RMT & UNITE JOINT SHOP STEWARDS COMMITTEE
20th January 2017
To: All UNITE and RMT Offshore Caterers (COTA Grades A to E)
Dear Brothers and Sisters
COTA Pay Offer 2016/17 (Grades A to E)
Further to the final meeting for this year’s negotiations 30/11/16 and now having received written confirmation of COTA’s final position we write to provide the following details so you have a clear understanding of the difficulty faced by the negotiating committee this year.
Please take the time to read below the original pay claim from the unions and also the original offer from COTA and we have clarified in brackets how certain points would have effected your terms and conditions. Never before during any COTA negotiations have we had to defend such a savage attack to your terms and conditions as you will see from COTA first offer. As you will see there was also an outstanding issue on the interpretation of when the newly introduced 3 hour payment for attending training for secondary emergency duties, out with normal working hours. COTA position being this did not apply if the training was during a muster drill and the unions stating it did.
At the end of the meeting 30/11/17 COTA proposed a pay freeze for 2016/17 but would not change their interpretation that the emergency training payment did not apply if training was during a muster even when the employee was off duty. However on 9/1/17 COTA conceded this point and confirmed that their final position was a pay freeze with no changes to the COTA agreement apart from Emergency Training Offshore which would from 1/9/16 if the offer was accepted be paid for emergency training taking place including during a muster when off shift. To be absolutely clear it is training only that is payable not simply attending a muster or simply donning PPE. 2
The committee has given full consideration as to whether to provide a recommendation to this pay offer but it was felt to gain the clearest views of the membership that there would be no recommendation given and that the members would need to take their own view on whether to accept or reject the offer.
We strongly recommend that every single member participates in this year’s wage ballot taking place from the 13th to 17th of February.
Lines will be open all day between 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Thursday and 9.00am to 3.00pm on Friday. To register your vote phone one of the following mobile numbers:
Please encourage all union members on your unit to cast their vote. By participating not only do you decide whether the offer is accepted or rejected it also allows both Unions to confirm your contact and employment details are fully up to date. Should this offer be rejected these details are vital if subsequently there is a ballot for industrial action in pursuit of an improved offer.
Mr Wullie Wallace Mr Jake Molloy
Regional Industrial Organiser Regional Organiser
Unite the Union RMT 3
COTA Wage Negotiations 2016/17 – Original Pay Claim and Offer
Union’s original pay claim was as follows:
1. A reasonable pay rise particularly given the withdrawal of the 2015/16 basic rate pay rise which would have been worth 2% (RPI 1% + 1% above).
2. Introduction of nightshift allowance.
3. Increase in travel allowance.
4. Increase the minimum COTA sick pay scheme to have one payment table across all companies. This has minimal financial cost as the vast majority of COTA graded employees already receive well in excess of what is proposed. At present Aramark, ESS, Sodexo and any employee TUPE transferred from them have very similar payments.
5. Increase by 0.5% on each of the matched pension contribution levels.
6. Increase in mileage allowance to 25p.
7. Increase of meal allowances.
8. Increase in life assurance to £85,000.
9. Introduce a compensatory payment to allow for the difference between existing holiday pay (part of basic annual salary) and the latest court ruling stating holiday pay should be based on average earnings not basic earnings alone.
10. Incorporate existing individual Company Core Crew and Relief agreements into COTA agreement.
11. Rewording of IN-TRANSIT DELAY PAYMENT to cover any reason for delay as discussed and submitted* prior to the last negotiations. *draft wording within last pay claim “27 IN TRANSIT PAYMENT If an employee is delayed overnight whilst proceeding onshore to their normal departure point at the end of the normal work rota a payment of 8 hours at the offshore delay rate as set out in Appendix I & II will apply”.
Discussions are also required to address payment for attending training for secondary emergency duties, out with normal working hours to have minimum payment of 3 hours at overtime rate. 4
COTA’s opening offer was as follows:
No increase to the basic salary
Section 15 – Travel Allowance: reduce by 25%
Section 21 – Paternity Leave: remove from the agreement and have it as part of the overall company policies (this would still apply but less people may apply as it is would not have been ready visible)
Section 25 – Accommodation for late arrivals: add to this section that anyone who does not check in for accommodation booked for them will have monies deducted from their final pay for the cost of this
Section 26 – Crew Change Delay: remove the delay payment completely (this payment introduced two years ago and raised to £75 last year)
Section 27 – In Transit Payment: remove in transit payment completely (this has been in place for years but was amended last year to cover overnight delays even if not on the Shetland Islands)
Section 28 – Sick Pay: align to current COTA terms across COTA (huge reduction to most staff with Aramark, ESS, Sodexo and many who TUPE transferred to Entier and Trinity. Could also lead to going back to work unwell or not reporting accidents)
Section 29 – Ill Health Capability: extend the term of absence from 6 months to 12 months continuous absence to qualify for ill health capability dismissal and amend the amount of the payment (force members incapable of working to suffer for a further 6 months before being eligible for consideration and then almost halving of payment)
Section 31 – Redundancy payment: reduce the payment from £800 to statutory redundancy pay of £479 for each week’s pay (this would result in payments due for redundancy and medical retirement being almost halved from the current amount)
Sections 34 and 36 – Training & Medicals: include in these sections that if the employee resigns / is dismissed, he / she will have the cost for training / medicals attended deducted from their final pay
The above details on this page was COTA’s opening offer but after lengthy negotiations their final offer was a pay freeze with no changes to the COTA agreement apart from Emergency Training Offshore which would from 1/9/16 if the offer was accepted be paid for emergency training taking place including during a muster when off shift.
If you are not already a member of Unite or the RMT trade unions under the COTA agreement grades A-E offshore you will not have a say in any ballot on your pay
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