Capita TVL pay dispute heads into mediation

Postal, Capita

CWU and company agree formal process with independent mediator following ACAS talks…  

Union and management leaders will enter written pay submissions during August and meet again in early September in the next steps aimed at resolving the ongoing pay dispute affecting hundreds of TV licensing workers.

Last Friday, assistant secretary Andy Furey and his senior team of CWU negotiators met with their Capita TVL counterparts for several hours with independent arbitration service ACAS, but, according to the joint statement released yesterday, ‘despite everyone’s best endeavours to make progress, this has not been possible at this stage and the gap between the parties remains significant.’

Commenting further on the session, Andy said: “Our thanks of course to ACAS for their assistance and we did have some useful discussions with Capita TVL. But it was disappointing that the managers in the room from the company had not been empowered to make an increased pay offer.”

Capita TVL also rejected the union’s proposal to apply the Real Living Wage increase immediately following the September 2022 announcement of the recommendations from the Living Wage Foundation rather than waiting until April 2023.  Andy said: “This is essential to those on the lowest pay and it would be appalling if Capita was not prepared to make this small move to assist those who will need the extra money the most, especially with fuel bills due to rise significantly again this Autumn.”

Given the continuing significant gap between the respective positions, the decision to enter formal mediation will mean that an independent and professional mediator will be appointed. This person’s role will be to assist and to lead in seeking to reach a mutually-agreed consensus. The formal mediation session is timetabled for Tuesday 6th September, but in the period between now and the end of August, both the CWU and Capita TVL are required to enter their formal positional submissions in writing.

Andy describes the agreed negotiating pathway as “an important step in the right direction. It is a good thing that both sides are agreed that there is more talking to be done on pay.

“Ultimately, the 4 per cent that the company has put on the table needs to be substantially increased in order for a settlement to be reached. It’s not acceptable that pay should fall so far behind current inflation levels – that means a pay cut in real terms.

“We will enter a robust pay submission into this process and our hope will be that both ourselves and our Capita TVL counterparts will find ways of getting more money into our hard-working members’ pockets.  If this is not possible, then a ballot for strike action will be our only option to secure a better deal.”