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Stuart Lauchlan

Former editor of PublicTechnology.net and BusinessCloud9.com

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Update: Fujitsu contractors to strike over “insultingly low” pay offer

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More than 1,000 contract Fujitsu staff working for five central government departments and agencies will strike in 11 days time over what they have branded an “insultingly low” pay offer.

The joint action between members of the Public and Commercial Services and Unite unions will take place on Monday 19 September and affect IT outsourcing contracts being operated on behalf of HMRC, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, the Home Office, Ministry of Defence and Office for National Statistics.

Fujitsu refused to budge on an offer that the PCS claims will result in below-inflation wage increases of between 1.5% and 2.5%. The union attested that the IT supplier had either met or exceeded performance targets on all affected government contracts and that some senior managers received bonuses that were in excess of what some staff earn in a year.
 
In a ballot of 720 of the PCS’ members, 65% voted to strike and 85% to take other forms of industrial action, on a turnout of 63%. Unite members in Manchester voted by 85% for industrial action short of a strike and by 65% to take strike action.
 
Some of the affected personnel reportedly earn as little as £13,500 a year. Mark Serwotka, the PCS’ general secretary said: “These staff support essential public services and it is time ministers stopped washing their hands of issues like low pay among their contractors.”
 
Martyn Hart, chairman of the UK’s National Outsourcing Association, also warned: “It seems the current austerity measures may be leading to a period of discontent. This situation is a wake-up call for organisations to reassess their disaster recovery plans; even though they are more likely face interruptions from natural disasters such as flooding – or man-made such as Buncefield – than strike action, disaster recovery needs to be taken seriously.”
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Stuart Lauchlan

Former editor of PublicTechnology.net and BusinessCloud9.com

Read more from Stuart Lauchlan
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