Ongoing pay talks have yielded a new offer from the company. They’re proposing a two-year deal, with a year one pay increase of RPI + 0.2%, with an RPI + 0.2% increase in year two minus the cost of implementing a 30-minute reduction in the working week.
This is entirely unacceptable for a number of reasons. Firstly, the pay increase itself is inadequate, and insulting in the context of pay rises of up to 74% handed to senior managers. Secondly, we can’t accept the idea that we should have to finance a reduced working week from our own wages rather than the company’s profits. Thirdly, a 30-minute reduction in the working week simply isn’t enough to be meaningful. We need hours of our week, not minutes. Finally, the offer doesn’t address our other demands, including equalisation of staff travel facilities, a minimum flat-rate pay increase, or the equalisation of the CSA grade.
For all these reasons, we have to push on with plans to ballot for action to win a better deal.
However, the offer is, in a small but significant way, progress. It represents the first concrete acknowledgment by our bosses that they can’t settle with us without making some concession on working hours.
Their acknowledgment of that gives us an opportunity to push forward. We have to increase the pressure by balloting for strikes.