Trade unions are “essential for any decent and functional future for working women and men and our families,” said ITF President

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Trade unions are “essential for any decent and functional future for working women and men and our families,” said ITF President in an inspirational New Year’s message. He hailed the Federation’s successes in 2016 and vowed to fight inequality, fear and intolerance in 2017 – see here: goo.gl/WzLXil #WeAreITF

Crumlin recognised the groundbreaking protocol agreed between the ITF and UNI Global Union and DHL, ITF unions’ backing of the solidarity effort of the Korean labour movement to oppose the government of Park Geun-hye, and the ITF’s lifting the lid on the secretive corporate structures and tax minimisation schemes used by Chevron and other major North Sea oil producers.

 


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OCA Dispute Resolution Procedure – Unite/GMB Pay Claim 2016/17. (update @ Dec 2016)

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Agmb

Unite Regional Office

42-44 Kings Street

Aberdeen

AB24 5TJ

T: 01224 645271

Mr Paul Atkinson

Chief Executive

Offshore Contractors Association

Heritage House

Grandholm Crescent

Bridge of Don

Aberdeen

AB22 8BH

Date: 21st December 2016

OCA Dispute Resolution Procedure – Unite/GMB Pay Claim 2016/17.

As per appendix F of the Offshore Contractors Partnership Agreement, as signatory full-time trade union officials, we are invoking the Dispute Resolution Procedure in regards to the failure to agree the Unite/GMB Pay Claim 2016/17.

As discussions so far have included the national officials of the signatory trade unions this procedure would commence at the Final Stage of this procedure, and any resolution should be within 6 weeks of this application.

Under part F3.3 of the procedure, the status quo will be maintained until agreement is reached at any stage in the procedure or it is exhausted. Notwithstanding this, the signatory trade unions will prepare industrial action ballots, in case of failure to secure a resolution.

Yours sincerely

image           image

David Hulse                           Tommy Campbell

OCA Chairman                         OCA Secretary


Unite have served notice on the offshore contractors association (OCA) and member companies.

 Next steps

All Unite and GMB members should prepare for a legal industrial action ballot and be strike ready should there be a YES vote from the legal postal ballot through Electoral reform service.

https://www.electoralreform.co.uk/

Unite and GMB elected workplace shop stewards along with full-time union officials will be in dialogue with the OCA  negotiators throughout the process and the run up to an  Industrial action strike ballot in line with the UK employment law.


be-ballot-ready.png

Industrial Action/Strike Ready 

All Unite trade union members details must be correct and up to date, if you have been given a new contract or your job or employer or if anything in your employment status has changed, It will have to be updated and verified on our membership system.

e mail : aberdeenstaff@unitetheunion.org  or offshoreunite@gmail.com  

  1. Unite the Union  membership Number
  2. Full Name (as on your offshore vantage card)
  3. Full Postal Address
  4. Date of Birth
  5. Employer (Name of company)
  6. Where you work(Location/Installation/ mobile within a company or field or contract)
  7. Current Job title
  8. Employment status
  9. which rota and shift your on  (mobilisation date / de mobilisation date )
  10. Employment status:
  • Core Crew
  • Full time
  • ad-hoc
  • fixed term contract
  • employee who is contracted to work for an employee on varying contracts
  • (you can answer more than one of the above)

9. Who is the Unite point of contact on your shift.

10. Who is your Unite Union  workplace rep/shop steward

Please e mail either of the following with your updated  details

 the aberdeenstaff@unitetheunion.org or offshoreunite@gmail.com


 

If your colleagues are not members of a Trade Union then recruit them into Unite today the more members you have the stronger you are and you have a better chance of winning

It is vitally important that members who can vote, do vote in the Industrial action ballot, as new anti-trade union laws around ballot thresholds brought in by the Tory government in the Trade union Act 2016 will apply early 2017.  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/trade-union-act-becomes-law

If the complex laws around industrial action ballots are breached there could be legal challenges to the ballot, the ballot could be delayed and declared null & void and a lengthy time period in the courts will ensue , this will be the employers preferred option to delay and frustrate the union members, go down a lengthy costly legal route to delay and put another ballot in place.

Misinformation divide and delay are employers key weapons in Industrial disputes  Our key weapons are solidarity, members collective strength and communication. it is vitally important that all union members stay strong and to deliver results in industrial disputes. We only get one chance to get it right and jump through all the legal hoops along the way.

Therefore to force any employer back to the negotiating table, only comes from a position of strength by the union, the employer has to re-assess their position and risk either change and improve their offer or stick and bust the union.

Unite members participation in any ballot is key and sets the ground rules for the strategy and plan to utilise Unite members collective strength and power to win the dispute.


To Win  will require:

  1. An increase in Unite membership offshore. (Every workplace should recruit and grow membership)
  2. Unite workplace reps elected and communicating with members and the full-time officials.
  3. Unite points of contact (Focal Point) on each installation, each shift and each rotas (This was achieved in the  latest offshore Wood Group – Unite- RMT Union dispute in 2016)
  4. Communication strategy, company, rig and Trade  Union-wide.
  5. We require  your  e-mail address to achieve this  (We can then  contact you on to update you on the dispute) e -mail  offshoreunite@gmail.com  or the aberdeenstaff@unitetheunion.org
  6. Unite members committed to taking Industrial action together and seeing the fight through to the end.

The  Industrial Action Ballot (The Trade Union Act 2016)

New Thresholds  on IA  ballots

The Conservative party made a manifesto commitment during the 2015 election to ensure that unions had a democratic mandate before they called their members out to take part in industrial action. The result was the Trade Union Act 2016, which became law in May 2016  but which is not yet in force.

The Act makes two significant changes to employment law, when a union can call a strike lawfully. To make a strike legitimate, a union will still be required to obtain a majority in favour of strike action out of those who have voted also , in addition:

  • At least 50% of those entitled to vote in a ballot must have voted in all cases
  • Where those involved in the dispute work in an ‘important public service’ there will be a requirement that 40% of those entitled to vote in the ballot have voted ‘yes’ to strike action

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/445433/BIS-15-418-consultation-on-ballot-thresholds-in-important-public-services.pdf8Source

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/trade-union-act-becomes-law


To have a successful ballot and be in the strongest position to negotiate with your employer you will have to deliver

  • High Unite membership  (density) within the OCA  companies

Turnout

  • High Unite density turnout (Members voting over 70%)

Result

  • High Unite mandate on the question  (Clear indication mandate on  Industrial action or not)

 

Examples of  recent offshore Industrial action ballots

  1. 2016 Wood Group v Unite & RMT
  2. 2015  COTA  vs Unite & RMT

 


13 July 2016

Members of two unions at oil and gas company Wood Group have voted in favour of going on strike.

Members of  Unite and the RMT  unions at Wood Group have voted in favour of going on strike.

Unite and the RMT have been in dispute with the firm over what the trade unions have described as a “swingeing” proposed pay cuts.

Unite’s ballot had a turnout of 86.6% and 99.1% voted for strike action, while 98.5% of the RMT’s turnout of 67% also backed taking the same action.

source

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-36782640


2 : Sep  2015

A ballot by offshore catering workers has backed strike action.

Unite members of the Caterers Offshore Trade Association (COTA) were asked if they would be willing to take action over pay.

The result saw 54.2% of votes back strike action, with 62.7% supporting action short of strike.

Unite urged COTA to return to the negotiating table. Members of the RMT union are also being balloted on the issue.

RMT Union

Offshore catering workers from the RMT union have voted for action short of a strike in a dispute over pay.

The Caterers Offshore Trade Association (COTA) is seeking a pay freeze and also recently announced it would be consulting on about 500 job losses.

RMT union members narrowly voted against strike action, but for action short of a strike.

COTA indicated earlier it was retracting the second year of a two-year pay deal in a bid to secure jobs.

Source

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-34591593

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-34641624


As you can see from the examples above, recent Offshore workers industrial action ballots the membership decide what  clear route and what clear  path they can take.

The strength of the action is determined by the solidarity in the vote and the turnout determines which action and power you the members have through your trade union  when negotiating a resolution to your trade dispute with your employer.


Get Protected! Get Active! Get Organised!

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Unite is the largest trade union in for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS

Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union

today!

http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/joinunite/

 

We’re committed to supporting Scotland’s oil and gas industry to help build a more international, more innovative and more resilient sector (Scottish Enterprise)

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https://www.scottish-enterprise.com/knowledge-hub/articles/publication/supporting-scotlands-oil-and-gas-industry

We’re committed to supporting Scotland’s oil and gas industry to help build a more international, more innovative and more resilient sector

Decommissioning Action Plan

Decommissioning opportunities are set to grow as part of the natural lifecycle of oil and gas projects, our action plan will help establish Scotland as a global centre of excellence.

Oil and gas decommissioning opportunities in ScotlandTo remain at the forefront of the oil and gas industry, the sector in Scotland has to be ready to make the most of the new opportunities when they appear.

Read our action plan

Our action plan outlines how we’re planning to help Scotland’s oil and gas sector make the most of decommissioning opportunities at home and abroad.

Read the report (PDF, 2MB)

One such area is decommissioning. In fact, more than 100 companies in Scotland have already been involved in significant decommissioning opportunities in the UK continental shelf (UKCS).

Those opportunities are set to grow over the next few years as part of the natural lifecycle of oil and gas operations.

It’s currently estimated that decommissioning activity in Scotland over the next 10 years could be valued at between £8.3 billion and £11.3 billion – supporting peak employment of 16,925 to 22,775 jobs.

An international centre of excellence for decommissioning

Working with our colleagues at Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), we’re determined to help Scotland become a centre of excellence for decommissioning.

We’re committed to:

  • Improving the information available to the supply chain, operators and other stakeholders to support decommissioning activity
  • Promote and developing decommissioning knowledge and capabilities of Scottish-based supply chain companies
  • Supporting the development and deployment of technology and innovation contributing to cost-effective solutions
  • Encouraging development of appropriate port and onshore yard infrastructure
  • Developing skills and training to achieve a flexible, safe and efficient workforce recognised for competency across the breadth of decommissioning activities
  • Identifying and developing opportunities for international trade and potential inward investment

Our Decommissioning Action Plan

To help achieve our ambition for decommissioning in Scotland we have developed an action plan to summarise our approach and outline the steps we plan to take.

Our action plan has been designed to support the Decommissioning Strategy published by the Oil & Gas Authority in 2016.

Read the Oil & Gas Authority Decommissioning Strategy– This opens in a new window

It is forecast that there will be over 150 decommissioning projects in the UKCS by 2025, which means:

  • 780 pipelines to be decommissioned, equalling 7130 kilometres
  • 894,480 total tonnage to be brought onshore

Decommissioning success in Scotland: Xodus

Xodus decommissioning project

Xodus, headquartered in Aberdeen, provides engineering and advisory support to clients in the oil and gas, renewables and utilities industries worldwide.

Xodus has completed over 80 decommissioning projects including:

  • Comparative assessment studies
  • Review of decommissioning concepts
  • Qualitative and quantitative decommissioning studies
  • Technical feasibility studies
  • Pipeline cleaning strategies
  • Determining cost and schedule estimates
  • Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA)
  • Supporting environmental studies
  • Decommissioning programmes
  • Independent Review Consultancy (IRC) services

Our decommissioning objectives

Our action plan highlights six key objectives as we support the development of decommissioning capabilities in Scotland:

  • Information and stakeholders – improve the information available to the supply chain, operators and other stakeholders to support decommissioning activity
  • Supply chain capability – promote and develop decommissioning knowledge and capabilities of Scottish-based supply chain companies
  • Technology and innovation – support development and deployment of technology and innovation contributing to cost-effective solutions
  • Competitive infrastructure – encourage development of appropriate port and onshore yard infrastructure
  • Skills and training – develop skills and training to achieve a flexible, safe and efficient workforce recognised for competency across the breadth of decommissioning activities
  • International opportunities – identify and develop opportunities for international trade and potential inward investment

Decommissioning success in Scotland: Bibby Offshore

Bibby Offshore, headquartered in Aberdeen, provides project management, engineering, subsea construction and inspection, repair and maintenance services to the oil and gas subsea sector.

Bibby Offshore worker

Decommissioning has been a key area of focus for Bibby Offshore for many years and it has built up a strong track record supporting clients, globally.

One example was a contract award from Endeavour International Corporation for the Renee and Rubie decommissioning project in 2015. Using their ROVSV, Bibby completed a side scan sonar survey, sub-bottom profiling, pipeline and mattress surveys.

The recovery phase involved subsea preparation works to ensure the safe and efficient recovery of the production manifold, cross-over structure, 2.5 kilometres of rigid flowlines, control umbilicals, concrete mattresses and general debris.

All materials were offloaded at Peterhead Harbour for recycling and disposal safely and responsibly with minimal environmental impact.


Achieving our decommissioning objectives

We’ve developed a number of actions to achieve our objectives in decommissioning.

Information and stakeholders

  • Develop an economic model to track decommissioning costs and enable analysis of the potential economic value of the market to Scotland over the long term
  • Benchmark decommissioning activities by companies in Scotland to determine baseline and establish appropriate measures to track progress
  • Develop key facts to facilitate a common understanding of the level of Scottish activity and value of decommissioning to Scotland and share/discuss with stakeholders (eg Scottish Government, local authorities, trade unions

Supply chain capability

  • Provide guidance and assist companies to access the Enterprise Agencies support in areas such as operational efficiency, stimulating innovation and R&D, strengthening leadership, developing people, entry to international markets and leverage on investment
  • Develop and publish a Scottish capability statement highlighting decommissioning strengths
  • Develop a decommissioning support programme to provide expert advice to 50 companies between 2017-2019 to support decommissioning and creation of collaborative approaches to assist Scottish-based SMEs offer a wider range of competitive combined services

Technology and innovation

  • Offer Decommissioning Innovation Review to four to six operators between 2017-2019 to introduce innovative thinking and concepts to project development and delivery for those developing decommissioning programmes
  • Increase awareness of and deliver innovation and R&D products to 150 companies between 2017-2019 to support decommissioning e.g. Open Innovation Channel, Seek & Solve, Collaborative R&D and SMART Scotland grants
  • Provide guidance concerning support and funding at EU, UK and Scottish levels for companies seeking to develop technology or innovative solutions

Competitive infrastructure

  • Influence industry to provide better forward market information to enable port operators to assess whether further investment in ports can be economically justified
  • Continue engagement with ports and onshore yards to encourage a strategic approach in the provision of appropriate facilities including consideration of potential investment to improve facilities
  • Work with ports and onshore yards to provide more detailed information on current/planned facilities and capability/capacity to handle specific type and size of oil and gas assets and wastes

Skills and training

  • Identify and engage employers and skills and learning providers to articulate key skill requirements for current and planned decommissioning activity
  • Engage with other industries to identify potential to adapt or modify their expertise to oil and gas decommissioning and promote within the industry
  • Develop decommissioning work programme and build a Labour Market Insight Model (LMIM), to capture scale, duration and technology and skill requirements for successful deployment

International opportunities

  • Explore opportunities for alliances with heavy lift vessel operators and/or potential investment within Scotland
  • Publish a capability statement for international markets highlighting Scotland’s knowledge, experience and strengths and inward investment opportunities
  • Identify projects in key overseas locations and potential opportunities for supply chain companies in Scotland
  • Establish relationships with overseas decommissioning regulators and operators and promote Scottish supply chain companies
  • Facilitate trade missions to and from Scotland for international organisations involved in decommissioning and explore inward investment and partnership opportunities

Decommissioning opportunities for your company

Are you ready to find opportunities in decommissioning opportunities for your supply chain company?

We’ll be delighted to help you make the most of the growing opportunities at home and abroad.

Get in touch

Read our Decommissioning Action Plan (PDF, 2MB)

 

 


If you work in the offshore in the  Oil& Gas Industry  or in the  Oil & Gas Decommissioning  or supply chain sector

Get Protected! Get Active! Get Organised!

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Unite is the largest trade union in for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS

Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union

today!

http://www.unitetheunion.org/gr

 

 

‘Unfair’ offshore job loss claims double, says CAB Aberdeen

logo-cab-scotland

‘Unfair’ offshore job loss claims double, says CAB Aberdeen

23 December 2016
Offshore installation

The number of people contacting Aberdeen’s Citizens Advice Bureau claiming unfair redundancy from the oil and gas industry has doubled in a year, BBC Scotland has learned.

The charity said it had been advising hundreds of former workers in the sector over the past 12 months.

Some have managed to successfully challenge their former employers, CAB Aberdeen said.

An incorrect selection process has been one area used for challenges.

‘Talking favouritism’

Zara Strange, the CAB manager in Aberdeen, told BBC Scotland: “It’s not the fact that redundancies are required, I mean we all know that, it’s just the way people are being selected.

“We have people who we will challenge on their behalf.

“Invariably we will win that case because people are being unfairly selected.

“Or people who should have been included in the pool of people have been missed out, so we’re really talking about favouritism in that aspect.”

 

http://www.cas.org.uk/bureaux/aberdeen-citizens-advice-bureau


 

The CAB will often advise employees to join a Trade Union and get organised in their place of work as Trade Unions are in the workplace 24 /7, if you are asking the CAB for advice at work it`s often too late for assistance.


Offshore Trade Unions 

What is a trade union? An organisation of workers in the workplace created to protect and advance the interests of its members by negotiating agreements with employers on pay and conditions of work.

Every employee who works offshore has a statutory right to join Unite or any trade union of their choice (However the Union of your choice may not be recognised gfor collective bargaining)

Offshore Union Recognition (Collective bargaining)

http://www.thompsons.law.co.uk/ltext/statutory-right-to-union-recognition.htm

Offshore employers often mislead their employees with a play on words “We do not recognise Unions” this does not mean that you can`t join a trade union and in a few occasions it has  even  been conveyed to our members  where we are recognised for collective bargaining that a member of the management team have said  they do not are  recognise unions .(If in doubt contact Unite the Union Aberdeen, 42-44 King Street, Aberdeen  AB24  5TJ  Tel: 01224 645 271  e mail:  aberdeenstaff@unitetheunion.org)

  • You  have a statutory right to join a trade union
  •  You have the statutory right to have your employer recognise the Union for collective bargaining and trade union recognition (# criteria applies in UK Employment Law)

# https://www.gov.uk/trade-union-recognition-employers/overview

# http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/4/8/Trade-Union-Representation-in-the-Workplace-accessible-version.pdf

download-1-acas


Ask Acas – Trade Union Recognition What is Acas?

Acas is an independent public body which seeks to: • prevent or resolve disputes between employers and their workforces • settle complaints about employees’ rights • provide impartial information and advice • encourage people to work together effectively.

What is the Acas role in trade union recognition? Acas can: • give impartial and confidential information and advice on trade union recognition • help resolve disputes over trade union recognition by voluntary means • help resolve disputes when a union makes a claim for statutory trade union recognition • assist with membership checks and ballots to help resolve trade union recognition issues • assist employers and trade unions to draw up recognition and procedural agreements and work together to solve problems.

What is trade union recognition?

A trade union is “recognised” by an employer when it negotiates agreements with employers on pay and other terms and conditions of employment on behalf of a group of workers, defined as the ‘bargaining unit’.

This process is known as ‘collective bargaining’. A trade union may seek recognition in an organisation by voluntary or statutory means.

Voluntary trade union recognition When a union uses voluntary means to get recognition, it will contact the employer without using any legal procedures. Acas can help if both parties agree.


download-cac

Statutory trade union recognition

 

Where do unions apply? • An independent trade union may make an application to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) for recognition in organisations that employ at least 21 workers.

The CAC is a permanent independent body with statutory powers. • It makes legally binding decisions on applications concerning the recognition and de-recognition of trade unions for collective bargaining purposes, where employers and trade unions cannot agree voluntarily.

What requirements have to be met before the CAC can consider an application from a trade union? • The trade union must first have made a formal application to the organisation concerned.

The trade union must show, either through a ballot, or through levels of membership, that it has the support of a majority of workers in the bargaining unit. Where the CAC makes a declaration that a trade union should be recognised for collective bargaining purposes, the parties must then agree a bargaining procedure. If they cannot agree a procedure, the CAC will.

The Acas role is separate from the statutory decision making role of the CAC and is entirely confidential. What is conciliation? It is a voluntary process of discussion and negotiation by which Acas helps parties in dispute to reach their own agreement. Acas conciliators have no power to impose, or even recommend, settlements.

 


When a Union is recognised it can  negotiate to put in  place the following

Workplace reps/Shop Stewards 

  • Union representatives appointed/elected by  union members in accordance with union rules  in workplaces under the provisions of the Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 known as TULR(C)ACT 1992

Rights

  •  Paid time off to carry out their duties appointed by TU members
  •  Paid time off for training workplaces to promote and enable
  • Protection against dismissal and  detriment

The Acas Code of practice on time  off for trade union duties and activities applies


Union learning Representatives

Union learning representatives appointed/elected by  union members in accordance with union rules  in  workplaces to promote and enable  training and learning where the union is recognised for collective bargaining  These rights are in TULR(C)ACT 1992 as amended in 2002

Rights

  •  Paid time off to carry out their duties appointed by TU members
  •  Paid time off for training workplaces to promote and enable
  • Protection against dismissal and  detriment

The Acas Code of practice on time off for trade union duties and activities applies


Information and Consultation  reps

The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2004/3426/made

Employees have the statutory right to put in place a written request where they can demonstrate over 15% of the workers want an ICE Committee under the 2004 regs

Information and Consultation reps

Rights

  •  Paid time off to carry out their duties appointed by  employees
  •  Paid time off for ICE training
  • Protection against dismissal and  detriment

join-unite

Get Protected! Get Active! Get Organised!

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Unite is the largest trade union in for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS

Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union

today!

http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/joinunite/

 

 

Unite offshore, wish all our members a Merry Christmas & a Safe and Prosperous 2017

Unite offshore

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On behalf of the Unite offshore team, elected workplace shop stewards, regional officers, organisers and unite staff.

 We would like to wish all our members and sister trade union members working in the UKCS  Oil & Gas sector a  peaceful Christmas and prosperous and safe New Year.

 


 

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Unite is the largest trade union in for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS

Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union

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http://www.unitetheunion.org/growing-our-union/joinunite/

 

 

Unite offshore members give notice of North Sea Oil dispute

 

pay-dispute

 

Unite Scotland Press Release   

For immediate release: Wednesday 21 December

 

Unite offshore members give notice of oil dispute

 

Members of Scotland’s biggest offshore trade union have gone into official dispute with employers, in a move that could lead to a vote on industrial action.

 

In a consultative ballot earlier this month, 85% of Unite members voted to reject a no-change pay and conditions offer from their employers, represented by the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA).

 

The proposal would have seen no increase in pay and no change to the conditions of members.

 

Unite has now given notice of an official dispute under the OCA agreement. This means that there is now six weeks for both sides to find a resolution. The union will also put procedures in place for a possible ballot on industrial action in the New Year.

 

Unite regional officer Tommy Campbell said: Sadly, we are being forced to give notice of an official dispute because our members believe they aren’t being listened to.
“The overwhelming result of the consultative ballot shows that the status quo is not an option.

 

“In the coming weeks, we will be looking to meet with the OCA employers to take this matter forward.”

 

Unite, along with the GMB union, are seeking a wage increase for offshore members, along with improved sick pay and paid travel time.

 

ENDS  

 

Notes to editors

 

For further information contact Unite Scotland regional officer Tommy Campbell on 07810 157920, or Unite Scotland press officer David Eyre on 07960 451631 / david.eyre@unitetheunion.org

 

For more information on the companies represented by the OCA, see their website http://www.ocainternet.com/

 

Twitter: @UniteScotland

Facebook: UniteScotland

Web: http://www.unitetheunion.org/scotland

 

Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with 150,000 members across the economy. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.


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Check out 10 good reasons why you should join Unite.

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