TICA Employers Offer Pay Freeze

17 Jun 2010

GMB union negotiators met on 14th June 2010 and presented a 10 point pay claim to representatives of the Thermal Insulation Contractors Association who made no offer on pay whatsoever. They informed the union that they wanted to implement a 12 month pay freeze starting on 1st January 2011. The pay freeze would mean no increase in pay until January 2012. All other items of the claim were either rejected outright or are to be reviewed.

Phil Davies, GMB National Secretary for the manufacturing section said, ” The uinon made it clear that this was unacceptable and that our members were subject to the highest levels of inflation for many years. I attach the pay claim for your information and I would like to ask you to bring our members up to date with this totally unacceptable situation. Can you also please inform your employers that this is unacceptable and will lead to industrial action.”

Note - see text of pay claim below.

2010/2011 Pay and conditions claim presented to The Thermal Insulation Contractors Association (TICA)

14th June 2010

Introduction

During the last two years the UK economy has gone through a recession. In 2009 inflation rates were low but in 2010 inflation had again started to rise and
RPI is likely to stay at a high level. Our Members have suffered from the very high rises of fuel prices, and this not only affects them away from work, but because of the nature of the job it has an extra cost traveling to and from jobs, that requires the use of a car or van. The Trade Unions want the Employers to recognise that inflation is running quite high and that anything less than the current RPI rate of inflation would be a pay cut. The Trade Unions believe that within the next six to nine months the industry will return to full employment. We also believe that there needs to be a realistic look at the travel arrangements paid out in clause 6 of the Agreement. The Trade Unions are prepared if the offer is substantial to look at a three year deal.

1. Pay

The Trade Unions claim is for a substantial increase on all rates of pay an increase that would be above inflation. We have laid out our claim for a substantial increase in our pay document. The Trade Unions are seeking a substantial increase which is at least in line with the rate of inflation: April 2010: CPI 3.7%, RPI 5.3%. CPI annual inflation – the Government’s target measure – was 3.7% in April, up from 3.4% in March. The largest upward pressures to the change in the CPI annual rate between March and April came from:

• clothing and footwear where prices, overall, rose by 2.2% between March and April this year but rose by only 0.2% a year ago; this was mainly due
to garments and, in particular, women’s clothing.
• food and non-alcoholic beverages, mainly due to the food component where upward effects were widespread rather than from one particular
food group. Reports have suggested that the closure of European airspace as a result of the Icelandic volcano had a limited impact on food
prices in April.
• alcoholic beverages and tobacco where prices, overall, rose by 2.1% between March and April this year (driven by the increases in excise duty
that came into force towards the end of March) but were unchanged a year ago.

The only large downward pressure to the change in CPI annual inflation between March and April came from furniture, household equipment and maintenance where prices, overall, fell by more than a year ago with the main downward effects coming from furniture items and cleaning products. In the year to April, RPI annual inflation was 5.3% (the highest since July 1991), up from 4.4% in March. The main factors affecting the CPI also affected the RPI. Additionally there was significant upward pressure to the change in the RPI annual rate from housing. This was driven by mortgage interest payments which rose by 0.6% this year but fell by 7.7 % a year ago, following the half point decrease in the Bank rate from 1.0% to 0.5% in March 2009.

RPI inflation – the all items RPI excluding mortgage interest payments – was 5.4% in April, up from 4.8% in March. As an internationally comparable measure of inflation, the CPI shows that the UK inflation rate in March was above the provisional figure for the European Union. The UK rate was 3.4% whereas the EU’s as a whole was 1.9%. The next publication date is 15 June 2010. As can be seen from the official figures that living costs were consistently over 1.0% and rising steeply towards the end of the year with forecasts showing a continued high figure. The drop on RPI in mid-2009 was largely connected to the vagaries of the housing market whereas the RPI clearly shows the real costs which are generally higher proportionately for low paid workers. All forecasts show that there will be rises on 2.4%-3.4% with RPI higher than that. RPI is the more realistic indicator of price rises on workers – particularly lower paid.

Therefore we are seeking a substantial increase in pay. We have to make it clear to the Employers we wish to use the RPI inflation rate as a comparator and that anything less would be a pay cut.

2. Travel Allowance and arrangements

The wording of clause 6.1(B) The measurement of distances on the basis of a straight line is unworkable and unfair. The Agreement should be changed to reflect true mileage. Because of the high cost of travel our claim is for a substantial increase in all travel allowances.

3. Lodge Allowance

The current allowance of £35 is now too low. We seek to increase the allowance and amend the clause 7.8 to read: “Lodging-out allowances under this rule will be reviewed annually (October to October) and adjustment shall be based on the increase in the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 2%”

4. London Allowance

For those Employees working permanently or temporarily within the M25 there is an extra cost that is now well recognised. The very fact that the London Living Wage has just gone up by 25p an hour to £7.85 an hour shows that even Boris Johnson the Mayor of London believes that working and living in London is more expensive. The Trade Union Side believes that a London Allowance should be introduced. We are therefore seeking to show in this pay submission that there are substantial reasons why a London Allowance should be introduced and again it is laid out in this document. The recognised additional cost of working in the capital has continued to rise considerably – for example, housing rents have risen steadily, transport costs (tube/bus) have gone up above general inflation. Given the backlog of claims re London Weighting there has been an accumulated loss of income by employees. Average Tube fares have gone up by 3.9% and bus passengers face a 12.7% rise. Commuters using Oyster pay-as-you-go cards also face a rise of 20p per journey on both buses and the Tube. The average large Company pays £4000 a year Allowance. The Trade Unions want to see a daily Allowance paid when Employees are working in London.

5. Severance pay

The Trade Unions are proposing 2 new clauses on Severance Pay to be introduced into the Agreement under clause “5.1 Redundancy” as follows: New 5.1.4 “Any Employee with less than 2 years continuous service shall receive payment equal to the redundancy payment he or she would have received if they had completed 2 years services” New 5.1.5 Calculation of Redundancy Pay “A weeks pay will be defined for purpose of calculating pay and employees’ normal pay and statutory cap will be removed”.

6. Tools

The Trade Unions require either the Employers to supply all tools for the job or clearly define the list of tools that the Employee needs to supply. The Trade Unions are concerned that their Members are being asked to supply their own tools outside of the agreed list such as banding machines and power tools.
We also require a substantial increase in the weekly allowance of £3.83


7. Protective clothes

The Trade Unions’ side was concerned that while the Employers supplied two sets of overalls a year there was no provisions for the cleaning of protective
clothing and that it was not acceptable for our Members to use domestic appliances to clean protective clothing that may have harmful material on them.

8. Pensions

The Trade Unions were mindful that in 2012 Employers with more than 20 workers will have to introduce a pension scheme for its employees. It would be far better if TICA Employers introduced an industry wide pension scheme.

9. Holiday calculation

The amount of holiday pay received by Employee while on holiday has not increased to the value of the old calculation of time and a half. The Trade Unions believe that no one in the industry should take home less than £132.68 per day and more if the individual’s earnings are more. We therefore request an increase in the calculation.

10. Death in service

The Trade Unions requests that the age limit of 72 should be removed and that Employees who regrettably die in service should receive the payment
irrespectively of age.

Phil Davies
National Secretary
GMB Manufacturing Section