Fujitsu staff have been offered a new pension and minimum pay package, following talks with a conciliation service and two weeks after a run of angry strikes by unionised staff.
- Defined contribution pensions 'a contractual entitlement' (but future accruals to Final Salary pensions may still be stopped)
- Discussions over more incentives to join defined scheme
- Compulsory redundancies delayed to 26 March as talks continue
- Minimum salary of £12,000 across company
- Manchester Bargaining Unit to be consulted on all pay reviews for employees in that city. In other areas, the union need not be consulted.
The new terms, proposed by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), include the company agreeing to a “contractual entitlement” of a defined benefits pension scheme, with any future changes to be discussed with trade union Unite. The proposed settlement also promises to discuss pay with Unite where it is “recognised for collective bargaining”.
Nevertheless, the potential ending of future accruals to the final salary pension scheme still looms, and is under continued discussion.
A minimum annual salary level will be set at £12,000, if the proposals are approved by union members. Fujitsu will also agree to “recognise” Unite’s target for minimum staff earnings of £13,500. Sources close to the negotiations told Computerworld UK that while the minimum pay level may appear low, it is also reflects some of the staff in less technical roles, including call centres.
Unite has recommended the proposals to its members, who are voting up until 26 February. Following bargaining with Fujitsu, compulsory redundancies have already been reduced from 248 to 23. These remaining redundancies will now be reconsidered on an individual basis.
If the terms are approved by union staff, Fujitsu will also promise to introduce a “more open and transparent” pay system. But Fujitsu will only be obliged to consult Unite over pay where the union has recognition for collective bargaining – namely Manchester, where Unite has established a bargaining unit. By the end of this month, Fujitsu will sign a pay and benefits agreement with that unit.
It is understood that Fujitsu will not necessarily be obliged to consult on pay reviews with other staff, in Bracknell, Stevenage, Crewe, Belfast, Staines, Basingstoke, Wakefield, Sheffield, Solihull, Telford, Swansea, Slough, Lewes, Warrington, Cardiff, Londonderry, Bristol, Newcastle and London.
The strike campaign targeted work on a number of high profile contracts, including with Marks & Spencer, Vodafone, the Home Office, HM Revenue & Customs, the Financial Services Authority, and the Post Office.
Fujitsu has also won a large desktop infrastructure contract, at the Department for Work and Pensions, worth up to £330 million. But contractors there, currently working for HP and some of whom may transfer to Fujitsu to continue the work, last month staged a high profile strike.
The union has also posed questions over whether Fujitsu was discriminating against women and staff from ethnic minority backgrounds in its choice of those targeted for redundancy. Fujitsu strongly rejects any question of discrimination and said it always acted in the interests of equal opportunities.