CWU asks Capita to bring Real Living Wage increase forward


Union officers Andy Furey and Tracey Fussey write to company’s CPO urging RLW adjustment from 1st October…  

“It’s our hope that Capita will do the right thing here and implement the new rate as soon as it’s announced,” said Andy Furey today, after he and Tracey Fussey sent a joint claim to its chief people officer Scott Hill.

And Tracey added: “It’s a reasonable ask in the circumstances – at a time when prices are running ever higher, it’s only right that lower-paid workers in particular can get as much help as possible. While our substantive annual pay talks are still ongoing, this would be a welcome gesture on the part of the company that would really make a difference.”

The CWU has thousands of Capita employees in membership, with Andy representing those working on the television licensing (TVL) contract and Tracey looking after VM02 and Tesco Mobile members. Both officers are in negotiations with their respective parts of the business, seeking higher pay settlements for the current financial year and beyond.

In each instance, the offer currently on the table has been described by the union as being insufficient to meet members’ needs – being some way below the current 12.3 per cent rate of inflation – and while ACAS discussions are taking place for TVL members, there is a consultative ballot getting under way among the other groups.

“As Tracey and I are in negotiations with different parts of the same company, we obviously discuss ways in which we might bring pay to a resolution,” Andy explains, and Tracey continues: “In light of the current impasse, we both felt that this request might at least provide some good news in the short-term to the lowest paid people among our respective membership groups.”

Capita Group has a policy to apply the Real Living Wage (RLW) as a company-wide minimum, but this year, as an extraordinary response to an extraordinary economic crisis, the union is seeking for Capita to apply this increase from 1st October, rather than wait until the usual RLW implementation date of 1st April.

As well as struggling to cope with the current rate of inflation, UK households are also set to hear potentially more bad news later this week, when energy industry watchdog Ofgem makes its announcement on the domestic bills price cap for the next few months. It has been widely predicted that this cap may be raised from its present £1,971 up to £3,500 – a raise that would plunge many families even further into crisis.

“Of course, we all hope that Ofgem will resist the pressure from the energy companies to raise this price cap,” says Tracey. “But even if the body tasked with looking after customers’ interests chooses to let the country down, we do hope that Capita will do the right thing and bring forward the RLW adjustment.”