Perseverance pays off as Manx Telecom members accept deal worth 8.5% in 2023Telecoms & Financial Services, Manx Telecom June 9 2023
Members in Manx Telecom have voted by nearly three-to-one to accept a significantly improved pay offer that leaves all CWU-represented grades in line for a 5.5% fully consolidated increase plus one-off cash lump payments worth 3% of salary.
The settlement – which was ratified last week by 72% of members participating in a consultative ballot – concludes a cliff-hanger of a pay round which included no fewer than three membership polls and at one stage had the potential to erupt into a full blown industrial dispute.
That point of jeopardy followed an extraordinary dead heat in a ballot on the company’s initial ‘final’ offer in April of a 5% base salary award plus an unconsolidated 2% cash payment that only applied to individuals who were not subject to an incentive scheme.
“The 50/50 spit on a 75% ballot turnout meant a definite result was too close to call – so we approached Manx Telecom on the back of this result, letting the company know our members’ strength of feeling on the pay offer,” explains acting national officer Fiona Curtis.
“The company wasn’t willing to budge at that point in time – so we decided to re-ballot our members, making it clear this was the final offer we could get through negotiations and that, if they voted ‘no’, they had to be prepared to vote ‘yes’ in a statutory strike ballot.”
The result of the second ballot was crystal clear, with members returning a decisive rejection of the offer on an increased turnout of 80%.
Armed with the mandate that members were willing to vote in favour of industrial action the CWU negotiating team persuaded Manx Telecom to re-enter negotiations, and an improved offer was thrashed out over several meetings
As well as securing an additional 0.5% consolidated base pay for everyone, the enhancements included an increase in the one-off cash lump sum payable from 2% to 3% of base pay – which was also extended to team members on incentive schemes – and one extra day of annual leave this year for everyone.
Following member’ decisive ratification of the CWU-brokered deal, the settlement will be paid in June salaries, backdated to April.
Thanking members for their solidarity in a difficult pay round – and the clarity of their resolve to strike, if necessary, to secure a fair pay settlement, Fiona concludes: “The powerful message delivered by members in the second ballot – which was effectively a consultative ballot for industrial action – was the decisive factor that secured significant movement on the management side.
“This is certainly the best deal that could be secured by negotiation and stacks up very favourably against the prevailing level of settlements being achieved across the whole of UK industry. Members have every reason to be proud of what their solidarity has achieved.”
One additional spin-off from this year’s protracted pay negotiations has been a sizeable influx of new members, taking overall membership density to an impressive new high.
“Our membership density in Manx Telecom has always been extremely good – but the level we’re now sitting at demonstrates a level of engagement and collective strength that can only serve us well in future negotiations,” Fiona concludes.