Manchester Pay Offer #1

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

  1. All employees, other than those managed on the D1-D4 or Rise + scale, whose current salary is below 75% of the median for their role will receive an increase to bring their salary to 75% of the median (full-time equivalent). This will be funded outside of the 2.5% budget.
  2. A 1% increase in basic pay for all employees within the bargaining unit. This “cost of living” 1% is calculated based on the individual’s salary after any increase to bring them up to 75% of the median.
  3. An additional increase (where applicable) to basic salary related to individual performance and salary relative to the pay comparators. This increase to be at least that defined on an agreed matrix. This is in addition to the “cost of living” element.
  4. An additional discretionary increase (where applicable) allocated by Managers in accordance with the principles outlined above and within the overall budget. In principle this should all be allocated to increases in basic salary rather than non-consolidated bonuses. The only exceptions would be where people are paid over 125% of the median with exceptional performance
  5. The company will provide pay planning managers with details of the disturbance allowances that were consolidated into basic pay in October 2007. In considering the discretionary increases, managers should take into account the fact that this part of their pay was compensation for additional costs incurred by the employee. Impact on D1-D4 employees TBC
  6. Customer Services employees managed on the D1-4 or Rise+ systems (typically helpdesks) will be paid at least the minimum salary for the relevant D1-D4 or Rise+ scale for their role. This will be funded within the 2.5% budget.
  7. Changes to Rise+ or D1-4 pay scales and other related points TBC.
  8. Promotional pay rises must be clearly distinguished from the pay increases above and funded outside of the budget described above. For clarity, the term “promotion” is used to mean a change in an individual’s Professional Community Role code to one with a higher guideline salary. On promotion, an employee is normally paid at least the lower comparator for their new role. Except by agreement with the Union, the only exception to this would be where a lower salary was agreed as part of the acceptance of an “alternative job” (as opposed to a “suitable alternative job”) during redeployment. Any exception will include a plan with specified performance criteria to raise the salary to at least their lower guideline level within a year, provided those criteria are met.
  9. It was agreed in 2005 that on promotion, an immediate review should take place with a plan agreed with the individual to include reward and development. By August 2009, the Company will implement a mechanism to monitor and ensure that this consistently takes place. The first meeting with UNITE to discuss this will be by the end of May 2009.
  10. The Company will work with Unite to ensure that this agreement has been implemented fully and fairly. The company will provide information to allow Unite to monitor this by the end of May 2009.
  11. The Company is committed to spending the 2.5% budget on pay rises effective from 1st April 2009. If, due to any miscalculation, any of the budget remains after the pay review, the Company will discuss this with Unite and agree how to spend the remaining money on employees.

Larry Upton
Employee Relations Manager
4th February 2009

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.

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Unite members working for Fujitsu Services Limited in the Manchester bargaining unit have taken 32 strike days over compulsory redundancies, victimisation of reps and breaches of agreements. This follows 27 previous days of strike action.

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