Manchester Members’ Meeting Wednesday 5th September

Don’t forget the meeting tomorrow for all UNITE members in the Manchester bargaining unit:

1-2:30pm, Wednesday 5th September
MAN35 canteen

Members are entitled to attend the meeting in work time.  If your manager might need to arrange cover for while you attend, it is important that you ask them now to confirm your release.  If you have any difficulty securing release, please contact your rep immediately.  If you leave this until the last minute, reps may not be able to resolve this for you.
Agenda:

  • Compulsory Redundancy, Breach of Agreements (see below)
  • Out Of Hours terms (see below)
  • Any Other Business (notified in advance)
    • Driving risk assessment
    • Stress survey
    • TUC demo 20th October

Compulsory Redundancy, Breach of Agreements
Thanks to all the members and non-members who took part in yesterday’s protest calling for P— to be redeployed and for the company to honour its agreements.  Our web site has background to the case.
[the original notice included details of motion for discussion]
Out Of Hours terms
Earlier in the year, Fujitsu began consulting UNITE over a proposal to introduce the “UK interim additional hours guidelines” (covering overtime, shift, standby and callout) to the bargaining unit for new employees and for existing employees under certain circumstances.
A members’ meeting on 24th February discussed the company proposal, identified the following objectives:

  • Secure the best possible terms for current and future employees
  • Protect individual employees against loss of income or worsening of terms and conditions
  • Promote fairness, consistency and the unity of the workforce
  • Secure an outcome that is defensible in the long term

Members discussed options for how best to achieve those objectives and unanimously chose “harmonisation”:

  • Prioritise the long term defence of OOH terms for all current and future employees
  • Negotiate new common OOH terms with contractual status to apply to all current and future employees in the bargaining unit and to remain in their contracts of employment even if they leave the bargaining unit
  • Seek to protect individual employees against loss of income or worsening of terms and conditions, for example by “buying them out”

At a “stage 1” meeting in April, the company did not agree with UNITE’s preferred approach, but both parties agreed to jointly explore both approaches to see if agreement could be reached.  The company has now decided that it is no longer willing to explore harmonisation.
The company now proposes that negotiations continue on the basis of changes to the UK guidelines, and accepts that the following issues would be included in those on the table if members want reps to engage in this process:

  • Scope – under what circumstances would new and existing employees be covered by the guidelines, under what circumstances would OOH be paid or unpaid
  • The legal status of the policy – would it be contractual and/or included in an agreement with UNITE?
  • Validation – would there be an exercise to validate the OOH terms recorded on the system for existing employees?  When and on what basis?
  • Premium rates
  • Index-linking or review of standby rates which are expressed as monetary values

The company’s preference is that any changes to the guidelines should be applied UK-wide.  UNITE proposed that at least some of the discussions should therefore take place jointly with PCS and Fujitsu Voice, and the company said they would consider this.
At the meeting, members will be asked to decide between two responses to the company’s new position:

  • Register a Failure To Agree at stage 1 and continue to pursue harmonisation
  • Engage with the company at stage 1 to see if changes can be made to make the guidelines acceptable.  Engage employees outside Manchester in campaigning for changes to the guidelines.
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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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