Big fat ‘zero’ pay rise is simply unacceptable, Connect44 toldTelecoms & Financial Services, Connect44 July 8 2022
Imagine how you’d feel if your employer responded to worst cost of living crisis in a generation by unilaterally declaring they’d decided not to offer any pay rise this year – in part to fund “strategic investment decisions”.
That’s exactly the stomach churning position a small group of CWU members working for telecommunications service provider Connect44 find themselves in nearly five years after they were TUPE transferred from Huawei in October 2017.
Despite determined efforts, CWU national officer Tracey Fussey has so far met with an unequivocal ‘no’ to her request for belated pay talks on behalf of the tight-knit group of members who were originally outsourced by Telefonica O2 in 2012 and still work on VM02 systems.
That blunt refusal, initially delivered in an introductory meeting with the company last month following Tracey’s assumption of responsibility for Connect44 members, directly contravenes the spirit of the recognition agreement that was negotiated under TUPE law in both the O2 to Huawei and Huawei to Connect44 transfers.
As Tracey explains: “When the issue of the outstanding 2022 pay review was raised by the union in last month’s meeting, Connect44 confirmed that they had taken the decision not to offer any pay rise this year, citing affordability issues that we have robustly questioned.
“We therefore immediately wrote to the company formally challenging their position, requesting that they review this decision and for the overdue discussions on pay to commence without further delay. As of today there has sadly been no response”.
In a further letter fired off to Connect44 management this morning, Tracey reiterated the “absolute need for a pay rise for our members, given the increasing rates of inflation currently sitting at RPI 11.7%/CPI 9.1%.
“It’s inconceivable, given the extreme cost of living, that our members should not receive a fair pay rise, given the current crisis,” she continued, pointing out that management’s current refusal to offer anything to offset the spiralling cost of living represents in “real terms the harshest pay cut possible.”
Stressing that a company that can afford to make “strategic investment decisions” has a moral imperative to do better by its staff, Tracey concludes: “The position of zero rise is simply not acceptable.”
- Given the seriousness of the situation, the CWU National Team is in the process of arranging a virtual members’ meeting to discuss the union’s next steps. Invites, complete with details of how to participate, will be circulated to relevant members shortly.