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:
In addition, UNITE is representing employees in national discussions around the “harmonisation” of contracts in relation to overtime, shifts, standby and normal working hours.
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.