and benefits now and strengthen our ability to do so in future.
  2. Pressing for the best possible implementation of the commitments already made.
  3. Providing advice, support and (where appropriate) representation to members over pay and benefits issues.

We resolve:

  1. To pursue the priorities set out in 1-3 above.
  2. To ask the company to consider UNITE’s views when determining the company’s standard (national) pay arrangements.
  3. Not to submit a pay claim for April 2008, but to ask the company to include everyone in the Manchester bargaining unit in the standard April 2008 pay review.
  4. To instruct our reps to monitor the implementation of the pay review and report back to members.

It was agreed to take account of the contents of the draft pay claim which had been circulated by email on Monday 26th November (but which was not adopted) in campaigning over the coming months.
Rep Zahid Ramzan is due to TUPE out of Fujitsu Services shortly, and members were urged to consider standing as reps or nominating colleagues.
Proposed nominations by Reps for the elections to the UNITE Executive Council had been circulated to members in Monday’s email. In addition to these nominations, Zahid Ramzan proposed to nominate the same five candidates as most of the rest of the reps. Members endorsed the proposed nominations by reps, which can now be submitted.
All members will be able to vote in the elections, which will take place in March. Members in Fujitsu should have votes for six of the seats – the five for which your reps could nominate, plus a regional seat (for which nominations are made through branches, not workplace reps).
More information on the election process is available on the union’s national web site.
Members discussed the UNISON Manchester Community & Mental Health dispute. This group gave us strong support during our own dispute and are now on indefinite strike demanding the reinstatement of sacked nurse and branch chair Karen Reissmann. A collection raised £140. For more information, see www.reinstate-karen.org or www.karenreissmann.wordpress.com.

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Unite members across Fujitsu Services Limited in the UK have been taking industrial as part of their dispute over jobs, union recognition, pay and pensions. Action from 28 February has included 15 days of strikes and ongoing action short of strike.

INDUSTRIAL ACTION IS CURRENTLY SUSPENDED but members have voted by 92% to reject a company offer and renewed campaign plans are being made.

The national dispute follows the resolution of a local dispute in Manchester which included 12 strike days.

Further information is available here including events, pickets, a downloadable appeal for support leaflet and how to donate to our strike fund.

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