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Alignment of Terms and Conditions - Negotiations Update

9 June 2012

Your reps have now met Thales twice on the proposals to change terms and conditions. Following an unproductive meeting on 6 June your reps now need feedback on the current situation to make your views clear.

 At an initial meeting on 23 May your reps gave feedback on the alignment proposals based on the questions and comments provided by members. No responses of any substance were given by the company on the day. It was agreed the next meeting would concentrate on the issues of biggest concern to members to seek to move towards a negotiated solution. These issues were:

  • Redundancy entitlements
  • Annual Leave
  • Overtime and shift allowances

Your reps’ counter proposals

The submission of the trades unions on the meeting on 6 June was detailed and for further info you should contact your local rep. The main points were:

Redundancy entitlements to be contractual so Thales could not change them without agreement in the future. The standard entitlement to be 2 weeks gross pay for years below 40 and 2½ over 40, to a maximum of 25 years, with no cap on the amount. Staff with “Red Book” entitlements to have them ring-fenced.

Annual leave proposals to be made neutral. This to be done by compensating everyone currently entitled to more than 27 days by increasing basic pay with the amount of an actual day’s pay and allowing all staff to “flex” their leave entitlement up to 32 days by buying back at the cost of an actual day’s pay.

Proposed overtime and shift premia rates to be increased and further consideration to be given to the impact on those at LR8 and above.

The company’s response

Thales stated they were not prepared to improve the redundancy offer or ring-fence Red Book terms as apparently “80% of the staff win on the current offer”. Your reps have asked for proof of this statement.

The company failed to respond to the proposals around neutralising the annual leave changes despite being put forward at a previous meeting.

No movement was made on overtime and shift allowance rates but the company did say they would consider further the situation of LR9 and 10s. However, our reps were left with no indication if this was likely to result in an improved offer.

Overall, the engagement of the company with the counter proposals was negligible and they did not seem concerned about the strongly held views of TSSA members.

Thales have indicated they would like to discuss how to compensate staff who would lose out. But for two immediate reasons the current proposals on this did not meet your reps aspirations:

o   It would not compensate for what the company are calling “one-off” terms such as contractual redundancy and sick pay entitlements.

o   Compensation for loss of overtime and shift pay would be a one-off cash payment and would not take any account of ongoing loss of earnings.

What process must Thales follow?

Many members have been asking what Thales are required to do when they seek to change contracts in this manner.

Terms and conditions can only be changed by agreement. For staff collectively represented by trade unions this means negotiations taking place to try and reach an acceptable position that can then be put to a vote of the members.

If you are a TSSA member and are outside of collective bargaining then the non-union employee reps will be talking to the company about your views on the proposal but cannot agree to changes on your behalf.

If you are not sure whether you are covered by collective bargaining you can contact the Members’ Helpdesk who will be able to assist you. As this process continues your union will provide advice to those covered and not covered by collective bargaining.

What next?

Speak to your local union rep about your views on the proposals. Complete the online survey here

Talk to your colleagues about joining TSSA so we can be stronger through the negotiations. Display this information on your local noticeboards. And you can now join online

If there is no local union rep and you are interested in becoming more involved contact the Members’ Helpdesk who will put you in touch with an organiser.

Remember – there is still a long way to go and although Thales may wish to convince you that this a done deal changes will be made if TSSA members act collectively!

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