Thursday, September 06, 2007

Maria's story

Maria (a fictional name) is a care assistant. She used to work for Barnet Council before being transferred to Fremantle Trust. Her terms conditions (T&C) were protected when she transferred over.
Maria’s hourly rate £8.31 (Fremantle’s equivalent is rate is for the same job is £6.66)

On the 1 April 2007 Fremantle Trust took away Maria’s T&Cs.

Q. How much is she losing as a result of changes to weekend working and bank holidays?

Before Fremantle imposed their new T&Cs Maria would earn £6,314 (before tax) for having to work 26 weekends and 8 bank holidays.

Now working under Fremantle imposed rates working the same hours/shift etc she will earn £4,568 a 28% reduction in income for what are already low paid workers.

Q. Why are staff working increased hours.

Staff are having to work increased hours (some times double shifts) to make up the loss of income as a result of the cuts to pay rates.

As a result of staff losing annual leave (up to 11 days for those working full time), staff are working increased hours for no extra income.

Q. What are the details on Sick Pay.

Our members’ sick pay entitlement was 6 months full pay and 6 months half pay. The system imposed on our members is the first three days are unpaid waiting days with stat pay for 4 days. The entitlement is now only 13 weeks in total.

Q. What has happened in Pensions

Pension contributions are related to earnings. In Maria’s case any reduction in her earnings will mean a reduction in her Final Pension entitlement.

Q. What about the Three year pay freeze
Inflation has been over 4% for the first quarter of this year – it’s 4.5% now.
Average earnings are rising by 4%. A three year pay freeze pushes Maria closer to poverty wages.

Overtime payments.
Previously there would be an enhanced rate as per the Green Book National Agreement. Time and half & double time. Under Fremantle all overtime is just paid at plain time.

Another cut in pay for Maria!

Clearly by adding the costs of working longer fo rless or the same, losing income and ultimatley a lower pension, takes the cost of these proposals to over 30% .

Fremantle have just issued a rebuttal to our claims and sent them to all their staff. I am sure staff who have experienced these cuts across all their conditions no what has really happened!
Finally as we now have a global audience.
In the UK we have a national agreement known as Single Status. In brief this was to address he historic and discriminatory aspects of pay for women in the UK.
EQUAL PAY is at the heart of this agreement. Our Fremantle Care Workers benefited from this agreement around the time of the transfer to Fremantle.
Fremantle have by their actions dismantled this agreement.
We have a serious problem here . Our Union along with other Unions have fought for Equal Pay. It can not be right for a new Employer to 'dismantle' all this hard work and condemn women to poverty wages.
The Government obviously recognised the importance about Equal Pay.
The Government should act now!
This is why this dispute is crucial to our union, locally, regionally, nationally and now internationally. Globalisation threatens Trade Unions and workers across the world.
Our challenge as Trade Unionists is to respond as our history tells us.
To do what our member expect.
Defend terms and conditions.
Thank you for your continuing support


Andy said...

I live in France. In 1976, I got a job with a company which had just taken over the canteen of a national bank having promised to maintain pay and extras to it's own employees. The result was that for workers doing the same job in the same place had a monthly salary difference of over 20%, the ban employees being paid 16.5 months salary per annum and us, 12!
Worse, our better paid collegues started thinking we were their slaves.
I worked for a multinational services company which is even more renowned today.
Your action is not also an example to all those who stick up for themselves but also for all those who cherish the lives the lives of those in your care.
Stick to it to the end!
Fremantle is losing.

Anonymous said...

we could be facing a possible election soon, eveyone should, as well as emailing this greedy woman, e-mail Barnet council demanding the contract with freemantle be ended and given to someone who cares!