The Communications Worker’s Union (CWU) is balloting its Capita/Tesco Mobile members on their employer’s ‘final’ offer of 1.5% plus back-pay dating back to January. This comes after the union rejected a CPI based 1.25% increase offer from Capita.
According to the union, the back-dating of pay to the beginning of 2016 puts the offer at closer to 2%, nearer to the RPI based 2.2% the union was pushing for.
CWU’s assistant secretary Brendan O’Brien cited the strong supporting statements from its members as crucial in furthering their argument after negotiations ‘stalled’ earlier this month. He stated, ‘In an increasingly tough negotiating environment it’s hugely helpful when members speak out like this - demonstrating not just that they care passionately about pay but that they stand firmly behind their union negotiators.’
Capita had previously told staff that the initial offer took into account the cost of improvements to facilities at their Bury call centre, but staff rejected the argument, stating, ‘what on earth did that have to do with pay?’ according to O’Brien.
Earlier in March, Capita employed members at the same sites, but working on O2 accounts agreed to a 2% pay rise, compared to Capita’s initial offer of 1.75%. However, the pay rise will only be given to staff at contact centres where CWU has collective bargaining rights (10% of staff at each site must belong to the union before a company is forced to recognise the union). This means staff such as those at Dearne Valley in Yorkshire will receive no pay rise at all.
Capita holds a number of mobile operator contact centre contracts in the UK including O2, Tesco and Three.