13 March 2017

Relationship with Digital Realty gets off to a positive start

Pay talks are progressing well on behalf of former Telecity Group members who now work for Digital Realty, following the company’s recent signing of a new improved union recognition agreement

Assistant secretary Davie Bowman told The Voice: “The CWU always enjoyed a positive working relationship with Telecity, even when we were dealing with difficult issues, and all the early indications point to an equally constructive relationship developing with Digital Realty.

“Certainly the way the pay negotiations are being handled by the company is business-like and efficient - and an agreement is now close to being reached.

 “With the new relevant pay date being March 1, the CWU’s negotiating team is working hard to ensure the final outcome reflects the pragmatic approach that has been taken by both parties throughout the talks to date. A negotiators’ deal will hopefully be presented to members in a consultative ballot shortly.

Davie stresses that although this year the CWU has opted to pursue an across-the-board rise for members who have only recently transferred to a new employer, the union remains determined to tackle pay anomalies that are rife amongst employees conducting directly comparable roles in the four London data centres covered by the union’s current bargaining unit.

“The pay on which individuals have been employed often seems to have been largely determined by the scarcity or otherwise of data centre engineers at the time of their employment,” Davie explains. “While that has favoured some individuals it has led to significant pay inequalities amongst members conducting identical roles.

“Before Telecity was bought out we were 90 per cent of the way through a complex set of negotiations on a new grading structure - and the intention will be to resume those discussions with Digital Realty.

“There’s lots to do - but the good thing is that the recognition agreement means we’ll be in there talking about it.”

Davie concludes: “I see it as extremely positive signal for the future that Digital Realty clearly sees a value in a close engagement with its employees’ elected representatives, and it’s also very encouraging that the new recognition deal is open-ended, rather than having to be renewed every three years by mutual consent - as was the case with Telecity.”


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