Archive for March, 2015

Co-op Pay Offer: Too Good to be True?

March 16, 2015 3 comments

“Usdaw negotiates an 8.5% pay increase for 60,000 Co-op retail staff” proudy said the press release of March 10th on the Usdaw website. In a period of low or no pay rises for many workers, such a significant rise, from £6.73 an hour to £7.30 on basic pay (an extra £1,200 a year for a full time worker), is something that many Co-op workers and reps will welcome.

Even with the pay rise, basic pay rates will be less than the ‘living wage’ set by academics at Loughborough University, and which ADM agreed in 2013 should be basis from which our pay claims should start, let alone the £10 an hour unanimously supported at the 2014 Trades Unions Congress.

Yet the Usdaw website also says of the deal “The package includes proposals to simplify existing reward practices, improve consistency and better align the Co-op to market practices among major food retailers.” What this cryptic language actually means is that the Co-op are taking away current terms which mean that sick pay is paid from day one of absence, rather than after 3 days off in other retailers. It also means that bank holidays are now to be treated as normal working days.

Whilst the sick pay changes affect only a minority of the staff, these are generally members with much longer service who, due to age, are statistically more likely to be more regularly off sick. Whilst the changes are being justified by saying 3 day waiting is now the supermarket standard, surely our negotiators should be trying to extend paid sick pay from day one rather than weakening it?

Some staff will understandably be grateful of a decent pay rise, but our terms and conditions should not be traded away so lightly by the union’s negotiators. Therefore the Activist recommends a no vote in the upcoming ballot.

Categories: Updates Tags: , , ,