October 29, 2009


UNITE has declared the result of the industrial action ballot over Jobs, Pay & Pensions. The official notice is posted on CafeVIK.

Please note that at this stage the union has not called any industrial action. Please read future notices carefully

In summary, the results were as follows:

Question: Are you prepared to take part in strike action?
Number of votes cast 983
Spoiled voting papers 3
Number voting YES 728 (74%)
Number voting NO 252 (26%)

Question: Are you prepared to take part in industrial action short of a strike?
Number of votes cast 983
Spoiled voting papers 1
Number voting YES 900 (92%)
Number voting NO 82 (8%)

Thank you to all the members who returned their ballot papers.

Posted by IMH at 10:46 AM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2009

Updates from Manchester

Don’t forget that there are further UNITE meetings (open to all staff) about the redundancy situation:

· Thursday 29th October, 1:30pm-2:30pm, 33GCR2
· Friday 30th October, 10am-11am, 33GCR2

UNITE representatives for Manchester met with Fujitsu management and ACAS on 7th October.

ACAS countersigned the updated Manchester agreements which had come into effect on 20th May.

The main business was a stage 3 meeting over breaches of our Recognition and Annex 1 agreements. This had been requested by UNITE following the redundancy dismissal of a member. A resolution to the individual aspects of that case was separately agreed, and the meeting focussed on the wider implications.

The following outcomes were also agreed:

3) The company now has a centralised case-management process for all grievances and disciplinaries. Grievances go to the Employment Team, who occasionally reject them without them being heard. It was agreed that for grievances relating to employees in the Manchester Bargaining Unit, a modified process would be used. If the Employment Team would normally reject a grievance, they will inform Larry Upton, who will discuss it with UNITE. If an individual or collective grievance is backed by UNITE, a hearing will always take place. If the company believes the grievance procedure is being used inappropriately, this will be discussed collectively with UNITE.

4) Both parties agree that agreed procedures are beneficial. A formal "red alert" process will be used to ensure speedy resolution (within days) if either party believes the other is not following the agreed procedures. This will be used to ensure the procedures are followed correctly, not to deal with the substantive issues themselves. If informal and local resolution has not been found, the escalation routes are as follows:
Fujitsu: Unit HR Manager, Larry Upton, Business/Capability Unit head, Ella Bennett/Roger Gilbert
UNITE: Ian Allinson, Terry Thompson
The company will identify 3-4 Business/Capability Unit heads to be used for this.

5) UNITE said there was a "red alert" over the jobs situation in the SAM team in the Service Desks, Centre Of Excellence (COE). Some work has been moved from MAN35 to MAN37 despite grievances being unresolved. The company will provide any evidence that this was mandated by the customer rather than being a Fujitsu decision. No permanent appointments will be made for the work in MAN37 while the grievances are outstanding. Larry Upton would speak to John Lucas by Thursday 8th October in relation to ensuring that the individuals affected should not be forced into other roles without their agreement while their grievances are outstanding.

6) It was agreed that it was important to re-start the process of informal meetings to progress the issues in the COE to a mutually acceptable resolution. All the key employees and managers must be able to participate, to ensure the process is successful. The company's concern is HR resource to facilitate this. UNITE proposed that ACAS facilitate the meetings, but agreed that it was important that Richard Batty (or his manager) took part to ensure there was management commitment to see it through. The company agreed to respond on this suggestion. Brian will investigate whether this would be charged for.

7) A discussion began, but was not concluded, about consultation requirements for job changes. The focus was situations where the company operated a "shared service" model, but employees were being moved between accounts and/or functions within that. The example was where an employee had clearly defined tasks and was being moved to do new work within the same department but that would require training, different tasks etc.

Since then, a further informal meeting with Larry Upton (Employee Relations Manager) took place on 21st October which agreed updates on a number of the points:

3) Handling of grievances
· Larry had informed Sandra Kemp of the agreed approach that will now ensure that a hearing takes place for all grievances backed by UNITE for the Manchester bargaining unit.

4) Escalation procedure for breaches of agreements
· The company has not yet identified 3-4 Business/Capability Unit heads to be used for this. Larry is on leave next week, but expects to deal with this quickly on his return.

5) Jobs in the SAM team in Service Desks, Centre of Excellence (COE)
· Emma Hewitt had provided Larry with a summary of what had happened leading up to the work of the team being transferred to MAN37.
· Larry said that the decision to move the work had been taken by Fujitsu, not the customer. This was contrary to what was stated at the time of the ACAS meeting. Larry reported that the Business Unit had taken the decision after discussions with Core.
· Larry confirmed that no permanent resource had been allocated to do the work at MAN37.
· UNITE said that as well as being in breach of the Manchester agreements, taking the decision to move the work like this without consulting the employees affected was in breach of the People Management Charter. Larry agreed to investigate who had been involved, so that any repetition could be prevented.
· Larry reported that he had not spoken to John Lucas about the situation, but that COE management had agreed that the team members would not be forced into other roles while their grievance was being dealt with. They intended to offer other work to the team members on a temporary and voluntary basis for the time being.
· UNITE suggested that since the decision had been taken by Fujitsu, the work should be given back to the team while the grievance was dealt with. Larry agreed to speak to John Lucas about this.
· UNITE raised concerns that the "at risk" lists being used by HR and management when considering priority for other roles did not appear to be accurate. This had recently arisen in two instances, one of which related to a member of the SAM team. Larry agreed to investigate this.

6) COE issues
· There had been correspondence between Ian Allinson and Richard Batty about restarting the COE meetings. Larry confirmed that the company was happy in principle for ACAS to facilitate the meetings. Larry will speak to Richard Batty to ensure local management are happy with arrangements. Larry will speak to Brian Sykes about whether ACAS will need to charge for their services.

The meeting discussed a proposal to rearrange a number of current jobs to enable a member be redeployed.

It also covered a number of other points:

Extend & Blend Home Office TUPE
· The company had briefed PCS about the likely TUPE to AtosOrigin, and Larry has alerted Caroline Bennell, the relevant HR contact, of the need to consult UNITE.
· Larry reported that the TUPE was expected to be in October 2010 and that the scale of it was much smaller than originally anticipated.

· Larry reported that active consideration was being given to the requests from UNITE and the various Redundancy Forums for a joint meeting with the Project Cherry Steering Group. He expected a response to be provided next week or earlier.
· Larry thanked UNITE for the letter about the redundancy programme and said it was helpful to collate many of the points that had come up. Larry said that the company was giving it detailed consideration. He thought it likely that the company would provide a single full formal response to UNITE. Larry had forwarded the letter to the company representatives on each forum, as requested, and said it would also be discussed at the Redundancy Forum meetings.

The numbers below refer to the points in the UNITE letter. The fact that a point is listed here does not necessarily mean all issues within that point have been fully addressed.

1) In response to the points about the financial position, Larry said he would be attending the company "Regional Management Meeting" tomorrow. The UKCF will get a financial and business update on Friday. Larry expected that information from these would be sent to UNITE, the Redundancy Forums and the wider workforce quite quickly.

4.9 & 4.11) points on Resource Centres, CV & Interview training
· Jim Checkley (who reports to Paul Brown) is coordinating setting up Resource Centres in Manchester, Bracknell and Stevenage. Fujitsu is using Penna as an external resource for these. They are intended to be available from 9th November for those provisionally selected for redundancy, including volunteers. The service will include CV and interview training.
· Pete Aggett is making arrangements for the Resource Centre in MAN35, and would welcome UNITE involvement in setting up and running it. Pete is on ---.

4.15) Larry reported that for people in the Manchester bargaining unit, the company is aware of the requirements for trial periods and has put in place mechanisms to ensure people get "offer letters" in line with Annex 1.

5.4) The company will allow training for UNITE reps in the Manchester bargaining unit to deal with individual issues in the redundancy process. UNITE raised a concern that in areas where the company does not recognise unions yet, the process could be delayed if members had difficulty arranging for a trained rep or full time officer to accompany them. Larry will respond on whether the company will allow time off for training for UNITE reps elsewhere for this.

7) Larry said the company has so far received nearly 600 VR applications. UNITE expressed the view that the lack of clear answers on a range of factors affecting decisions was still reducing the number of applications. UNITE also said that employees not at risk were getting inconsistent responses if they enquired about VR.

7.3-7.7) Larry said that it was the company's intention to use the criteria to score people in the Manchester bargaining unit who applied for Voluntary Redundancy. However, while this information would feed into the decision-making process, nobody would be rejected solely on the basis of their score. It is the criteria in Annex 1 that will apply and the default answer is "yes". UNITE pointed out that sometimes a "no" could be turned into a "yes" if there was flexibility on timing, knowledge transfer and appropriate training for someone else to take the role.

7.8) An outline appeal process for rejected applications for Voluntary Redundancy was agreed for the Manchester bargaining unit:
· Larry will adapt the letter to reject a VR application for the Manchester bargaining unit to include the appeal process below. It will emphasise that the purpose of the discussions and appeals is to try to jointly find and agree a way in which a VR can replace a CR if that is at all possible.
· Employees whose VR application is rejected will be offered the opportunity to discuss this informally with the relevant manager
· If they wish to appeal, they must contact Larry Upton
· An appeal hearing will involve the employee, the manager who took the original decision to reject the application (to explain the business justification), the more senior manager hearing the appeal, Larry Upton or Kelly Metcalfe from HR, and a union rep/officer or accompanying colleague where appropriate.
· The outcome of the appeal will be communicated within 3 days.

8.3) Larry will provide an updated list of the staff in the Manchester bargaining unit who are at risk of redundancy, including which forum and selection pool they are in. UNITE emphasised the urgency of this, as the company has still not told us who we are representing.

8.4) Larry will ensure that the missing RPP information is provided.

8.16) The review specified in Annex 1 section 6.1.4 will include accepted and rejected VR applications, as well as selected CRs.

8.17-8.20) The company plan for communication around selection is:
· Initially brief people of their provisional selection in a short 1-1 meeting. In this meeting, information about scoring etc will be provided.
· Employees can have a further 1-1 meeting with the manager who decided their selection, to discuss it in detail. The manager will have the authority in that meeting to change the scoring (and hence selection).
· Appeal to a more senior manager
· For employees in the Manchester bargaining unit only, a Second Appeal to a more senior manager

The company has since rejected the request from UNITE and the Redundancy Forums for a joint meeting with the Project Cherry Steering Group.

Posted by IMH at 09:52 PM | Comments (0)

Manchester and Crewe “Practice Picket” photos now online

Thanks to everyone who took part in the recent “Just Practising” pickets. Photos from the Manchester and Crewe events are now available online.

Posted by IMH at 09:47 PM | Comments (0)

“Defend Our Pensions” Public Meeting

The UNITE Greater Manchester IT Branch has called a “Defend Our Pensions” public meeting next Monday.

Whether your prime concern is Jobs, Pay or Pensions, this is an important meeting to build support for our campaign. It will be taking place after the results of the UNITE and PCS ballots are announced, but before industrial action could start. Please do your utmost to attend, and bring along your colleagues, friends and family.

Defend Our Pensions
Public Meeting

7pm, Monday 2nd November
Main Hall, Mechanics Institute

103 Princess Street, Manchester M1 6DD (entrance on Major Street)

Pensions are under attack. Private companies including Fujitsu, Barclays, Morrisons, Dairy Crest, Costain, IBM, CSC and Steria are trying to close final salary schemes to existing members. Pension deficits, including that in Royal Mail, are all over the news, rarely with an explanation of the pensions holidays taken by employers in the boom years. Many politicians and the media are trying to create divisions between public and private sector workers in preparation for further attacks on public sector pensions. The state pension remains inadequate, leaving many pensioners in poverty, and the state pension age keeps rising.

But the attacks are provoking resistance. Come and join this Public Meeting to build the campaigns to Defend Our Pensions.

· Pete Keenlyside, CWU NEC
· Jimmy Thornton, UNITE Branch Sec, Manchester City Council
· Lindsey Adams, UNITE Workplace & Equality Rep, Barclays (to be confirmed)
· Dot Gibson, General Secretary, National Pensioners Convention
· Ian Allinson, Chair UNITE Combine Committee, Fujitsu

Chair: Sharon Green, Manchester TUC President, PCS

Called by UNITE Greater Manchester IT Branch
Supported by Manchester TUC

Posted by IMH at 09:46 PM | Comments (0)

Diaries and Branch Meeting

The UNITE Greater Manchester IT Branch has ordered some UNITE diaries for members, which will be distributed on a first-come-first-served basis to members who request a diary. Members of other branches can either ask their own branch to order some, or can order one individually.

The next meeting of the Greater Manchester IT Branch is:

5:30-7pm, Thursday 5th November
34GCR2, MAN34

All branch members are welcome to attend.

Posted by IMH at 09:43 PM | Comments (0)

Vacancy for your Combine Committee in Warrington

Our elected Combine Committee has a very important responsibility for decision-making during our campaign. We currently have a vacancy for a member contractually based at one of the Warrington sites. There are lots of UNITE members in Warrington, so it’s important their voice is heard.

If you are willing to stand, please send an email including your name, contact details and (optionally) a statement of up to 100 words explaining why people should vote for you.

If you don’t plan to stand yourself, please make sure a colleague you trust does put their name forward.

Posted by IMH at 09:41 PM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2009

Voting in the Industrial Action Ballot

Many UNITE members have now received their ballot papers through the post. If you have not received a voting paper by Friday 16 October, you should contact us via membership at ourunion.org.uk IMMEDIATELY.

When you receive it, please make sure you return your vote STRAIGHT AWAY to minimise the impact of postal strikes on the ballot. UNITE is urging members to vote YES+YES to secure an acceptable outcome on Jobs, Pay & Pensions.

Your reps are working hard on your behalf to maximise the number of members who vote.

Thanks to everyone who has already done this - you can help the campaign by reminding other members to vote too.

The full text of the notice of industrial action ballot to UNITE members is on CafeVIK and on OurUnion.

Posted by IMH at 09:40 PM | Comments (0)

Crewe: Mock Picket

Staff at Fujitsu's main Crewe site staged a "mock picket", carrying
placards reading "Just Practising" and "Trainee Picket". Unite and PCS
are balloting their members at Fujitsu over Jobs, Pay and Pensions.

Click on the image to see photos from the protest


Posted by IMH at 05:57 PM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2009

Voting, Roger Gilbert’s Email, Advice on Selection

UNITE members should start receiving ballot papers through the post today. Please make sure you return your vote STRAIGHT AWAY to minimise the impact of postal strikes on the ballot.

UNITE is urging members to vote YES+YES to secure an acceptable outcome on Jobs, Pay & Pensions.

You may have read yesterday’s notice from Roger Gilbert about the ballot. The fact that the Chief Executive has to write to every UK employee about the campaign shows how concerned the company is about the campaign. Roger has done wonders for union membership in Fujitsu since he took over, so it’s good to see he’s keeping it up. Roger says how important it is to be fully informed when casting your vote, but curiously fails to include the union web site in the list of resources. Most of our previous newsletters are archived on our ourunion site here. Quite a number of employees have spontaneously decided to reply to Roger Gilbert about his notice. Surprisingly, they are getting individual replies (albeit with a fair amount of cut-and-paste).

We need to keep up the pressure so that management go beyond issuing Communicating notices and actually negotiate with UNITE and PCS to agree a settlement which is acceptable to members. Would this be a better use of our Chief Executive’s time than responding to individual emails? The ballot is key to shifting the company position.

From past experience, the company is likely to try to play down the ballot result. The higher the turnout the harder it will be for the company to do this, so every vote counts. Reps will be working hard on your behalf to maximise the number of members who vote. You can help the campaign by reminding other members to vote too.

If you have not received a voting paper by Friday 16 October, you should contact us via membership at ourunion.org.uk IMMEDIATELY. The full text of the notice of industrial action ballot to UNITE members is on CafeVIK and on OurUnion.

Advice on Selection

The company is keen to press ahead with redundancy selection, despite the situation being a complete shambles. The UNITE email notice on 29th September included some “Tips for Union Members at Risk”.

Under “tips for redeployment”, point 4 was:

“Make sure your online CV, Skills Database entry and CafeVIK Connect profile are all up to date. When filling in the Skills Database, don’t be too modest. You wouldn’t want to lose out on a job to someone else with less skills but a bigger head.”

Given that the company is likely to use your Skills Database entry as part
of selection in the very near future, updating these records is an urgent task for anyone at risk who wishes to remain in the company.

Posted by IMH at 09:45 PM | Comments (0)

Crewe Unite Representatives – Crewe Campaign Team – Contacts

There are five accredited reps and a campaign team at CRE02. We would like more members to be involved in organising for a strike committee and picketing – sign up at the meeting or contact a rep.

In addition, there are all sorts of activities that you can be involved in: Health and Safety (heating, spills, icy roads or security), the Environment (recycling, transport), Equality, Learning (for example, see a recent learning newsletter from the Manchester Learning Reps). If you would like to be involved as a contact in one of these areas, contact one of the CRE02 reps.

Posted by IMH at 09:39 PM | Comments (0)

Crewe Open Lunchtime Meeting on the National Ballot and Industrial Action


Your ballot papers are on their way – and may already have arrived. This is your opportunity to ask any questions and hear discussion with your colleagues about the ballot and industrial action.

Date – Tuesday, 13th October, 2009
Time - 12.30pm – 1.30pm, prompt start
Location – CR 0-2, CRE02
CR 0-2 is the largest conference room on the ground floor at CRE02, behind reception.

As non-members are likely to be involved with strike action, this is an open meeting. Please encourage all members and interested non-members you know to attend. Only UNITE members can take part in elections and vote on motions.

Please make arrangements with your manager in advance for cover whilst you attend the meeting if this is necessary.

· Apologies
· Acceptance of previous meeting minutes
· Your views on the consultation on redundancy, pay and the consultation on pensions
· The timetable for the statutory ballot on industrial action
· Practising picketing – mock picket Thursday, noon

Posted by IMH at 09:38 PM | Comments (0)

Manchester Protest for Jobs, Pay & Pensions

Please join the lunchtime protest over Jobs, Pay & Pensions:

12:30pm, Tuesday 13th October (***TODAY***)
Outside Manchester Central Park, near the “squareabout” at the front

UNITE is staging a protest to tell Fujitsu that Enough Is Enough, to build up our campaign, get some media coverage, have some fun and to remind everyone about the ballot.

The protest will have a humorous angle, arranged to look like a picket (though not asking people not to cross!) but with placards reading “Just Practising”. Some members are planning to bring along “L” plates.

The more people who take part, the more impact the protests have. Please get along if you can and encourage your workmates to join in – whether they’re already in UNITE or not.

Please be on time, as the intention is to make the protest short and to the point.

Posted by IMH at 09:35 PM | Comments (0)

Manchester: Mock Picket

Staff at Fujitsu's main Manchester site staged a "mock picket", carrying
placards reading "Just Practising" and "Trainee Picket". Unite and PCS
are balloting their members at Fujitsu over Jobs, Pay and Pensions.

Click on the image to see photos from the protest


Posted by IMH at 09:11 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2009

Lots of media interest

There's a lot of media interest in our ballot, including (amongst others):

  1. UNITE
  2. People Management
  3. Telegraph
  4. The Register
  5. Professional Pensions
  6. Irish Examiner
  7. IT PRO
  8. Belfast Telegraph
  9. Teletext
  10. Computing
  11. ZDnet
  12. Information Age
  13. City A.M.
  14. Computer Weekly

Posted by IMH at 09:25 AM | Comments (0)

October 09, 2009

Ballot - 3 Days To Go

3 days to go until the industrial action ballot papers are posted out. When you receive your ballot paper, please return your vote straight away. This is particularly important because of the likelihood of further postal strikes. UNITE is urging members to vote YES+YES to secure an acceptable outcome on Jobs, Pay & Pensions.





Though “consultation” continues on both pensions and jobs, this is very different to negotiation. The company isn’t even talking about pay. Fujitsu should sit down with UNITE and PCS and negotiate a settlement on Jobs, Pay and Pensions, avoiding the need for damaging industrial action. Unfortunately there seems little prospect of the company taking this responsible approach unless they come under real pressure. That’s why a big YES+YES vote is so important in the forthcoming ballot.

The latest national leaflet (full colour) has begun going out at sites across the country. Please speak to your local rep/contact to check it’s going out where you are (you could even offer to help). The sooner this goes out, the stronger our Jobs, Pay & Pensions campaign will be.


Fujitsu’s approach to redundancies has been a disgrace from the outset:

  • It failed to consult when it was contemplating redundancies (as per the EU Directive), waiting instead until it had a specific proposal (in line with the UK’s inadequate legislation).
  • It chose to set up six parallel forums, preventing effective consultation and hampering clear communication. It has even refused to meet the requests from the forums to all meet in the same place.
  • It delayed training for the reps, many of whom are only now being trained (thanks to UNITE and PCS).
  • It has failed to provide any specific justification for the proposals, failed to provide information about people not at risk doing the same jobs as those who are, failed to stop recruitment into jobs that could have been offered to people at risk, and failed to stop overtime where that could have been converted into jobs.
  • It has constantly tried to divert the forums into focussing on selection criteria instead of the topics which could really make a difference.
  • It has given inconsistent, incomplete, contradictory and inaccurate information to the forums.

The company announced a Voluntary Redundancy (VR) programme without getting or considering feedback from all the forums. It restricted it to those it had arbitrarily placed at risk. The process for getting quotes has been slow and error-prone – many staff still don’t have their quotes, while others have had to repeatedly seek corrections. The company still won’t give a sensible answer to questions about how VR applications will be assessed – it still looks more like an attempt to make selection easier for managers than an attempt to mitigate the consequences for employees.

The attempt to get employees rushing around in circles worrying about selection criteria is ridiculous. The first step in selection was deciding on the 6000 people to put at risk – the company has still not provided information to allow a meaningful discussion on this. The second step in selection was dividing people into selection pools and setting targets for numbers of jobs to be lost – the company has still not provided information to allow a meaningful discussion on this. These two factors have far more impact on who the company might select than any “selection criteria”. Despite the fact that proposed selection criteria are legally supposed to be provided at the start of the 90-days, the company withheld these from UNITE in some of the forums until this week!

The company itself can’t cope with its haste. They have been so overloaded with questions that they have stopped adding new ones. Instead, they want to produce “Fact Sheets” on various topics. This is already generating new concerns, both because some of the “Facts” aren’t correct and because it means the company can avoid answering important questions much more easily.

The company seems desperate to rush headlong into selection. At this week’s Forum meetings, the company presented a draft project plan for the redundancies. Though a draft, it is very revealing:

  • More time allocated to discussing selection criteria than to avoiding redundancies and mitigating the consequences
  • Managers score employees by 26th October
  • 1:1 meetings to discuss provisional selection take place in the first week of November
  • All the actions which could help people get redeployed, like CV & interview training and seeking alternative work, are pushed to the very end of the process when they have the least prospect of saving jobs

It doesn’t have to be like this. Fujitsu could have a proper discussion about what it is trying to achieve and why. If job losses really were required, it could, for example:

  • Make the changes over a year or two, like many other companies do, instead of over the legal-minimum 90-days.
  • Seriously explore the many alternatives to redundancy put forward by reps, instead of dismissing them because each on its own wouldn’t save 1200 jobs.
  • Provide good quality retraining and redeployment support early enough to make a difference.
  • Provide a good redundancy package for everyone, which would encourage more volunteers as well as helping anyone selected.
  • Run a proper Voluntary Redundancy & Early Retirement programme across the company, accepting volunteers where that would reduce the number of non-voluntary redundancies, unless the effectiveness or balance of the unit would be significantly impaired by their departure.
  • Put in place a “job swap” or “pairing” system for rejected volunteers and people selected to exchange places.

“Just Practising” Pickets

The plan for humorous protests outside Fujitsu sites is beginning to take shape. The idea is that the protests will look like pickets (though not asking people not to cross!) but with placards reading “Just Practising”. Some members are planning to bring along “L” plates.

Protests are beginning to take shape at:

  • Tuesday 13th October, 12:30pm, MAN33/34/35
  • Thursday 15th October, time To Be Confirmed, CRE02
  • Monday 19th October (To Be Confirmed), LON22

If you’d like one where you are, please speak to your local UNITE reps/contacts.

Posted by IMH at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)

Dilbert or Gilbert?

Many employees have spotted the recent Dilbert cartoon which explains the Fujitsu pay policy.

Posted by IMH at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)

October 08, 2009

Unite national newsletter (Fight for Jobs, Pay & Pensions)

To see an electronic copy of our latest paper national one-per-desk leaflet on CafeVik, click here (a local version is here).

Posted by IMH at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)

Messages of Support

We're receiving lots of messages of support for our campaign for Jobs, Pay and Pensions (see here for a downloadable leaflet explaining the campaign). Below are some of the comments we've received:

  1. first batch
  2. second batch
  3. third batch
Posted by IMH at 01:26 PM | Comments (0)

Ballot - 4 Days To Go

4 days to go until the industrial action ballot papers are posted out. When you receive your ballot paper, please return your vote straight away. This is particularly important because of the likelihood of further postal strikes. UNITE is urging members to vote YES+YES to secure an acceptable outcome on Jobs, Pay & Pensions.





PCS has now formally notified Fujitsu that it is balloting all its UK members in Fujitsu too. Their ballot opens a couple of days after ours, but closes on the same date.

UNITE has provided a large supply of stickers carrying the slogans “Enough Is Enough” and “UNITE for Jobs, Pay & Pensions”. They fit very nicely on the back of your ID pass. The stickers are now being distributed around the country, so please see your local UNITE rep or contact (see footer) to get hold of some.

There’s also a new national leaflet (full colour) going out at sites across the country. Please speak to your local rep/contact to check it’s going out where you are (you could even offer to help). The sooner this goes out, the stronger our Jobs, Pay & Pensions campaign will be.


Historically, Fujitsu staff have not been well paid, and in recent years our pay rises have lagged far behind price inflation, let alone average earnings.

Years ago, the company justified lower pay by pointing to the other benefits, terms and conditions. But these have also been eroded. Fujitsu has been trying to drive down everything from overtime rates to redundancy payments, pushing up canteen prices and making travelling on company business ever more expensive for us.

Many employees who are performing well have gone years without a pay rise. Many complain that they didn’t even get a pay rise on promotion!

In 2003 the company switched from using pay scales based on external market rates, to generally using “internal medians” where your pay is compared against what a typical UK Fujitsu employee in your role got the previous year. This made it harder for staff to know how badly paid they were. The company also made the new scales secret, a situation only partially overcome by union legal action using the Data Protection Act and the right to information for collective bargaining.

The information obtained by the union revealed that typical pay rates for many jobs had barely risen, while some had actually gone down! This was concealed from employees by the complex workings of Individual Performance Related Pay.

Each year, even in boom years, we’ve had sob stories from the company about how tough conditions are. “Profits are up – tighten your belts!”. “Profits are down – tighten your belts!”. Each year we seem to work longer and harder for less.

This has to stop. We have to say Enough Is Enough!

Fujitsu can afford to give us all a pay rise. Staff in Manchester were promised one through their pay deal. Staff elsewhere expected one through the pay planning that was already complete. It is sad that we are having to force Fujitsu to honour its promises, rather than doing so voluntarily.

We also need a fairer pay system.

If you’ve not done so before, why not compare the Manchester pay deal and guidelines this year with the standard company pay guidelines. The Manchester deal wasn’t great, but it was far fairer. Why can’t everyone have this?

Why can’t all our pay scales be published? HP publishes theirs, as do many companies in every sector.

Why can’t we have a cost of living rise every year?

Why can’t pay scales go up each year?

We’ll only get what we deserve if we stand up for it.


The proposal to close the ICL Defined Benefit (DB) Pension Plan is equivalent to a permanent pay cut of around 20% for the 4000 people affected. So far, the company has not come forward with any improvement on their original proposal, other than slipping the date a bit. Discussions with the Pensions Forum (IPMC and UNITE) continue, but are nearing their end.

From the start, UNITE has criticised the company focus on a snapshot of the level of deficit at the end of March, given the recent swings in the stock market. Pensions are long term investments, and decisions about them should be taken on that basis. Aon, a major pension consulting firm, put out a press release on 1st October headlined “Pensions market indicators are returning to long-term norms, so companies can now plan for the future” and reporting a 20% reduction in pension deficits in September alone. This is no time to let Fujitsu get away with permanently closing our pension scheme.

In one of the Pensions Forum meetings, the company revealed that since 2007 it has had a strategy to exit all its Defined Benefit pension schemes, though it hadn’t bothered to inform or consult employees about that. If the ICL DB scheme closes, what chance of survival would the other schemes have?

The Pensions Department has confirmed the vulnerability of the main FJUK (Defined Contribution) scheme, the one most employees who joined since 2000 are in:

The Company does have the right to cease paying contributions to FJUK and employee contributions would cease at that time. FJUK would then be run as a closed arrangement or would commence winding up. Although the Employer does retain the right to close the scheme, Fujitsu currently has no intention of taking this action and remains committed to the UK market and to providing its UK employees with a good quality pension for the future.

While both the Pensions Forum and UNITE have had legal advice which is encouraging about what employees might be able to do if we fail to stop the ICL DB scheme closing, the FJUK scheme appears legally more vulnerable to closure.

Our best chance of defending and improving all our pensions is to stick together. That’s why as well as defending the ICL DB plan, both UNITE and PCS are campaigning for improvements in pension provision for those who already have something worse. Thousands of staff are in the FJUK scheme, which provides a far less adequate or reliable pension. There are a significant number with no pension provision at all, often because they say their pay is so bad they can’t afford the contributions.

UNITE’s campaign in Fujitsu (and several of our members) featured strongly in Monday’s Channel 4 Dispatches documentary, which is now available online if you missed it.

Red Lines

Because members are affected in different ways by the pay and pensions issues, we all have to take maintaining the unity of our campaign very seriously. Back in July, members voted overwhelmingly to approve “four red lines”:

· Pay:
1. A fairer pay system
2. More money for employees
· Pensions:
3. Defend the ICL DB pension scheme
4. Improve pension provision for those with something worse

To maintain unity, members instructed reps not to recommend acceptance of any offer which did not cover all four points.

Since then, your elected Combine Committee has decided to add “Jobs” to the “Pay & Pensions” campaign, and the industrial action ballot is over all three issues. Tomorrow’s ballot-countdown newsletter will focus on Jobs, where our key goals can be summarised as:

1. Minimise job losses
2. Oppose compulsory redundancies

Posted by IMH at 10:08 AM | Comments (0)


When considering taking industrial action, it’s important to know you’re not on your own. Whether you are in a major site with hundreds of union members, or home-based in a small team, this is a national campaign that everybody can play a part in.

The fact that we’re not the only ones with issues about Jobs, Pay & Pensions means that there are thousands of other people who want us to win. They know that if we win, they’ve more chance of winning. They know that we lose, their own employers will feel more confident to follow Fujitsu’s lead. Members have already begun putting our “Appeal For Support” leaflet (as seen on TV) about, so other union branches and organisations are beginning to send money in for our dispute fund.

There is already an impressive set of messages of support on our web site. Well worth a look.

Posted by IMH at 09:55 AM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2009

Ballot - 5 Days To Go

5 days to go until the industrial action ballot papers are posted out.

The formal notice to members of industrial action ballot is posted on CafeVIK and on OurUnion.

When you receive your ballot paper, please return your vote straight away. This is particularly important because of the likelihood of further postal strikes. UNITE is urging members to vote YES+YES. This is essential if we are to secure an acceptable outcome on Jobs, Pay & Pensions.

The email notice on Tuesday 29th September included a Q&A about the ballot and industrial action.


There seems little doubt that Company Announcement UK2009-042 from Roger Gilbert, “UPDATE ON UK&I REGION FINANCIAL SITUATION” was intended to strike a tone of doom and gloom and make people feel that there was little point in fighting on Jobs, Pay and Pensions. But it’s worth a closer look, to get behind the spin:

  • The announcement uses a three-year period for comparison of order backlog. Since then our senior management took the decision to exit the NHS contract, which was worth around £0.9bn – more than the decline in backlog. A large number of staff already left Fujitsu through redundancy or TUPE as a result. Media reports suggest that the legal dispute with the customer could be resolved before much longer, with an expectation that Fujitsu will gain significantly from the settlement. Will you get your share? The company was quick to cancel bonuses when the contract was terminated.
  • The announcement also talks about a decline in revenues this year. How much of that is accounted for by the ending of the highly profitable NHS work that continued after Fujitsu pulled out?
  • It talks about a “decline in profitability”. In other words, the company is still profitable, but not as profitable as our senior management hoped. Why should we accept being told to tighten our belts by people whose belts are many times longer than ours?

The UK has made a huge contribution to Fujitsu Services and Fujitsu group revenue and profits for a number of years. It continues to do so. Our parent company recently raised around $0.9bn cash by selling its shares in Fanuc. This is not a company that needs to take panic measures. If the real business problems are about win-rate, how will slashing jobs, freezing pay and trashing pensions help? People are key in a service industry and happy, motivated people perform better.

Fujitsu can afford to protect jobs and to provide decent pay and pensions for all. The issue is corporate greed.

Practise Picketing

The Dispatches programme this week helped raise the profile of the pensions aspect of our campaign, but we need to keep building up the pressure on Jobs, Pay & Pensions.

Your elected UNITE Fujitsu UK Combine Committee has decided to organise protests at a number of Fujitsu sites to highlight the campaign in a humorous way and raise the profile of the ballot to increase turnout.

The protests will take place outside the sites, with staff taking part in their own time (before work or at lunchtime). The protests will be arranged to look like picket lines (but with no intention of asking people not to cross!) and with placards reading “Just Practising”.

The Combine Committee is in the process of working out when and where these protests should be held. If you would be willing to take part in a “practise picket”, please let your reps know (and say where) as soon as possible. The Combine Committee can then assess the responses and work with our UNITE officers to make the necessary arrangements.

Posted by IMH at 09:53 AM | Comments (0)

UNITE Successes at HP/EDS

Our colleagues at HP/EDS are also facing serious issues over jobs and pay. A recent union newsletter highlights some important successes:

As a direct consequence of the threat of industrial action from Unite and PCS, and especially in the light of the successful industrial action in Germany, it appears that the Company has started listening and taken more determined efforts to mitigate employee reductions. Overall, the number of compulsory redundancies as part of the 2009 Q3 figures was reduced from 178 after an initial EoW to a final figure of 93. Q3 saw an increase in the number of vacancies being filled by those identified at risk There was also a definite increase in the number of instances of the Company allowing backfilling. This in turn has allowed someone to leave voluntarily from an unaffected group generating a vacancy which can be filled by someone in an affected group.

Fujitsu has been quick to highlight the announcement of pay cuts for HP/EDS staff. In reality, the company was quickly forced to climb down and say that these were voluntary. The newsletter explains:

Despite the rather brave face put on by the Company, every indication is that, unsurprisingly, there wasn’t a large take up of voluntary pay reductions in the UK.

There are still many battles ahead, but these examples show that union organisation works, just like the example of pay at Steria reported last week.

Posted by IMH at 09:47 AM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2009

UNITE: Notice to members of industrial action ballot

The notice is posted on CafeVIK here.

The text (with some small edits around email addresses to minimise spam) is as follows:



The Union intend to conduct a ballot for industrial action of the following members:

All UNITE members employed by Fujitsu Services Limited in the UK and not posted overseas.

Voting papers will be sent out on Monday 12 October 2009. If you have not received a voting paper by Friday 16 October, you should contact Ian Allinson or Isabel Hay via memb...runion.org.uk IMMEDIATELY.

The names of the members to be balloted are available from Ian Allinson or Isabel Hay via memb...runion.org.uk. If you are entitled to vote in the ballot please check that you are on the list and that your address is accurately recorded.

If you know anyone who is away from work at the moment but who should be included in the ballot, please give his/her name to Ian Allinson or Isabel Hay via memb...runion.org.uk so that we can check whether your colleague should be sent a voting paper.

Posted by IA at 09:22 AM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2009

Fujitsu Pensions on TV

Channel 4’s flagship documentary programme, Dispatches, is dealing with the pensions crisis in the edition going out on Monday (5th October) at 8pm – TONIGHT.

Thanks to all the staff who agreed to participate in the filming. As a result of their cooperation, the programme will cover the situation at Fujitsu.

Your reps won’t see the programme until it is aired, but whatever spin it puts on the situation, it can only help our campaign to have it in the public eye.

Posted by IA at 06:54 PM | Comments (0)

October 02, 2009

How to work out your pension "detriment"

A lot of members have been asking how to work out how much worse off they'd be if the company pension proposal went ahead. This short note aims to help you work this out in two different ways, so you can get a feel for how the proposal might affect you if it went ahead unchanged.

UNITE - The Union

The information contained in this document is provided to you for the purpose of the pensions consultation process being undertaken by Fujitsu Services and for no other purpose whatsoever. It does not and is not intended to constitute advice of any nature, whether legal, financial or otherwise. The information is provided in good faith but neither Fujitsu, the IPMC nor UNITE accept any liability for any errors or for the accuracy of the content of this document.

There are many ways to measure the detriment.

The approach used here is to estimate how much extra money you would need on an ongoing basis in order to aim at getting a pension at 65 at the level you would have expected under the ICL DB Pension Plan. Or in other words, how big a pay rise you'd need to be no worse off if the company proposal went ahead.

The methods of calculation here do not take account of the contributions or benefits from the State Second Pension (S2P).

The Pensions Forum Statement of 7th August 2009 explained the Forum Illustrator in more detail, while the Pensions Forum Statement on 4th August 2009 explained some of the concerns with the company's Personal Pension Illustration.

Method 1: Forum Illustrator
The employee reps on the Pensions Forum have produced an illustrator spreadsheet:
On the "Estimate" tab, enter your age and the your length of pensionable service in the two data-entry boxes. The blue text below shows you the estimated %age detriment. For example, the average member (age 48, 18 years of pensionable service) produces a detriment of 27%.

NOTE: "Pensionable Service" in this context means how many 1/60ths you have accrued. If you have had a different accrual rate at any time during your time in the company, this may not be the same as your length of service.

Like any estimate, this is based on assumptions, which are clearly displayed. One assumption which makes a big difference is real salary growth. The default assumption is 1%, the same as is used in the valuation of the ICL DB plan. If you click on the "Details" tab, you can change this (cell G31). You could try putting in a range of other values, such as 0%, 0.5% and 1.5%, then going back to the "Estimate" tab to see what difference it has made. For our "average member", the effect of changing the real salary growth assumption is as follows:

      Real salary growth assumption           Detriment
      0%                                       18%
      0.5%                                    23%
      1%                                       27%
      1.5%                                    31%

You can also change other assumptions if you wish.

Method 2: Company Personal Pension Illustration
In August the company sent ICL DB plan members a four-page Personal Pension Illustration by post. The Pensions Forum had serious reservations about some of the figures, but the document is still worth studying. The company has put an anomymised version and some explanations on CafeVIK here:

You can work out an estimate of your detriment based on the company figures as follows:

  • Take the "Your estimated Plan pension at age 65" figure from page 2, under the red heading "If the proposal is not implemented and the ICL Group Pension Plan is unchanged". Call this "DB1".
  • Take the "Your estimated Plan pension at age 65" figure from page 2, under the red heading "If the proposal is implemented and you cease to earn benefits in the ICL Group Pension Plan". Call this "DB2"
  • Take the "3. If you choose to contribute 5% of your Reference Salary and Fujitsu contributes 10%" figure in the second column (Your estimated pension in today's prices at NRA of age 65) from page 3, under the "Your Estimated Pension" heading. Call this "DC".
  • Take the "4. If you pay an ASC of 1% via Salary Swap" figure from the second column (Your estimated pension in today's prices at NRA of age 65) from page 3, under the "Your Estimated Pension" heading. Call this "ASC".
  • Do the sum: Detriment = (DB1-DB2-DC) / ASC

Posted by IMH at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)