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Amey Consulting: Opt Out Letter

2 February 2012

To advise members and Amey consulting staff regarding an 'opt out' letter being sent out by the company and provide support and advice to those receiving it.

 Dispute resolution

As part of last years dispute resolution agreement TSSA agreed with Amey that once we achieved the membership required to widen out collective bargaining individuals would receive a one off opportunity to opt out of collective bargaining. If individuals chose to do this they would not then be able to re-join collective bargaining. It is important to note that if an individual were to leave the company their position would automatically be filled by someone covered by collective bargaining who would similarly have a one off option of opting out.

The agreement also stated that "The current collectively bargained population will be unaffected by these additional measures." So these opt out letters should only be issued to those who previously had no collective bargaining rights.

The company and TSSA have agreed the wording of this letter and this will be issued out on Friday 3 February.

What is collective bargaining?

Collective bargaining describes the process by which a trade union represents a workforce. It means it will negotiate and/or consult with the employer over issues such as annual leave, working hours, pay increases, or employment policies and practices. This would include policies such as disciplinary and grievance procedures, equalities policies or health and safety issues.

The general premise being that together we are stronger whilst tackling the issues above alone, you are in a far weaker position. Just looking at 2010-2011 those within Collective bargaining managed to achieve at least 1-3.5% higher pay rises than those without collective bargaining, demonstrating its true value.

What am I loosing if I opt out?

You should be aware, that if you opt out of collective bargaining you will not automatically receive the benefits (for example any pay increase) negotiated by the TSSA. Instead you would be included in the normal Amey pay review. We urge you to remain in collective bargaining.

3 things to remember

  1. No one should be seeking to persuade you to opt out. This option is a purely an individual decision, If anyone attempts to encourage you into opting out then you should report this immediately to your Local TSSA representative or Alan Valentine
  2. If you receive the opt out letter but were previously covered by collective bargaining then you should ignore it as your situation will not change.
  3. If you accept this opt out there can be no going back you will not be able to rejoin the collective bargaining group. This is a key consideration, as we believe there is more for you to loose by opting out than remaining within the collective bargaining group. Past history has shown that both within Amey & elsewhere in the UK collective bargaining delivers for members of trade unions both in terms of Pay rises and in terms of protecting your rights at work.

 

I want to help improve my workplace, what can I do?

Firstly you can make sure your colleagues have seen this circular and are encourage to join at http://www.tssa.org.uk/en/join-us/index.cfm

If you want to help TSSA improve your working conditions then we want to hear from you. To enable this process to work we need active members in each workplace, region and discipline to represent their fellow members and ensure that your voices are heard.

This could be filling the Bristol Design team or CEFA North industrial reps positions which are currently both vacant, or becoming an accredited health & safety rep on the new Target Zero Safety action group or becoming a learning rep. It may also be that you are willing to update notice boards or pass out communications to colleagues to make sure they know what TSSA is doing on your behalf or telling us what we should be doing differently. Full training and support is provided for whatever role you might be interested in.

You may also feel that there that there is a need to have a workplace representative for your workplace, grade or work discipline where previously there have been none and if you have thoughts on these please get in touch.

If any of the above sounds interesting to you and you want to find out more then email us

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