UNITE has received the company’s first “firm offer” for 2009 pay review for the Manchester bargaining unit.
Manchester Pay Offer #1
The company had indicated that they would provide an initial “firm offer” by the end of last week. UNITE finally received the offer on Thursday 5th February.
UNITE had asked the company to provide the offer even though it was clear that there would be major gaps in it, and that these gaps would make it impossible for the reps to recommend acceptance at this stage. Your reps wanted to circulate the offer to members so that you could see what progress had been made and give feedback to your reps.
The offer reads as follows:
Company 2009 – Pay Offer – 3rd February 2009
Thank you for your pay claim of the 20th October 2008.
This year’s pay review is set against the background of an unprecedented global economic situation. While the impact on the company is not likely to be as dramatic as for those in other sectors we are finding already that customers, mindful of their financial positions, are pushing us to reduce charges and are reconsidering future plans. We need therefore to be even more mindful than usual of expenditure in order to maintain our competitive position in the marketplace.
Despite the uncertainty that this situation causes, the Company is pleased to be able to offer a pay review from 1st April 2009.
Outlined below are the key elements of the 2009 Company Pay offer for employees within the Unite bargaining unit. Other elements that are included within the Draft offer discussed on 26th January have been excluded for the time being as there are still a number of areas that need further discussion, in particular the situation of employees paid under D1-D4/Rise+ arrangements.
Pay Principles – 2009 review
We have previously indicated that a priority will be rewarding high levels of performance, balanced against a review of individual’s salary relative to the internal comparators for their role. We have also indicated the need to ensure some discretionary pay budget is available to Managers to recognise additional factors such as the size of an individual’s role and scarcity of their skill-set. The guidelines for the “standard” pay review also include key principles.
At the outset of negotiations, we agreed a collective goal to ensure the pay review is easy to understand, equitable and agreed as soon as possible, to ensure it can be implemented for 1st April 2009.
We have a budget of 2.5% for this review.
Company Pay Offer – 2009 review
For comparison, the original pay claim is included in our newsletter from October. Since then, the rate of price inflation has fallen sharply (latest figures are to December). It is now 0.9% measured by RPI and 3.1% measured by CPI (favoured by government, but less relevant). However, the company’s performance continues to be strong, so this year represents an opportunity for the company to reverse some of the decline in real wages that employees have suffered in recent years.
Given that there are large gaps in this initial firm offer, your reps cannot recommend acceptance. The company is already working on additional points which we anticipate being included in a subsequent offer. If you reject the offer, talks will resume on 12th February, and the company has confirmed that this still allows plenty of time for agreement to be reached and for a deal to be implemented in the April pay packet.
Your reps would also welcome your feedback on the content of the offer and which missing points you believe are most important to include.