OFFSHORE UPDATE 29/6/15

OCA

As we move towards a consultative ballot on the proposals made by OCA it is vital that we have the correct and up to date personal details for every Unite member working offshore.  If you have already submitted the information to us or spoken to a Unite organiser then your details will have been updated.

If you have not been receiving correspondence from Unite recently then it is vital that you update your details so you can participate in the upcoming ballot.

Please email offshoreunite@gmail.com  with contact details and a Unite organiser will contact you to ensure we have the correct information.

The offer and consultative ballot paper will be posted to every Unite member working under the OCA agreement for you, the member, to decide on the OCA proposals.

If you are a Unite member and have not received your ballot paper by the end of the week please contact Unite Office Aberdeen on the details below to ensure you receive one.

COTA

Unite are currently in final preparations for a ballot for strike action over pay for COTA workers. The COTA companies have pulled out of the second year of a two year negotiated pay deal.

If you have not spoken to Unite or sent in your details please contact Unite on the number below to ensure we have the correct details for you

UKDCA

The consultative ballot on the imposed changes to Terms & Conditions closed on Monday 29th June and the result of the ballot will be communicated over the coming days once it has been counted and verified.

Unite Regional Officer Tommy Campbell will be meeting UKDCA on Thursday 2nd July and any outcome from this meeting will also be communicated to members.

Redundancy

The current economic situation offshore has seen an increased number of  Offshore workers facing redundancy or company liquidation. Sometimes the worker only hears about redundancy when it is imminent. This set of circumstances can impact on Unite members, their families and their communities. For this reason Unite campaigns to use all means possible to safeguard jobs and assist and support Unite members who are facing the threat or reality of redundancy, below is some key facts about redundancy however in the first instance you should call your Unite Regional Office. They will be able to send you the Unite Guide to Redundancy and also ensure that your full time officer is made aware of the situation and is able to assist you.

Key Facts

There is a requirement on the employer to consult with a recognised trade union in the event of redundancies

  • As a minimum there is a statutory redundancy payments scheme providing you have 2 years continuous service • Employees can receive up to £30,000 tax free as a redundancy payment
  • Employees are entitled to their statutory notice or contractual notice which ever is the greater.

The statutory requirement is as follows; – one week if you’ve been continuously employed for between one month and two years; – one week for each complete year of service (up to a maximum of 12) if you’ve been continuously employed for two years or more

  • You will not pay income tax on a redundancy payment under £30,000, however other payments such as unpaid wages or bonus payments will be taxed, for further advice consult your full time official
  • If you are made an offer of alternative work by your employer you should consult your full time official to discuss any issues relating to suitability
  • An employee who has been employed for two years is entitled to reasonable time off during the notice period to look for other work or access training opportunities
  • A redundancy dismissal due to pregnancy, maternity or a related reason is automatically unfair, please consult your full time official if this happens to you.

Keep up to date with the campaign at:

Facebook – facebook.com/uniteoffshore2015

Webpage – uniteoffshore2015.org

Twitter – @offshoreunite

Unite the union, 42-44 King Street, Aberdeen AB24 2TJ Tel: 01224 645 271

COTA – John Boland / Vic Fraser

OCA – Wullie Wallace

UKDCA – Tommy Campbell

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OCA UPDATE 26/6/15

DO WE HAVE YOUR DETAILS CORRECT?

Dear Member,

As we move towards a consultative ballot on the proposals made by OCA it is vital that we have the correct and up to date personal details for every Unite member working offshore.  If you have already submitted the information to us or spoken to a Unite organiser then your details will have been updated.

If you have not been receiving correspondence from Unite recently then it is vital that you update your details so you can participate in the upcoming ballot.

Please email offshoreunite@gmail.com  with contact details and a Unite organiser will contact you to ensure we have the correct information.

The offer and consultative ballot paper will be posted to every Unite member working under the OCA agreement for you, the member, to decide on the OCA proposals.

If you are a Unite member and have not received your ballot paper by the end of next week, 3rd July 2015,  please contact Unite Office Aberdeen on the details below to ensure you receive one.

Keep up to date with the campaign at:

Unite the Union, 42-44 King Street, Aberdeen AB24 2TJ

Tel: 01224 645 271

Facebook – facebook.com/uniteoffshore2015

Website – uniteoffshore2015.org

Twitter – @offshoreunite

Update on OCA

Dear Member
Recently, further talks have taken place between your union and the OCA. These negotiations have resulted in the OCA submitting an improved offer to Unite. The full written offer was received from the employer yesterday. As a democratic and member led union we will be sending this offer to you and conducting a consultative postal ballot over the forthcoming weeks. I would like to emphasise the importance of casting your vote when you receive the full details of the offer and the ballot paper. It is really important that you give full consideration to the offer and vote in the ballot.
It has been a difficult and challenging time for Unite members offshore and the work you have done in sharing information with your colleagues is greatly appreciated. During this struggle many offshore workers have joined Unite, increasing our strength and increasing our ability to influence offshore employers. The importance of increasing our strength at this challenging time cannot be understated. We know that our strength is the best way to influence offshore employers.
It is important that you ensure your union has the correct personal and employment information. This ensures that your voice is heard when decisions are made. We are continuing with our consultation to update our membership records. This is an extensive exercise and I would like to thank all of you who have taken part. Thousands of our members have been spoken to and your priorities will shape our agenda.
Unite remains committed to protecting jobs, protecting terms and conditions, ensuring a safe working environment and a sustainable future for you in the Oil and Gas industry. You will receive the full written offer and your ballot paper in the next few days. The ballot will continue over a number of weeks to ensure all members, regardless of shift pattern have the opportunity to participate.

Yours,

Willie Wallace

OCA update

We will not be publicising the proposals until they have been directly communicated in full to all our members in OCA.

The full proposals are currently being drafted into a formal letter for all members. The letter will explain in detail the outcome of the recent negotiations and Unites position on the proposed improvements.

This will be sent out directly to members next week from the Unite office in Aberdeen.

Motion to the Scottish Parliament on COTA Dispute

ASK YOUR MSP TO SUPPORT:

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/msps/

Motion S4M-13542: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/06/2015

Supporting Offshore Workers

That the Parliament recognises that the oil and gas industry has had a difficult start to 2015; welcomes the gradual increase in the oil price and understands that the industry has benefitted from £1.3 billion in tax cuts; wishes to place on record its acknowledgement of the vital, and at times unsung, work undertaken by catering workers offshore; is concerned that the offshore companies, Aramark, Sodexo, Entier, Trinity, ESS and FOSS, have withdrawn from the second year of a negotiated and agreed two-year pay deal; welcomes the willingness of the trade unions, Unite and RMT, to re-enter negotiations, and urges the employers’ association, COTA, to accept this offer and return to negotiations, working constructively with the unions to reach an agreement that will resolve this dispute.


Supported by: Lewis Macdonald, Mark McDonald, Iain Gray, James Kelly, Patricia Ferguson, David Stewart, Kevin Stewart, Margaret McCulloch, Anne McTaggart, Hugh Henry, Hanzala Malik, Richard Lyle, Graeme Pearson, Cara Hilton, Gil Paterson, Claire Baker, Jackie Baillie, John Mason, Roderick Campbell, Stewart Maxwell, Kenneth Gibson, Adam Ingram, Elaine Murray, Michael Russell, Graeme Dey, Neil Findlay, Christina McKelvie, Bill Kidd, Joan McAlpine, Nigel Don, Chic Brodie, David Torrance, Dennis Robertson, Stuart McMillan, James Dornan, Liam McArthur, Tavish Scott

OCA Talks Outcome: UPDATE

Preparations for an industrial action ballot in the North Sea on hold

Unite has put its preparations for an industrial action ballot in the North Sea on hold after talks between trade unions and oil companies in Aberdeen today concluded with an improved offer to workers offshore.

Trade unions and the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) have been in discussions regarding contractual changes to workers’ pay, terms and conditions in the North Sea. Unite has been preparing for a ballot over changes to shift patterns, holiday pay and sick pay obligations.

Unite Officer Willie Wallace said: “Today’s talks have been constructive and we have made enough progress to be able to put an improved offer from the OCA  to our membership. It’s for them to decide if this offer is good enough.”

 

Unite the Union: Response to the UK Oil & Gas Conference today in Aberdeen

Unite delivers stark warning to North Sea Oil and Gas employers

As the UK Oil and Gas industry meets in Aberdeen today (17 June) for its industry conference, Unite has delivered a stark warning to the industry that squeezing every last drop out of the workforce is putting health and safety at risk.

The majority of employers in the North Sea are imposing swingeing cuts to shift patterns while tearing up agreements on sick pay and holiday obligations. To make matters worse some employers are even reneging on negotiated pay deals. Yet a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Oil and Gas Industry Council, launched today, warns firms against making short-term tactical cuts rather than focusing on longer-term structural changes.

As a result of the unprecedented attack on workers’ terms and conditions,  plans to ballot offshore workers for lawful industrial action are now at an advanced stage. Unite has entered into negotiations across the industry in good faith but there has yet to be any meaningful offers from the employers.

Unite welcomes the comments from Nicola Sturgeon today which recognised the importance of retaining skills and expertise in North Sea.  The union maintains that if long term structural changes are needed in this critical part of the economy, it must not be at the expense of the thousands of skilled men and women who risk their lives in the Oil and Gas industry.

Unite regional officer Tommy Campbell said: “North Sea employers are trying to squeeze every last drop out of the offshore workforce. Attacks on jobs and working conditions could have devastating consequences for offshore workers and for safety.  People are already telling us that they are operating at maximum capacity and these cuts could put workers in jeopardy ”.

“The industry is enjoying  the rising price of oil, and tax breaks which have given it  £1.3 billion already. There is no justification for this opportunistic attack on the most important asset the industry has –  the workforce. They put their lives on the line each time they step into that Super Puma and head out to the North Sea.