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22nd March - Red Shirt Day

14 March 2012

As you are aware, members of the Vertex board will be visiting Dingwall on 22 March 2012.

The union’s Better Pay Campaign would like to take this opportunity to highlight to the board the unacceptably low rates of pay here in Dingwall.

Colleagues in Dingwall have always had rates of pay lower than elsewhere in Vertex because of their policy of “regionalising” pay. We get paid 15% less than other Vertex employees doing the same work in other regions where Vertex pays what it deems to be the average national rate of pay.

To make maters even worse, we have seen pay rises that fall well below the rates of inflation and even no pay rise in recent years.  We also face the possibility of no pay rise again this year with the potential sale of the public sector.

The TSSA would like to bring to the Vertex board’s attention that the pay talks for 2011 remain unsettled and, whilst the TUPE consultation has continued, this matter has been acknowledged but no date to rectify the situation has yet been agreed. 

In the light of the recent revelation that the talks with the “interested 3rd party” have been “moving along at a cracking pace”, would it not be beneficial to all concerned to engage in pay consultations with union representatives sooner rather than later?

Vertex is keen to publicise that the Westminster contract has been extended and the likelihood of additional work is constantly being mooted. This means that the Dingwall workforce will increase, which would be nothing less than miraculous given the current rates of pay being offered to potential candidates.

They are also eager to advise how profitable the company is, but due to failure of meeting its targets, it is unable to offer any pay rise.  The area in which the company is not meeting targets has not been defined, but hints towards its sales team. 

If this is the case, why are they persisting with a team that constantly falls below its
performance targets, which then impacts on the rest of us?  Why not get rid of them and employ a sales team that can sell?  They wouldn’t waste any time in seeking to get rid of you if your performance dropped below the required level!

The TSSA are seeking your assistance in highlighting the Better Pay Campaign by showing your support in a number of quiet protests over the coming months. 

The first event is a "Red Shirt Day”, on Thursday 22 March, to coincide with the visit from members of the Vertex board.

It is not the intention of the TSSA to hijack any of the charity events that are taking place during the week of 19-23 March and we urge that all colleagues participate in these worthy events. 

However, the wearing of a red shirt on 22 March would highlight the strength in feeling that union members have against Vertex’s continuing refusal to enter into consultation over pay. 

The union also asks that you pass this message on to your colleagues, members and non-members alike, and ask that they join us in a show of solidarity for the campaign.  

The fact that we are all lucky to have a job is not in question, what we are questioning is Vertex’s right to think they don’t need to pay us accordingly for the work that we do.

Although we ask that members wear a red shirt, it could be trousers, sweaters, scarves or any other item of red clothing you would like to wear.  We also have a number of “Fair Pay” coasters and mouse mats which are available to everyone.  Again, please see your reps if you would like some of these.

Please show your support by joining the Better Pay Campaign in this and its future events.  Further information about the campaign can be obtained by attending the next branch meeting at 5-6pm on 22 March 2012 in the canteen, or by speaking to your reps.

TSSA Circular 74/2012

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