Manchester: Facility time

At the Manchester members’ meeting (EGM) on 2nd February, members discussed the attempts by the company to reduce the time your reps have to work on your behalf, which is known in the jargon as “facility time” or “time off for union duties and activities”.
Several members have suggested that it would be useful to give an indication of what the time is used for. The UNITE reps in Manchester took a snapshot at a particular moment in time earlier this month (before the DWP announcement) of the issues they were currently dealing with:

  • Monitoring implementation of the 2010 pay deal
  • Implementation of the Manchester Pay and Benefits Agreement
  • Negotiations on Appendix 4 pay process (timetable, information disclosure etc)
  • Benefit car anomalies
  • Preparation for 2011 pay negotiations
  • Individual case on promotion
  • Individual case on transfer and promotion
  • A handful of individual cases on appraisals
  • Collective grievance over changes to Out Of Hours arrangements in Wintel team
  • Fair & transparent pay & benefits
  • Move from D1-D4 to Rise+ career and pay systems in Service Desks
  • Dealing with company introduction without consultation of “interim guidelines” for Out Of Hours – overtime, shift and standby
  • Consultation over company proposal to change Telephone Stand By (TSB) payments in VME team
  • Various secondary issues in the VME team arising from the TSB proposal
  • Implementation of the national ACAS agreement of February 2010
  • Closure of ICL DB Pension Plan
  • Future pension consultation arrangements (mainly for the FJUK plan)
  • Permanent Health Insurance – potential gap in cover created by closure of ICL DB Plan
  • 2 individual cases on NSD reorganisation and training
  • Individual case on pay rise / wrong grading
  • Individual case on health/assignment/management issues
  • 3 individual cases where people fear being “managed out of the business”
  • Individual conduct case
  • Individual capability case
  • 3 individual cases
  • 2 individual grievances
  • Redeployments using Annex 1 (e.g. Aspire team)
  • Maintain Jobs At Risk register (covers redundancies, redeployment, TUPEs etc)
  • MAN23 closure
  • Thomson Reuters TUPE out
  • TUPE to Atos Origin due to Home Office Extend & Blend
  • Resolve interference with leafleting in canteens
  • Resolve issues where the company has put a few people in both the UNITE and PCS bargaining units
  • Work on process to enable some employees to be excluded from the bargaining unit
  • Staff induction process
  • Helping the company with Knowledge Society initiative
  • Enrolling staff on training courses
  • Planning Learning At Work Day
  • Organising World Book Day
  • Learning Reps providing Information Advice and Guidance to staff
  • Setting up bicycle users group
  • Organising safety inspections of the campus
  • Advice in response to simple/short queries from members
  • Excessive working hours
  • Investigating bullying and stress issues
  • Challenging inappropriate requirements to work at remote locations
  • CSA / Design & Development issues (creation of design centres, long hours, promotion process etc)
  • Electrical safety testing
  • Promoting workstation (DSE) health and safety risk assessments
  • Negotiations etc over company desire to reduce facility time for reps to deal with employees’ issues
  • People forced to become career managers based on role code

In addition there are a range of vital background tasks to enable the organisation to function effectively: reps’ meetings, communication with members and employees, meetings with the company, liaison with UNITE officers and the wider union, maintaining accurate membership information, training etc.
The best way for the company to reduce the time your reps need would be to reduce the huge volume of issues and to deal with those that arise promptly, constructively and efficiently.
Negotiations have begun with the company on facility time, and UNITE will keep you informed of progress.

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'Fujitsu Whistleblower' hotline. Concerned about unethical or illegal practices? Contact the hotline on 0800 852 7479 or It is run by Unite the Union and your identity will be kept strictly confidential. Don't let Fujitsu silence whistleblowers.

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.

Industrial action is currently suspended but the fight continues.

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

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