Capita Tesco Mobile ‘final’ pay offer accepted

Telecoms & Financial Services

Monday 5th July 2021

Members in the Capita Tesco Mobile (TM) Partnership, have voted by three-to-one to accept a pay deal brokered by the union against the difficult backdrop of a recently announced site closure bombshell and the renegotiation of the TM contract

Yesterday’s (Wednesday) ballot result, in which 75% of those participating voted ‘yes’ to the company’s ‘final’ offer, concludes the 2021 pay round following the reaffirmation of Capita’s earlier commitment to pay an absolute minimum of the Real Living Wage and rises of at least 1.85% for everyone paid above that level.

Beneficiaries will include those employees who last year received no rise whatsoever on account of the Capita-wide embargo on any pay increases at all for anyone paid over a £28,000 threshold.

The company’s proposed settlement for 2021 was placed before members without a recommendation of either acceptance or rejection by the union’s Capita TM national team – simply the observation that negotiations had reached the end of the road and that the deal on the table was the best that can be reached though talks alone.

At the time, outgoing CWU national officer for Capita, Brendan O’Brien explained: “External forces have been at play during the course of negotiations, none of which have been helpful. These have included the renegotiation of the contract between Tesco Mobile and Capita which, while delivering a three year extension that was announced just a fortnight ago, has considerably tightened the purse strings, with the value of the TM contract to Capita effectively falling by around £6 million a year.

Tracey Fussey

“Things were further complicated last month by Capita’s shock announcement that the Bury site will be closing in September. Coming, as it did, in the midst of pay negotiations, that bombshell caused the union to recalibrate its initial 3.5% across the board pay claim £1,000 cash lump sum on account of the very real uncertainty over the future job security of those impacted –but again this is something we have not been able to progress with the company.

“As such, despite the considerable efforts of the CWU National Team to secure an offer we could wholeheartedly commend to members, we’ve come to the conclusion that this simply the best that can be achieved by negotiation in exceptionally difficult circumstances.”

Details of the now accepted settlement of the 2021 pay round include:

  • Capita’s confirmation early on that it would be applying the full 2021 RLW increase that applies outside of London of 20p per hour – from £9.30 to £9.50 – something they duly did on April 1. This represented a 2.15% increase for the company’s lowest paid staff in the Capita Tesco Mobile Partnership at both the Preston Brook and Bury sites
  • For ‘RUS’ sales advisers, an increase of 20p per hour – from £9.45 to £9.65 – to maintain the hourly rate differential between them and staff on the RLW and avoid ‘pay compression’
  • Pay progression payments continuing to be applied for all those contractually entitled to them – subject to the known requirements being met
  • For those members who have TUPE rights from the Telefonica transfer and who are paid above the RLW but below the £28,000 threshold above which no rises were paid last year, a straightforward consolidated 1.85% increase in pay and allowances, backdated to April 1.
  • For the small number of members who did not receive a pay increase at all last year, on account of the Capita-wide £28K pay cap, a slightly higher increase of 2.15% – again backdated to April 1, 2021.

Newly elected CWU national officer for Capita, Tracey Fussey concludes: “These are concerning times for all our members in the TM Partnership – especially those who are currently based in Bury, but also those in Preston Brook who stand to be impacted by changes associated with the overall headcount reduction being proposed.

“As such, the resolution of this year’s difficult pay round is welcome news, as it allows the CWU to focus on other issues that are arguably just as pressing.”