Manchester: Update on Pay, Pensions and Industrial Action

Pay Shortfalls
In the update on 16th September UNITE reported that Fujitsu would not meet the agreed timescale of addressing the payment shortfalls by 23rd September.
There have also been significant delays in HR providing the agreed information to allow UNITE to monitor the implementation of the agreement. Reps are working with the company to try to carry out the monitoring as soon as possible.
The agreement requires you to submit any query about your pay review in writing within two months of being notified, otherwise you will generally lose the right to any additional pay increase. Given the delays in providing the monitoring information, UNITE asked the company to extend this deadline. Regrettably the company has refused to do this.
UNITE is therefore advising all employees in the Manchester bargaining unit that in order to avoid the risk of losing out on pay, you should submit a query to HR Direct, copying UNITE even if you think your rise is correct. You should do this no later than two months after the date you received your pay review letter. This deadline should be no earlier than 16th October, but please submit your query as soon as possible. Example query:

I understand that there are shortfalls in the pay rises the company implemented on 1st August 2011 and that the Manchester Pay And Benefits Agreement says “If, due to any miscalculation, the company has spent less than agreed on any of the elements of the pay review (cost of living, matrices, discretion), the Company will discuss this with Unite and agree how to spend the remaining money on employees”.

In accordance with section 16 of the Manchester Pay And Benefits Agreement I am registering a query now to ensure I do not lose my right to any additional money when pay rises are corrected.

UNITE had hoped to avoid the necessity to issue this advice, but would not be acting in the interests of employees if we failed to alert you to the risk of losing out on a pay rise due to the company’s unwillingness to extend the deadline.
Pensions
Pensions are a very important part of the pay and benefits you earn, typically worth an additional 6-20% on top of your salary.
Fujitsu is failing to honour two key commitments it made to employees in 2010 in relation to pensions. These relate to the contractual status of pensions and how the company will consult employees about the main FJUK pension plan. The failure to honour these promises threatens the future security of our pensions.
UNITE and PCS have jointly launched a petition calling on the company to honour its pension commitments. Please sign it, pass it round your workmates and return it as soon as possible.
Having moved employees into a Defined Contribution scheme, the Company has no financial stake in the scheme once the contributions have been paid – the money is yours and you bear all the risk. This makes it particularly unfair that the Company gets to choose most of the FJUK trustees, that members have no say in the selection of any of the trustees, and there is no mechanism in place to consult us about the plan.
Industrial Action
The dispute over the company’s breaches of agreements and victimisation of reps is not yet resolved. UNITE has called a one-day strike on Tuesday 4th October 2011 affecting all employees who are in scope of the Manchester Recognition Agreement. You can strike whether you are a UNITE member or not (as even the company’s FAQ confirms). Everyone who takes part is standing up for fair treatment for employees.
Plans for the strike day have been posted online, and include a lunchtime protest in central Manchester to coincide with when Fujitsu UK & Ireland CEO Duncan Tait is due to be speaking at a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party conference.
UNITE and Fujitsu are holding further talks on Monday in a further attempt to resolve the dispute. If sufficient progress is made to allow Tuesday’s action to be called off, a further email will be sent by UNITE and updates will be posted on www.ourunion.org.uk/news.
If you aren’t yet a member it would be good to join now. Membership means you receive more information, you take part in UNITE’s democratic decision making over the dispute, and you receive financial support from the union.
In addition to the strike, the Action Short Of Strike continues. UNITE has published a guide. Please make it as effective as possible so that fewer strikes are required to bring the dispute to a conclusion.
UNITE has published a Q&A about industrial action. If you have questions or concerns which aren’t covered, please speak to one of your UNITE reps.

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Sign the petition – defend the union

Unite members across Fujitsu Services Limited in the UK are fighting over job security, for union recognition, against victimisation of reps, and over pay and pensions. Members nationally took industrial from 28 February including 15 days of strikes and ongoing action short of strike, after 12 days of local strikes in Manchester.

INDUSTRIAL ACTION IS CURRENTLY SUSPENDED but members have voted by 92% to reject a company offer.

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

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