Ericsson pay up

Telecoms & Financial Services, Ericsson

Members in Ericsson have overwhelmingly accepted a CWU-brokered two-year pay deal that, based on current forecasts, will deliver above inflation rises for all team member grades on April 1.

The company’s full and final offer – which received four to one backing in a consultative ballot which closed today (Friday) – draws a line under months of tense taking during which industrial relations were tested to the limit.

The turning point in talks came about after an earlier membership ballot in August in which members trashed the company’s initial 2018-specific offer – one that would have resulted in eight out of ten employees receiving nothing at all.

Branded ‘paltry and insulting’ by the union, no fewer than 97 per cent of those polled voted against that deal – with nine out of ten also expressing a willingness to take industrial action to secure a better one.

Assistant secretary Allan Eldred is convinced that the strength of feeling displayed by members in the August ballot was a decisive factor in getting the company back to the negotiating table.

The resulting settlement deals with 2018 and 2019 separately.

For 2018, a flat rate payment of £290 will be paid to everyone in the Field Services Operations bargaining unit, and that increase will be fully consolidate for everyone apart from those whose current salaries are 20 per cent or more above the ‘industry benchmark’ date used by Ericsson.
The deal also includes a 4 per cent increase to shift, on-call and climbing and rigging allowances, backdated to April 1 last year.

The 2019 settlement, meanwhile, provides a consolidated increase for everybody, ranging from 4.4 per cent for those on less than 90 per cent of the ‘industry benchmark’, to 3.5 per cent for those below the 120th percentile. For the first time in years, the company has also agreed to pay consolidated increases to individuals whose current pay rates are already 20 per cent above the ‘industry benchmark’ – with everyone who has been performance graded as ‘meeting expectations’ receiving 2.4 per cent, rising to 2.5 per cent for those categorised as ‘exceptional’.

Members acceptance of the deal means that the 2018 element of the settlement will be paid in February salaries  – while the 2019 element of the deal will come just over a month later, paid fully on time on April 1.

Allan Eldred concludes: “There’s no doubt in my mind that the strength of members’ resolve to achieve a fair pay settlement, as demonstrated in last August’s consultative ballot was the decisive factor in us being able to achieve a very satisfactory outcome.

“ We’ve moved from a situation where the company thought it could get away with paying 80 per cent of its employees no increase at all for 2018, to one where everyone receives something.

“The settlement we’ve achieved for 2019, meanwhile, is above all of the forecasts for inflation and, for the first time in years, sees a consolidated increase for even those whose salaries are above the 120th percentile.

“Under these circumstances the negotiating team had no hesitation in recommending members to vote ‘yes’ – and we’re delighted that members heeded our call by such a wide margin.”