Improved Siemens pay offer
An improved pay offer has been put to Siemens staff working on BBC contracts after members voted to take industrial action.
In a two year offer 4% has been offered for this year, with a minimum increase of £1,000, and 2.15% for 2008 in both Siemens SIS and SECL.
This improves on the previous offers of 2.5% in SIS and 3% in SECL for 2007.
The offer, which is similar to the package recently agreed by BBC members, also includes significant improvements for lower-paid staff and the deferral of a planned increase in pension contributions.
In the industrial action ballot, which has resulted in the improved offer, staff in Siemens companies SIS and SECL voted by 73.9% and 85.7% to take strike action.
Siemens members are now being balloted on the new offer, with negotiators recommending acceptance. The ballot closes 1200 on 3 August 2007.
2007 Siemens pay offer
- 2 year deal: 4% now, 2.15% in 2008
- Increase in pension contributions postponed until 2008
- Low paid gain through £1,000 minimum rise and improved London Weighting
BECTU Assistant General Secretary Luke Crawley said: "BECTU is recommending that members accept the offer because the company made it conditional upon a positive recommendation but also because for many members it will mean a considerable pay rise.
"The company have made it clear that negotiations are exhausted and they have no more money to put on the table, so if the offer is rejected it will take industrial action to improve this offer."
In the first year it is proposed to raise the threshold below which staff are entitled to receive enhanced London Weighting from £22,000 to £25,000.
For those on less than £25,000 London weighting will rise to £3,972, an increase of 8.5%; and for those on more than £25,000 it will increase by 5% to £3,444.
As part of the package it is planned next year the pay anniversary will be brought forward to 1 January 2008.
During negotiations with Siemens, union officials were concerned about the level of inflation in the second year of the offer, and following "long discussions" agreed the following statement with management:
Both parties are fully aware of the differing constraints and pressures on the other. As such SECL and SIS recognises that if the January 2008 RPI figure (published in February 2008) should be greater than 3%, BECTU will wish to retain the right to request a review of the available pot for 2008. For its part, BECTU notes that SECL and SIS is making this offer on the basis of it being a 2 year deal, and the Company would expect any negotiations in 2008 to take account of its ability to pay whilst achieving the shareholder's targets.
On pensions Siemens were previously intending to increase the level of members' contributions to the pension scheme from 6% to 7.5% in September 2007. Management have now agreed there will be no increase in contributions until 1 September 2008.
The offers are identical for SIS and SECL, except for reassurances on the introduction of a performance management process SECL.
PCS, the other union in SIS, has a similar offer and are recommending acceptance to their members.
Siemens SIS looks after BBC broadcast technology and projects including IT, broadcast critical data and the Corporation's internet and intranet servers; whilst SECL runs the BBC's telephone exchange system. Both were formerly in BBC Technology until it was sold to Siemens in 2004.
Amended 20 July 2007