October 19, 2011

Update on implementation of agreement

The agreement on 3rd October included commitments that a number of actions would have been completed by Monday 17th October.

This note is to update you on progress on those items. Some of them (particularly on pensions) are of great national significance, rather than just being relevant for Manchester or Crewe.

Point from the agreement
Current status
7. Fujitsu will implement the contractual status of the terms of the FJUK pension plan for all existing UK employees who are members of the scheme. This will be implemented using agreed wording based on that used to vary the contracts of former ICL DB members. This could be by any effective method (e.g. general announcement)Fujitsu has posted a statement on the Fujitsu UK Pension Plan CafeVIK Community.

This significantly improves the security of our pensions. It goes a long way to implementing the commitments on contractual status of pensions and discussions will take place over the next few weeks on the remainder.
8. Fujitsu remains committed to fulfilling the agreement made with ACAS in February 2010 to set up a consultative body with which regular discussions can take place on pension arrangements including the FJUK plan; this would include representatives from UNITE. The Company will discuss how to implement this with UNITE, Fujitsu Voice and others. A jointly agreed timetable will be announced.Fujitsu has invited UNITE to attend a phone conference on Monday 24th October to discuss terms of reference for a new body.

There remain unresolved disagreements about the composition and role of the new body.
9. Fujitsu has provided some pay information. Fujitsu will provide the pay information as set out in Appendix 4 of the Manchester Pay And Benefits Agreement and is committed to provide reasonable further clarification as requested by Unite and promptly resolve any implementation issues identified.Fujitsu provided further information on 17th October and UNITE is now reviewing this.
10. Fujitsu will write to all the employees in the WINTEL Team reinstating the original terms that applied to the first half of the team and suspending notice from the second half of the team. The Company will consult with Unite regarding the Company proposals, working patterns and OOH payments across the team for a period of 4 weeks i.e. until 31st October and welcomes further ideas from Unite on this topic. If, despite the efforts of both parties, consultation does not result in an agreed outcome, the parties will strive to resolve the relevant grievances as quickly as practicable while recognising that the status quo applies.Fujitsu says it has posted the letter to the WINTEL team.
11. Fujitsu recognises the feedback Unite has received regarding the closure of MAN23 and that concerns are felt by employees at this location. The Company recognises the value of Redeployment Priority Periods (RPP) in providing clarity, reassurance and support, and its commitment in Annex 1 to “initiate the RPP as long as possible before a job is expected to end”. The Company is uncertain as to whether the RPP letter templates are appropriate in this circumstance and will consult UNITE to adapt them. The Company will send letters to start the RPP to MAN23 employees.Discussions are ongoing to try to agree the text of the letters and it is expected that they will be handed to MAN23 staff at briefings which are being scheduled to take place soon.
12. Fujitsu will identify its team and schedule Joint Working Group (JWG) meetings (as per the current agreement).JWG meeting dates have been agreed and the first meeting took place on Monday 17th October.
13. The JWG will agree and oversee a schedule of meetings with the appropriate people with the necessary knowledge and authority to try to resolve all the issues in dispute that were raised by Unite or Fujitsu during the discussions that were held with ACAS on 28th June, 21st July, 8th August, 6th September 2011, 22nd September 2011 and 3rd October 2011 including but not limited to:
  • Jay Lieberman
  • Fujitsu will identify the senior business manager who will be involved in industrial relations and act as an escalation point.
  • New facilities agreement
  • Contractual status of Defined Contribution pensions
  • The Company will meet with Unite at a Natonal level to discuss matters of mutual interest within 2 months of the suspension of industrial action
  • Implementing agreed actions on scope lists etc from February 2011, respond to queries and sort out scope list including a process for individuals to opt out of the recognition agreement
  • Resolve any individuals coded on IS or UK interim guidelines
  • Agree plan to move to Rise+
  • Sort out problems with implementation of the 2011 Manchester pay review
The JWG has already set dates for meetings on a number of the points in this section of the agreement.

Progress to date includes:

  • Stuart Broadbelt, Director of Supply & Lifecycle Services, has been chosen by the company to be involved in industrial relations and act as an escalation point.
  • A first meeting has been held to discuss a new facilities agreement (arrangements for reps to have time to fulfil their responsibilities).
  • A first discussion on the remaining contractual status of pensions issues is scheduled for Monday.
  • Correspondence has begun between Ella Bennett (HR Director) and Kevin O’Gallagher (UNITE National Officer) to arrange the meeting at national level.
  • A process for HR producing accurate monthly scope lists has been agreed. Once implemented this will simplify negotiation and communication in Manchester.
  • UNITE is reviewing further pay information provided by the company and a meeting should be held early next week.

We understand that Fujitsu’s legal team is now considering Alan Jenney’s updated Employment Tribunal application, which was submitted on 7th October. The agreement said “the company will make use of ACAS conciliatory services to explore possible resolution of the Alan Jenney Employment Tribunal. Both sides agree to liaise with ACAS on or before 1st November 2011”.

Overall, the progress is encouraging but much remains to be resolved. We need to maintain the momentum and ensure all the issues in dispute are adequately addressed.
If you haven’t yet signed, passed round and returned the joint UNITE-PCS petition on pensions, please do so as soon as possible. Neither the contractual status nor the consultation issue have been completely resolved, so these remain important matters for every member. Fujitsu Voice Elected Reps are conducting a poll on one of the issues on FJUK pension consultation and you are encouraged to respond to it.

Feel free to pass this notice on to a few colleagues who you think may be interested. If you’re one of those colleagues, why not help strengthen UNITE’s work to make Fujitsu a better place to work by joining the union?

Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2011

London & South East, Members Meeting

There will be a lunchtime meeting for UNITE members:

12:30-13:00, Wednesday 19th October
Meeting room 4.8, 4th floor, LDN03 (PWC, 161 Marsh Wall, Canary Wharf, London, E14 9SJ)
Proposed agenda:
  1. Election of Local Reps
  2. Managing people out of the business / Compromise Agreements
  3. Update on Disputes
  4. Organise for Growth
  5. Any Other Business

Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2011

Pension Update

If you are a member of the ICL Group Pension Plan whether still contributing, deferred or drawing your pension, you should have received a letter inviting nominations for Member Nominated Directors (MNDs), commonly known as trustees.

The trustees have announced that they are reducing the size of the trustee board to six, of which two will be MNDs – either deferred members still in employment with Fujitsu or pensioner members. UNITE campaigns for pension funds to have at least 50% of the board made up of member nominated trustees.

In the past, the MNDs for this pension plan were elected by members, and more recently they were selected by a panel from the IPMC, which was itself elected by members. The trustees have decided that this time the selection of MNDs will be carried out by a panel comprising two trustees appointed by the company and the secretary to the trustees who is also a member of the pensions department. UNITE regards the removal of any mechanism for members to influence the selection of trustees as a retrograde step. This isn’t about the merits of the individuals on the panel, but about transparency and accountability.

If you have an interest in pensions and would be willing to be an MND, you need to submit your application by 28th October 2011. For details see the trustee announcement.

Contractual status and consultation for FJUK

The agreement reached on 3rd October which allowed industrial action in Manchester to be suspended includes some important points on pensions which should benefit employees right across the UK.

The company committed to making announcements by Monday 17th October to give contractual protection to members of the FJUK pension plan, and to establish a timetable for creating a consultation body for the FJUK plan. UNITE is working to try to ensure the company implements of these commitments and will keep you updated.

The actions due by Monday would mark significant steps forward, but would not fully resolve the issues. Further talks are due over the next few weeks to deal with the unresolved aspects.

Thanks to all the members who have already signed, collected signatures and returned the joint UNITE-PCS pensions petition – please send in any more as soon as possible – these issues are not yet resolved.

Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

Agreement on Pay Information

The law requires employers to disclose information to recognised unions to enable them to participate meaningfully in collective bargaining. Information obtained in this way has often benefited UNITE members throughout Fujitsu, not just in the areas with union recognition.

Earlier this year UNITE submitted a legal claim to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) complaining about Fujitsu’s failure to disclose the necessary information in relation to the Manchester bargaining unit.

UNITE has now withdrawn the claim on the basis of another new agreement reached last week and submitted to the CAC. The union hopes that the agreement will facilitate a smoother bargaining process in future. If the company fails to adhere to it and UNITE has to submit a further claim to the CAC, the agreement is likely to significantly strengthen the union’s claim.

Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

Elect Your Combine Committee

The Combine Committee is elected by and from UNITE members working for Fujitsu across the UK to play an important coordinating role nationally and regionally.

Members on the Combine Committee are expected to:

  1. Encourage members in their constituency to hold meetings, elect reps and get involved at a local level
  2. Seek views from members, reps and contacts in their constituency
  3. Work together as a team
  4. Maximise members’ involvement in decision making
  5. Take part in combine committee discussions and decision-making
  6. Report back to members, reps and contacts in their constituency
  7. Coordinate with reps and contacts in their constituency, including encouraging them to undertake training and gain accreditation
  8. Liaise with the union full-time officers covering Fujitsu in their constituency

There are currently a number of vacancies:
Constituency “Combine-21” Committee seats Reps
London, South and East 4 (STE: 1, Any: 3) Dave Seymour
Helen Kerr
Tony Bishop
VACANCY
Midlands 2 (SOL: 1, Any: 1) Alasdair Lewis
VACANCY (SOL)
Yorkshire, North-East and Scotland 2 Barbara Horton
John Garvani
Northern Ireland 2 (IRE11: 1, Any: 1) Guillaume Chesnel
John Walsh
North-West 3 (CRE: 1, WAR: 1, Any: 1) Alan Jenney
Isabel Hay
Robert (Wilf) Williams
Thames Valley, South-West and Wales 3 Chris Forrest
Chris Woolley
VACANCY
Manchester bargaining unit 5 Ben Ashdown
Ian Allinson
Jay Lieberman
Lynne Hodge
Pauline Bradburn

If you would like to stand for any of the vacancies, please contact your reps including:
  • Your name
  • Your contractual base location
  • Your work email address (and private email address if you have one)
  • Your work phone number (and a mobile number if you have one)
  • An election statement of up to 100 words (examples are available on request)

Nominations will close on Wednesday 2nd November.

You may have noticed that Alan Jenney is still listed on the Combine Committee for the North-West. UNITE is supporting the campaign to Defend Alan Jenney and he is asking for reinstatement. The Committee felt that members had elected him and he should not be removed from his position simply because of the company’s attempt to victimise him.

Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2011

Manchester: Reminder about pay deadline

So far only about 40 of the 850 people in the bargaining unit have followed UNITE’s advice on pay shortfalls. If you are one of the other 800+ you risk losing out on pay unless you act now – the deadline is fast approaching.

Nearly 200 people lost out on pay last year by failing to follow UNITE’s advice – will you learn from their mistake?

This applies to you even if you think your pay rise was correct.

UNITE is 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.
Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2011

Crewe: Lunchtime Members’ Meeting on Friday

Reps in Crewe are calling a Lunchtime Members’ Meeting to discuss the Unite – Fujitsu agreement:


Friday, 14th October
12.30pm – 1.30pm, prompt start
Conference room CR 0-3, CRE02 (behind reception)

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

At our last meeting on 26th September we voted for a new ballot of Crewe members over Alan Jenney’s case and the breaches of agreements (e.g. on pensions).

Since then, Unite and Fujitsu reached an agreement last Monday in relation to the dispute. We need to discuss the agreement and what it means for our campaign to Defend Alan Jenney and for our decision to ask for a new ballot.

Ian Allinson (UNITE Fujitsu UK Combine Committee Chair) has agreed to attend our meeting to answers questions around the negotiations and the agreement.

Agenda

  • Unite agreement
  • AOB

Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2011

Fujitsu industrial action SUSPENDED

The strike and protests planned for Tuesday 4th October are not going ahead, and industrial action is suspended until further notice. Accordingly, employees should attend work normally. Further communications will follow in due course.

The action is suspended on the basis of this agreement which was signed this evening.

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

Manchester: Action Plans

Talks to try to resolve the dispute are still ongoing. Unless they prove successful, the action planned for tomorrow (see below) will go ahead. If talks are successful, a further email will be issued and a notice posted on www.ourunion.org.uk/news.

Tuesday 4th October STRIKE DAY

Questions? See UNITE’s Q&A on industrial action.

Picketing:

  • MAN33/34/35: 06:30 – 10:00 Fujitsu, Central Park, Northampton Road, Manchester, M40 5BP
  • MAN23: 07:00 – 08:30 Fujitsu, Unit 4, Michigan Park, Michigan Avenue, Broadway, Salford, M50 2GY

Protest:

Assemble 12:00, rally 12:10
Barbirolli Square, Manchester M2 3GX (near the big pebble outside the Bridgewater Hall, off Lower Mosley Street). Map
.

This location for this protest has been agreed with the police and is just opposite where Duncan Tait (Fujitsu UK & Ireland’s Chief Executive Officer) is due to speak at a fringe meeting at the Tory conference at 12:30.

All members are urged to attend to ensure we send the strongest message possible that Fujitsu should resolve the dispute by honouring its agreements and stopping picking on reps.

Other campaigning activities are being planned for the afternoon.

Thanks to everyone who took part in the UNITE Fujitsu delegation at the demonstration yesterday, where members handed out thousands of leaflets about our campaign.

Posted by at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)