Computacenter staff working at the Health and Safety Executive have been balloted on a new, revised pay offer.
Around 30 IT workers, who are members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, have been working to rule and carrying out an overtime ban for more than a month over a dispute over pay.
The latest offer is equal to a two percent pay increase over two years, and follows the members' rejection of a 'slightly revised offer'.
“Half a percent [pay rise] for 2010 will be backdated to January, and if they agree quickly, members might be able to get a payment before Christmas,” said Jayson Sloss, PCS negotiations officer.
“There is also a cash equivalent of 1.5 percent for next year – which works out to about £450 per person. Everybody gets the same cash amount, to benefit our lower paid workers.”
Sloss said the pay rise was a significant improvement compared to the initial offerings from Computacenter, which went from no pay increase to 0.2 percent, then a “derisory” 0.4 percent pay increase – equal to £109 extra a year, which would have applied only to 2010.
However, if the members reject the latest offer, he said: “We will certainly upgrade the industrial action.”
A pay rise was due for employees in January, but negotiations have been taking place since then after Computacenter initially said it could not offer anything in response to the union’s demand for a three percent rise. The company cited the difficult economic situation. The union normally aims to negotiate an annual pay increase of around the annual increase in the Retail Price Index.
Since the industrial action started on 29 September, Sloss said that Computacenter had recognised the industrial action is causing some inconvenience, with the company having to bring in contractors to cover.
HSE has previously said, however, that the strike was not having any affect on service levels, citing the existence of another managed IT services deal with Logica. Computacenter and Logica each have half of the work, according to the original deals signed in 2001, and which are up for renewal next year.
HSE said that "all service levels continue to be met". Computacenter had not provided comment at the time of writing.
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