Manchester AGM Report

AGM Report
Thanks to everyone who took part in today’s UNITE Fujitsu Manchester Annual General Meeting. A summary of the key points is below.
Progress and Current Issues
Members heard and discussed reports from reps covering:

  • Implementation of last year’s deal (progress being made, but too slow and patchy. Review of implementation with ACAS planned)
  • Relationship with the company
  • The national organising campaign
  • Learning
  • Health & Safety
  • Campus update (including the consolidation into two buildings and the closure of the MAN35 canteen)
  • TUPE transfers
  • Redeployment (we have been very successful in using Annex 1 to protect jobs, but it has been very labour intensive. If you think your job is at risk please contact your rep straight away)


Pay
Reps reported on implementation of the motion passed by members at the previous EGM, which had been uneven. Some of the bigger successes included:

  • Increases to D1-4 scales
  • Increases to medians for TSS/1, TSS/2 and TSM/1 medians as a result of the agreements
  • Manchester pay guidelines including promotions being funded additionally to the pay review budget
  • Joint Fujitsu-UNITE Equal Pay Review pilot under way for CSA, DEV and TSS roles in Manchester

A national pay campaign leaflet is currently going out at various sites. The recent Manchester leaflet had been based on this. Further national leafleting is planned.
The company is promoting more 0% pay rises this year, despite inflation remaining high.
Members discussed a detailed union briefing document on the company’s 2008 pay and benefit scales. UNITE believes such information should be freely available to all employees, but the company insists it is confidential. Please do not pass on the document – if other people want a copy, please ask them to join and direct them to a UNITE Workplace Rep.
Access to Fujitsu’s pay and benefit information is currently a significant benefit of UNITE membership.
Recognition
A motion about the handling of one possible situation in relation to the new recognition agreement was agreed.
Health & Safety
The following motion was agreed:

Back and upper limb disorders are one of the major health issues affecting employees. Many of these can be avoided by provision of appropriate equipment, training to correctly adjust and use it, reasonable working hours and adequate breaks.
Display Screen Equipment (DSE) risk assessments, sometimes known as workstation assessments, are a key tool in preventing back and upper limb disorders. The company is legally obliged to have DSE assessments carried out by people competent to do so. The practice of promoting “self-assessment” rather than assessment by a properly trained assessor has often meant that assessments don’t happen at all. Where they do take place they are often just a “tick in the box” which is a nuisance for employees and does little to promote health. The results of self-assessment are sometimes later used to allow the company to blame the individual if they later suffer ill-health.
We welcome the decision of the union and company representatives on the Manchester Safety Committee on 6th November 2007 that “DSE assessments across the Campus would be undertaken by trained DSE assessors, rather than via self assessment”.
We resolve to campaign for the company to appoint and train sufficient competent assessors and to ensure all employees benefit from a proper assessment.

Members from MAN35-2 raised concerns about their working environment, poor response from site facilities and other issues on the HMRC contract.
Climate Change
The following motion was agreed:

We note the increasing concern about the contribution of Carbon Dioxide emissions to climate change.
We welcome initiatives by government and employers to reduce energy usage but believe that more action is needed to reduce the risks from climate change, to promote energy security and to reduce costs.
We resolve to:

  1. Work with Fujitsu to reduce the company’s Carbon Footprint
  2. Propose to the company an additional bonus for employees in the UNITE Manchester Bargaining Unit based on reduction in Carbon Footprint, to give employees an incentive and to share in savings achieved
  3. Propose that the company trains assessors to check power saving settings during DSE assessments
  4. Campaign for the replacement of old CRT monitors with lower-power flat screens
  5. Seek to agree with the company the use of portable power meters so that employees can learn about the energy use of different appliances and the savings being made
  6. Organise a showing of the film “An Inconvenient Truth” and other events to promote discussion and raise awareness
  7. Seek agreement with Fujitsu to recognise Union Environment Reps
  8. Campaign for the company to put more effort into moving work to the people rather than excessive travelling
  9. Campaign for the company to provide more facilities, training and promotion for phone, video and web conferencing
  10. Propose the Environmental awareness and impact becomes part of the Reputation Programme and for inclusion within Company Induction
  11. Provide an incentive to employees to reduce carbon footprints and car share on visits to other sites e.g. trips to Bracknell where people could travel individually or all in one car for the same trip / meeting. Lift sharing sometimes adds extra time or hassle to a journey, but we get no direct reward for giving up time to pick colleagues up. United Utilities provide a 5p per mile extra bonus for people car sharing on company journeys and a similar scheme would encourage Fujitsu employees to go out of their way to give lifts since there is a financial as well as environmental incentive.

There was discussion about a range of related matters, including the benefits of home-working for the environment.
Group Rules
The following new rules were agreed:

These rules operate within the context of the general rules of the union. In the event of any conflict, the rules of the union shall prevail.
1. OBJECTS
The Group exists to enable its members:
1.1 To convey their feelings to Fujitsu management on matters concerning remuneration, working conditions and related topics
1.2 To promote the objects of the union
It shall provide a framework within which members can make decisions or take action.
2. MEMBERSHIP
Membership consists of all UNITE members employed by the Fujitsu group and in scope of the Manchester recognition agreement (i.e. MAN33/34/35 and some HOM99 employees).
3. MEETINGS
3.1 General Meetings may be called by any Committee member. 3 days notice must be given of such a meeting.
3.2 An Annual General Meeting shall be held each year, normally in the month prior to the pay review date.
3.3 Any Group member may call an Extraordinary General Meeting to seek to replace any Committee member by obtaining the signature of 15 other members. One month’s notice must be given of such a meeting.
4. REPRESENTATIVES
The group members shall elect from amongst themselves:
4.1 Workplace Representatives
4.2 Health & Safety Representatives
4.3 Union Learning Representatives
4.4 Equality Representatives
4.5 Environmental Representatives
4.6 Such other representatives as required by the union rulebook or determined by the members
Elections will be held at the Annual General Meeting. In addition, elections may be held when decided by the committee or when a nomination is made to fill a vacancy. All terms of office expire at the following Annual General Meeting.
The Representatives shall form a committee to oversee the work of the group, and elect a senior representative, a deputy and such other officers as it deems necessary.
5. PROCEDURES
5.1 Majority decisions shall abide at all meetings.
5.2 There will be a review of the rules at each AGM and if requested, at a General Meeting. Any changes to Group Rules shall only be made at a meeting where the proposed changes have been published on the agenda.
5.3 A speaker may not take longer than five minutes to introduce any topic or motion. Other speeches shall not exceed three minutes. These limits may be extended or waived at the discretion of the chair.

Reps Elections
The following were elected:
11 Workplace Reps:
Ian Allinson, Ben Ashdown, Pauline Bradburn, Dean Burn, Jackie Cook, Dave Francis, Isabel Hay, Lynne Hodge, Andy C Smith, Phil Tepper, Michael Thomas
14 Health & Safety Reps:
Ian Allinson, Alan Child, Helen Clayson, Kevin M Davies, Lynne Hodge, Iswar Mistry, Dennis Morris, Dave Parkinson, Steve Perkins, Colin Robinson, Andy C Smith, Andrew Stavrinides, Phil Tepper, Simon Wood
6 Union Learning Reps:
Pauline Bradburn, Dean Burn, Teresa Meyer, Rama Reddy Nallamilli, Denise Roberts, Sajana Patel
3 Equality Reps:
Jackie Cook, Isabel Hay, Teresa Meyer
3 Environmental Reps:
Helen Clayson, Steve Perkins, Simon Wood
Nikki Aldridge, who has been the group chair, had decided not to stand for election this year. Many thanks to Nikki for her contribution over recent months.
Other Business
Ballot papers are coming out at the moment for the elections to UNITE’s first Executive Council, the outcome of which will have a major impact on the future direction of the union. If you haven’t received ballot papers by Wednesday 12th March you should contact the membership department on 0845 850 4242.
Members had an update on the campaign to reinstate Karen Reissmann, the local nurse and UNISON rep who had been sacked for speaking out in defence of the NHS. Some of the cuts UNISON were fighting against had now been reversed, and the campaign continues. Karen’s tribunal is likely to be late this year. A collection raised £145.15 to help provide financial support for Karen.

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Unite members working for Fujitsu Services Limited in the Manchester bargaining unit are balloting for industrial action over compulsory redundancies, victimisation of reps and breaches of agreements. This follows 27 previous days of strike action.

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