CWU persistence pays off over GXO pay disagreementTelecoms & Financial Services, GXO February 9 2024
A line has been drawn under a festering disagreement over GXO’s application of its 2023 pay award to ex-BT Supply Chain drivers – with decisive action now underway to ensure that a review of every case will be made where requested.
The breakthrough follows management’s concession that errors were not just made with regards to the application of pay and pension protection – which left many members hundreds of pounds in deficit, and back pay of the pay and pension resulting in pension contributions not being paid – but that the withdrawal without notice of a special bonus that had been introduced by BT to stem a full blown staff exodus resulting from Brexit and the pandemic had wrongly disadvantaged some.
All these issues have been doggedly pursued by the CWU since June last year when hundreds of members alerted the union that their 2023 pay rise and backpayments bore scant relation to the CWU-brokered settlement they had overwhelmingly accepted at the start of that month.
But even after the company’s belated agreement last October to revisit the calculations on which individuals’ pay awards were based led to hundreds receiving substantial backpayments in November – resolving the issue for many – many members were convinced that some further miscalculations had gone undetected.
As such, a disagreement was escalated to senior management just before Christmas covering the discrepancies and seeking a thorough review of the situation.
Members have now received the welcome news that, following further investigations, GXO has confirmed that the union’s suspicion that there had been multiple errors with pension contributions for those in receipt of P&PP who had received back pay was correct – despite the company’s initial insistence that only one employee was affected. These underpayments are now in the process of being resolved.
Simultaneously, the company and the union issued a detailed joint statement in which the company finally provided absolute clarity on how it had attempted to go about addressing anomalies in how individual drivers had been impacted by the withdrawal of the so-called Driver Transport Retention Bonus (TRB).
“The CWU and GXO agree that the key outcome achieved in the pay deal was the fairness and equality created by having clear base salary points for each role; Van Driver, Class 1 and Class 2 pay rates. These replaced the previous salary disparities which meant that individuals doing the same role may historically have been on significant different base salaries,” reads the joint statement.
“GXO explained how the compensation payments made to some drivers in November 2023 were calculated to ensure no-one had suffered a detriment as a result of the removal of the TRM and non-application of the three month notice period. It was discussed that a number of drivers had received significant pay increases, and as such did not receive a compensation payment as they had benefitted from the application of the deal on 1st April 2023. However, in some cases, when the new base salary was not greater than the old base salary and TRB value combined, GXO agreed to provide a compensation payment for the difference, and these were the payments GXO made to some drivers in November 2023.”
CWU national officer Tracey Fussey told CWU News: “The CWU agrees with the fairness of this approach in principle. However, we’ve asked GXO to review individual cases should any driver wish to query their personal circumstances, or does not believe the compensation was applied as per the above principles.
“I’m pleased to say that GXO has agreed to this request – and as such we’ve agreed with management a mechanism under which any member who does not believe the calculation or compensation has been applied correctly can seek an individual review of their case which will be conducted with full CWU oversight.”
Commenting on the fact that that the hoped-for final resolution of problems relating to the 2023 pay settlement comes just as the union is gearing up for negotiations with GXO on the 2024 pay round, Tracey concludes: “Clearly the fact that it has taken nearly six months to resolve problems with the 2023 pay deal that we flagged up to management in early July last year is deeply regrettable – not least because it has soured what was actually a very positive outcome to our first set of major negotiations with GXO.
“I’d like to hope, however, that some important lessons have been learned by the company about the importance of first-time-round accuracy in the application of any subsequent agreements – particularly where related to TUPE Ts&Cs – and that, crucially, we never end up in this situation again.”
See more information in GXO Logistics UK Ltd Members’ Bulletin No.06/2024