Perseverance prevails on Capita O2/Tesco Mobile pay with 8% for many

Telecoms & Financial Services, Capita

Members across the Capita 02 and Tesco Mobile partnerships have voted by well over nine-to-one to accept a significantly improved pay offer for 2022 that will see the vast majority of CWU-represented employees receive backdated rises of either 7% or 8%.

The fully consolidated settlement – which was last week ratified by 94.1% of members participating in a consultative ballot – concludes a particularly long and difficult pay round that at various stages looked set to erupt into a full-blown dispute.

Thrashed out against the backdrop of a deepening cost-of-living crisis, the CWU-brokered deal sees all those earning between £22,501 and £28,500  – more than half of all CWU-represented employees across  the two recognised bargaining units – receiving a 7% increase, backdated to April.

Those in the £18,500 to £22,500 salary range – representing just over 40% of those in the bargaining units – receive 8%, also backdated to April and flowing through to allowances.

Significantly these include the company’s lowest paid employees who were previously not in line to receive anything more than the Real Living Wage (RLW) increment paid out in April that was based on last November’s much lower inflation figures . (For those RLW members the actual increase, and backdated payments, will be the difference between the two).

Only a small number of CWU-represented employees earning over £28,501 will receive the lowest of three fully consolidated salary range-banded increases – namely 6%. Even that is double the 3% company-wide increase that Capita imposed across the unrecognised parts of the business in May.

Thanking members for their overwhelming ratification of the deal, CWU national officer Tracey Fussey said: “It’s been a long and difficult journey to get to this position, but what I can say with total confidence is that this is the best possible outcome that could be achieved by negotiation – and that the staunch support members gave the CWU National Team throughout frequently deadlocked talks was instrumental in achieving it.

“Ever since members in the O2 and Tesco Mobile partnerships rejected the company’s earlier ‘final’ offer of  4% by truly remarkable margins in September –  recording a 94.9% ‘No’ vote in the former and 93.8% in the latter –  it was abundantly clear that Capita simply had to reconsider its position.

“That’s not to diminish, however, the constructive and responsible approach the company took subsequently to resolve what could easily have become a highly damaging dispute – nor the way in which it has grasped the scale of the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on our members and gone a considerable way to mitigate those pressures.”

As part of the deal, Capita has committed to discussions with the union to resolve a disagreement as to whether or not a small number of recently recruited homeworkers on the O2 contract form part of the recognised bargaining unit.

Tracey concludes: “It was always the CWU’s aim to secure a fair pay rise for our members in the Capita O2 and Tesco Mobile partnerships – and, in these exceptional times, the National Team has absolutely no doubt that this was very best deal that could be achieved through negotiation.”