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More pay talks to stop industrial action ballot by workers at Rolls-Royce

today29 August 2022 3

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Workers at Rolls-Royce are drawing up plans to issue ballots for industrial action if forthcoming pay talks fail. The move follows the rejection of a 6.5% basic pay increase by three of the four union bargaining units across the company – only the staff national bargaining group accepted the offer.

The Unite union has refused to comment on the situation since the pay offer ballot results were announced on August 18 but a memo to union members this week outlines the next steps. It says that “the company contacted the trade union to set up a meeting next week to discuss the rejected offer and to try to find a resolution to the dispute, we have stressed the importance of progressing without any further dither and delay .

“However, in the last few days the three bargaining groups that rejected the company offer have been discussing their next steps, including preparations for any industrial action ballots that may be required should we fail to reach agreement.

“We have heard the feedback loud and clear and whilst the bargaining groups will continue with their preparation, we all hope that we can find a solution next week.”

The most recent pay offer ballot was held between August 3 and August 17 and was for a 6.5% increase to all salaries and scales effective from March 1, 2022. This followed weeks of negotiations with the jet engine manufacturer. A previous one-off cash bonus of £2,000 and a 4% pay increase for Derby workers was rejected by the unions Unite and GMB at the end of June.

The results of the ballot, seen by Derbyshire Live, show that among the Derby Works Combine, 53% rejected the offer; the Works Combine saw a 92% rejections and Controls-Solihull returned a 68% rejection. The Staff National Bargaining Group registered a 73% acceptance.

Following the issue of the ballot results, a Rolls-Royce spokesman said: “We can confirm that the latest pay offer to our employees was accepted by the majority of our UK staff colleagues – around 5,000 – who will receive a 6.5% base pay increase, backdated to March 1, 2022.

“Regrettably, other colleagues rejected this offer and we will now continue discussions with the trade union on this specific group. This is a disappointing outcome after working with trade union leaders within Rolls-Royce and at a national level to put together what we believe is a fair and competitive offer considering the ongoing external pressures on the organisation.”

The revised pay offer balloted on in August was made to around 11,000 staff and works employees who are represented by the union.

In the meantime, a one-off £2,000 has been paid to an additional 3,000 non-union represented staff and junior managers. Unrepresented workers will also get a 1.5% pay increase, which combined with the previous pay rise of 2.5% in March takes them to a total of 4% for 2022, backdated to March 2022. Rolls-Royce has approximately 20,000 UK employees in total.

Unite did not comment further on the possibility of industrial action,

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