Report from UNITE Fujitsu Manchester members’ meeting, 24th August 2011

Thanks to all the members who attended today’s Manchester members meeting. This is a summary of some of the key points.
Today a protest was held in Crewe at lunchtime in support of Alan Jenney, and members’ meetings are being held in Warrington and Basingstoke.
Company reorganisation
Members were given a top level explanation of the proposed new structure, why it matters and the process that is under way. People should seek to influence the process.
Pay
Outside the bargaining unit, the pay review budget was smaller (2%), many people got zero rises and there was no way for employees to monitor outcomes.
In the bargaining unit, the pay review will cost more than 2.5%, there are no zeroes and there is at least some connection between your rise, previous salary and performance.
The company caused problems throughout the negotiation process, and has messed up implementation. Members discussed the report on implementation issues which was circulated by email earlier today.
It is important that you check that the rise you have been given is no lower than the minimum allowed by the agreement. To help you do this, UNITE has produced a spreadsheet checker tool and made it available on CafeVIK. Members at the meeting were provided with a report on the pay comparators used for the pay review, to help them check their pay rises.
In addition, UNITE is arranging sessions where union members can get help from reps to check their pay rise. If you are a UNITE member and would like to take advantage of this, please email your reps to book a 10-minute appointment at one of the checking sessions:
• Friday 26th August, 10:00 – 12:00
• Wednesday 31st August, 14:00 – 16:00
Please specify what times you would be able to attend. You will then be sent an invitation for a particular 10-minute appointment. Please be punctual and ensure you bring along the necessary information (most of which is on your pay review letter, appraisal or Self Service).
Members discussed how the company was breaking the pay and benefits agreement, reinforcing the importance of the wider dispute.
Members agreed the following motion which determines how UNITE will propose the company rectifies the spending shortfalls:

We recognise that while our pay review has been disappointing and poorly implemented, it is already significantly better than that for staff outside the bargaining unit.
The company delays in providing information for collective bargaining make it impossible to take specific decisions at this point on how shortfall money should be spent, but it is possible to decide on some principles:
1. Budget should not be moved between the different pay systems.
2. Any spending shortfall for the D1-D4 system should first be spent on giving additional pay increases to those with “A” and “NS” PAC ratings through a matrix, while ensuring that those with “O” and “E” ratings still get more than them.
3. The fact that the company may have distributed money at its own discretion using its own matrices does not mean this comes out of the budgets for the matrices in our agreement – it remains part of the management discretion budgets.
4. Any spending shortfall for the medians system should first be spent on giving additional pay increases to those who got 0% from the matrix due to the company cutting off the rises sharply at 0.45% rather than tapering them off as in previous years.
5. For the D1-D4 pay system, UNITE should agree to the following interpretations, providing they are BOTH also supported by the company:
a. That the 1% for the matrix for D1-D4 pay system includes the cost of bringing people up to this year’s D1-D4 level
b. That the budget for managers’ discretion for people on the D1-D4 pay system is 0.5% irrespective of the spend on other elements, ensuring that people on this pay system have the additional cost of the £225 underpin on the cost of living rise covered outside the pot, just as for those on medians.
We resolve to encourage all employees in the bargaining unit to check their pay rises using the UNITE checker, and to publicise the IT Services campaign for fair and transparent pay and benefits, including the pay survey.
We instruct our reps to continue to pursue adequate information for collective bargaining, and to seek updates to the Manchester Pay And Benefits Agreement in line with any clarifications agreed.

It was emphasised that if the pay outcomes prove significantly different to that based on the unreliable information currently available from the company, reps might need to come back to members again.
Based on the information so far available, reps believe that implementation in line with the motion above would mean a total budget of:
• 2.968% for those on the D1-D4 pay system
• 2.724% for those on the medians pay system
The difference between the two figures is because lower pay in the Service Desks means more staff benefit from the £225 minimum on the Cost Of Living element of the pay review.
Members were encouraged to support UNITE’s campaign for Fair and Transparent Pay in the IT Services industry by:
• Completing the survey of Fujitsu pay and encouraging other members and non-members to do so
• Using the campaign lanyards, stickers and wristbands which were distributed at the meeting and are available from reps
• Helping distribute the latest “One Per Desk” newsletter and displaying the back of it (the Fair Pay Charter) as a poster at their desks
For more information on the campaign, see www.unitetheunion.org/itcharter.
Dispute
Members were reminded of the crucial issues in dispute which are already affecting some employees directly (e.g. individuals facing massive cuts in Out Of Hours payments) and will affect more of us if unresolved.
Reps emphasised that the company is “trying it on” but can be pushed back, as it has in dropping their threats to delay our pay review beyond August and over the some of the issues around victimisation of Manchester rep Jay Lieberman.
Members discussed an update from the ACAS talks, which have made slow and limited progress so far, but which are continuing.
To be counted, completed ballot papers must REACH the Independent Scrutineer no later than NOON on Thursday 1 September 2011 so anyone who has not already voted is encouraged to vote YES+YES, return their ballot paper as soon as possible and confirm to reps when they have done so, in order that reps don’t waste time chasing them up unnecessarily.
A member suggested that members should book places on the “Meet Duncan Tait – The New CEO” sessions and ensure he hears firsthand what members aren’t happy about.
Members agreed the following motion:

We note the slow and limited progress made in talks with the company and the ongoing problems affecting members arising from Fujitsu’s refusal to stick to its agreements. We welcome the continuation of dialogue but believe that the company’s decision to impose changes on employees before talks conclude, rather than to honour the status quo, means that our campaign should not be delayed. We welcome the involvement of UNITE’s new National Dispute Unit to assist with our campaign.
We support a strategy for resolving the dispute based on:
1) Continuing to work for a negotiated settlement
2) Using “leverage” pressure on the company, for example through the media, suppliers, partners, customers, potential customers, MPs and the public
3) Seeking to coordinate action inside and outside Fujitsu
4) Spreading the campaign within Fujitsu
5) Sustaining our campaign by building support within the wider movement
6) Industrial action, particularly where this supports the other elements of our strategy
We resolve to:
1) Explain the issues to colleagues.
2) Encourage colleagues to join the union and get involved.
3) Take part in campaign activities to support the strategy above.
4) Encourage anyone who hasn’t yet voted to vote YES+YES in the industrial action ballot.
5) Participate in dispute committee meetings open to all members and help organise the campaign.
If the result of the industrial action ballot is YES+YES and the dispute has not been resolved, we instruct our reps to make a plan for initial industrial action to be called by UNITE along these lines:
1) Up to five days of strike action
2) Continuous action short of strike along these lines:
a. Ban on overtime (paid or unpaid) unless paid at least Unsocial Hours Policy (UHP) rates.
b. Work to rule and contract, (for example ban on work phone calls outside contracted hours unless paid on standby, ensure backup before and after applying patches, test and document thoroughly, be diligent about Performance Plus and Personal Development Plan activities and what is written in objectives, carefully read all Company notices and Health & Safety information, read all the information from the Pensions and Redundancy consultation web sites, take regular backups of PC, comply with the “tidy desk” policy).
c. Ban on using own vehicle to travel on company business unless in receipt of an allowance.
d. Policy of non co-operation.
Any action beyond that set out above should only be called if agreed by a further members’ meeting.
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Unite members across Fujitsu Services Limited in the UK have been taking industrial as part of their dispute over jobs, union recognition, pay and pensions. Action from 28 February has included 15 days of strikes and ongoing action short of strike.

INDUSTRIAL ACTION IS CURRENTLY SUSPENDED while members consider an offer from Fujitsu.

The national dispute follows the resolution of a local dispute in Manchester which included 12 strike days.

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

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