Breakdown in Industrial Relations, Terms and Conditions – Servest UK (GWR Contract)

Our Ref BR1/14/2

11th April 2017

Dear Colleagues

Breakdown in Industrial Relations, Terms and Conditions – Servest UK (GWR Contract)

I write to advise you that the National Executive Committee yesterday considered a revised proposal from Servest to resolve our long running dispute. Having considered these proposals and consulting with your negotiators the NEC has decided to accept this offer which is outlined below: -

1. Pay settlement

a)    The Management propose that all employees not subject to the Living Wage will receive a 1.6% increase effective immediately and a lump sum / backdated payment to 1st April 2016. A further percentage increase to the same employees who are not subject to the Living Wage to be applied from the 1st April 2017 which will be equal to the RPI (noted as 2.3% at the end of February/beginning of March 2017). The same principle for an uplift will be applied in April 2018 but any uplift will be capped at the percentage rate for the Outer London Living Wage uplift as declared in November 2017.

b)    The Management propose that all Supervisors and Team Leaders currently subject to the basic £1 and 50p differential will receive a proportional percentage increase in line with the Living Wage / London Living Wage increase since April 2015. For the benefit of doubt the Living wage has increased by 7.6% and the London Living wage by 6.6% and these increases will be applied to the current £1 and 50p differentials according to the individual’s place of work. This increase will be effective immediately along with and a lump sum/backdated payment to 1st April 2016. The Management will also commit to maintaining the percentage differential for Supervisors and Team Leaders in subsequent years.

c)    The Management propose a change to the date that the Living Wage uplift will be applied. Currently it is set in November each year and implemented across the GWR contract on 1st April the following year. We propose to bring this forward as follows:

i. 2017 = 1st February (a back payment will be made)
ii. 2018 = 1st February
iii. 2019 = 1st January

2. Pay Frequency

The Management propose to undertake a ‘Referendum’ across all workers on the Servest GWR contract to determine the overall preferred pay frequency. The choice will be a monthly pay frequency to be paid on the 9th of each month or a four-weekly pay frequency. For a change to a four-weekly pay frequency to take place, the Referendum will require at least 50% of the workforce to vote in favour of the change. If less than 50% of the workforce vote to change to a four-weekly pay frequency, the current monthly pay frequency will be maintained, albeit that the date will be moved forward to the 9th of each month.

3. Sick Pay

No further proposals.

4. End to Agency staff

Within three months of the agreement of this proposal, the Management will offer permanent jobs to all current Agency Staff who have worked on the Servest GWR contract for 12 weeks or longer prior to the date that all current points of dispute are resolved and withdrawn. New employees will begin a permanent contract of employment and be paid at the appropriate Living Wage with statutory entitlements in-line with the standard Servest contract of employment. Individual contracted hours of work will be applied based on the individual’s most recent twelve week average hours of work prior to their contract start date. A three month probation period will be applied to all employees transferring from Agency status to permanent status. The Management reserves the right to continue to hire Agency Staff on occasion to supplement the permanent workforce, however the management do commit to consulting with local RMT Representatives to explore alternative solutions which may include directly employing current staff on an Overtime Basis.

5. April to March Holiday Year

The Management propose to change the holiday year back to April to March. Employees will be required to use all current accrued holiday by the end of March 2016. It is the responsibility of employees to request and book holiday. Untaken holiday may be lost. An exception will be applied to those who have their holiday requests denied for operational reasons. In this event, employees may carry over up to 5 days accrued holiday which must be taken by 30th April 2017. All other holiday rules apply, in accordance with the Servest Holiday Policy and booking procedure.

6. Provision of Suitable work wear in line with PPE regulations

The Management will review the PPE requirements across the contract for each role and discuss the outcome with the Union Representatives. In particular the review will consider requirements for cold weather uniform including the use of Body warmer and Sweatshirt style tops (subject to agreement with GWR). Furthermore, Servest agrees to commit to a principle of on-going discussion with Union Representatives over any future changes with uniform or PPE which might be considered as workwear.

7. Local Staff Representation across the contract

The Management proposes that, in addition to the current two reps, five new staff representatives will be elected across the contract. The same representatives may act as Safety Representatives. The Management also commit to reviewing the current Recognition Agreement with a view to updating it in line with current ACAS principle. This process will begin within 1 month of the end of the dispute with a commitment to confirming a new Recognition Agreement within 4 months of the end of the dispute. The Recognition Agreement will include the principles for the Management to work with RMT to facilitate suitable election arrangements for new representatives. Some constraints will apply to new staff Representative including but not limited to the following; must be a permanent employee with at least six months’ service; should cooperate with training from the RMT and Servest; be a proficient communicator and achieve training objectives to a satisfactory level. The Management commits to supporting the implementation of new representatives within 6 months of the end of the dispute.

8. Old Oak Common Collective Grievance

The Management confirms that issues raised in October 2016 were addressed and the outcomes communicated to the relevant persons. The management are committed to providing training to help prevent and deal with Bullying and Harassment in the workplace. Training will be given to relevant managers and workplace representatives.

The company have been informed of our acceptance of their proposals and I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate you and your colleagues for your unity, determination and resolve throughout this dispute. The successful resolution to the dispute would simply not have been possible without members being prepared to take strike action and showing management we demand nothing less than fair offer from the company. It goes to show what can be achieved when members stand united.   

Yours sincerely
Mick Cash
General Secretary