25 July 2009
Votes by Arqiva staff have delivered a resounding rejection of the company's proposals for change.
As a result of the ballots, which closed yesterday (Friday 24 July ), management are being urged to reconsider their position on a number of fronts.
Members have rejected plans for a wage freeze, for changes to Arqiva terms and conditions and for changes to conditions of employment for staff previously employed by National Grid Wireless (NGW).
NGW merged with Arqiva in 2008 following approval by the Competition Commission.
On very strong turnouts, more than 93 per cent of staff voted against the proposed wage freeze and 90 per cent of members voted against the proposed changes to Arqiva terms and conditions. Amongst the NGW membership, 96 per cent of members rejected management's plans to alter their terms and conditions.
Unprecedented level of rejection
Commenting on the result, national official, Gerry Carr said:
"The company should now seriously reflect on the staggering and unprecedented level of rejection before we meet again next Wednesday 29 July."
"The ballot results demonstrate the extent to which BECTU is in tune with its membership. During the course of talks last month, BECTU officials insisted that the proposals would not be acceptable to its membership and the votes have more than borne this out," Gerry Carr concluded.
The company should now seriously reflect on the staggering and unprecedented level of rejection before we meet again next Wednesday 29 July
Welcoming the ballot results, which come on the back of a union-run No Vote, No Voice campaign, Towy Neale, chair of BECTU's leading Arqiva committee, said:
"The BECTU team hopes that our next meeting with the company will mark the start of meaningful negotiations."
"On the pay review, BECTU believes that despite the economic situation, the company is strong and that the need to remain competitive does not rule out a pay rise for our members."
"Members' response to the proposals to alter their terms and conditions makes it clear that the proposals are detrimental," Towy Neale concluded.
Arqiva and NGW are owned by the Macquarie Capital Alliance Group, which also owns Red Bee Media.