Despite productive talks with Senior Management and the RMT, we was disappointed that no progress was made. A 1.7% Pay Offer has been made and implemented which is below the aspirations of our members. We therefore asked that a number of other issues be taken into account so that the total package might be one that we could recommend to our members for acceptance. However, as can be read in the below letter, there was no progess and we are now in dispute with the company.
I will therefore be writing a report to the RMT National Executive Committee asking them to ballot all our members across Thales UK. In the meantime can everyone please make sure that their membership details are correct in terms of grade title and workplace
The following letter was sent to Thales DTS & RSS
Branch Secretary RMT,
07810 643 681
Human Resources Director,
31st May 2016
2016 Collective Pay Claim RMT Response
Further to your letter dated 25th May 2016, I believe it is necessary to clarify our members’ position regarding pay.
We have not agreed anything and we have no agreed way forward, we have reiterated that we wished to work together to conclude a fair and reasonable settlement for our members.
For clarity, we have rejected the 1.7% offer several times both verbally and in writing and I do not believe that there can be any confusion or misinterpretation of this matter. We have stated that we would work with you regarding the ‘total package’, so please understand that this is not the same as acceptance.
We note that every year, from a Thales UK perspective, is a challenging year when it comes to talking about pay. However, it is less challenging when your company is making self congratulatory PR videos etc saying how well the company is doing. So can we please stop the semantics, your company is succeeding through the efforts of our members and have seen the benefits of changes and streamlining deliver through our talks. The RMT shared our concerns regarding the Gainshare Scheme when it was initially described, was that the company would use this to try to move to a bonus culture rather than a general pay rise. The continual mentioning of this bonus does nothing to change our view on that matter.
You asked us to delay meeting for a month regarding pay. We stated very clearly that we wanted this matter dealt with. However, your company ignored this request and continued on a path to impose the pay increase. It is therefore very poor industrial relations to then use an excuse that you did not want our members to wait when the delay was at your own request.
This is quite strange that you have referred to issues that in some cases stretch back to 2012 as new. They are not in any format not known or new to Thales. These are an attempt to resolve the yearly Pay Claim and need to be seen in that light and not issues that need to be kicked into the long grass. We want them resolved and then included within agreement between your company and our union at Company Level. To assist I will describe these issues and potential resolutions in summary.
- Thales RSS ALP: This has taken approximately 60 months and is always being looked at. This is not an issue of Thales UK perspective. This is an issue of what is right. Our members rightly gave the company the opportunity to correct their annual leave pay. Whilst this was eventually done, these members should not be disadvantaged for not taking this matter straight to an Employment Tribunal. Though I could seek legal opinion on taking this matter to County Court if you wish? At the end of the day our members want the money that they feel they are owed. We can look at agreeing collectively a level of compensation, either preferably financial or potentially through time in lieu.
- The Implementation of the A-Z in DTS was not dependent on all staff being under Red Book terms and conditions as indeed the vast majority were not. I find it inflammatory to reject a proposal given that you stated at our meeting that you understood that RSS was already covered by these terms. It is impossible not to therefore see this in the context of you removing terms now that you’ve discovered that were not covered by the agreement.
- We understand the Policy and as stated several times, we are looking at ways to resolve a dispute and not to have an in depth discussion of existing terms and conditions. The suggestion is that on occasion staff will have a few hours left of their leave and that they should have the opportunity to take some quality time away from work through rounding that time upwards.
- Regarding rostering and training allowances on RSS, whilst we are happy for talks to be concluded in the best forum that does not and cannot detract from the need to reach agreement at Company Level. So I would highly recommend getting that work stream completed.
- These are fine words and indeed if the actions matched these sentiments then I suggest we would not have mentioned them. I suspect it would be easy to rewrite this paragraph and reach an agreement around these terms. However, I suspect that it is the fact that your sentiments do not mirror practice that would cause issue so if we can match your sentiment to reality then we can move forward on this matter.
- Regards the overpayment, all that was stated in march is that you was going to review the matter. However, we do thank you for this move but we still do not have any evidence or details to weigh its significance as part of the broader pay discussions. I am aware of the future proofing work that is being done and this should be concluded and incorporated into an agreement at Company level.
- There is a difference between tracking of vehicles and spying on staff and we are trying to make sure that the former prevails.
I have stated in the past that we are open to multi-year deals and there are many examples where we have concluded them with other companies. We are happy to discuss this matter further.
Regards the matter of dispute resolution. There is not one for RSS and the offer with regards for the DTS section was not taken forward. By imposition that route has now ended.
That is not to say that we do not wish to reach agreement or act in a collaborative manner and we are open to further talks at your convenience.