British Gypsum Noticeboard

Latest GMB updates for members in British Gypsum

British Gypsum / St Gobain Joint Union Wage Claim 2020 / 21 Result

Date: 25/09/2020

Dear GMB member,

The consultative ballot on the offer of 2.5% pay rise has been concluded, the result is by a huge overwhelming majority to accept the offer of 2.5% from your employer.

I would like to thank all GMB members that participated in this ballot in what are difficult and very testing circumstances.

I have asked your employer to implement the wage increase as agreed ASAP, along with back pay owed, and have also asked for confirmation of a date for talks to start ref: bonus payments in December.

As ever we will keep you informed of developments.

Finally thank you for your continued membership, and to all GMB members to stay vigilant and safe regarding the virus.

Yours sincerely

Steve Kemp                                                                         

GMB National Officer         



Date: 07/09/2020

British Gypsum / St Gobain Joint Union Wage Claim 2020/21 Update


Dear member,

Firstly, both national officers and your local representatives hope that you and your family’s are safe and well in these continuing difficult times.

We write to inform you that we attended a meeting with representatives from your employer on 2 September to discuss your wage claim for 2020/ 21. These talks arose due to the recent consultative ballot held in response to the pay freeze that your employer was set to possibly implement.

As a result of holding further talks we are pleased to announce that your employer has offered a 2.5% increase on all contractual elements, to be backdated to April 1st 2020.

This represents currently therefore an above increase inflation pay rise which is above both CPI and RPI inflation figures, which should ensure - in what are very unpredictable and volatile economic circumstances – that member’s basic wages are secure hopefully for the foreseeable future.

Your National officer and local plant reps are recommending - very strongly - that given the economic circumstances as a result of COVID 19 that members accept the offer and vote YES in the consultative ballot.

We asked about the situation regarding bonus payments. Your employer has given a commitment to review these in December, and therefore we can give you a categorical assurance that this issue will be acted on in December, whatever the economic circumstances are.

The ballot commences Monday 7th September 2020 and closes noon, Friday 25th September 2020.




Date: 06/08/2020

British Gypsum/St Gobain Wage Claim 2020/2021


Dear member,

Firstly, we hope you and your families are safe and well.

As a short update your employer has notified us that they are likely to resume wage talks sometime in September, where hopefully negotiations can take place.

We have insisted that these talks should take place as soon as possible preferably at the beginning of September and at the very latest mid-September.

When a date has been sent to us from your employer we will contact you.

On the issue of the recent consultative ballot, a huge overwhelming majority of members who participated in the ballot voted – not unsurprisingly - to reject the pay freeze implemented by your employer. Indeed, only four people decided to vote against, which was two from each trade union.

Thanks to all that participated in the ballot.

Yours sincerely

Steve Kemp

GMB National Officer



Date: 20/07/2020

British Gypsum/St Gobain 2020/2021 Joint Union Wage Claim Update

Dear GMB member,

Firstly, we hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe and well in these uncertain and difficult times.

We write as a consequence of a statement to which your employer wrote on 6 July 2020. It states that the wage discussions which were proceeding before lockdown was announced have now been suspended for 2020 and will remain suspended until the ' crisis ' has ended. Furthermore, also contained in the statement from your employer was that bonus payments for members along with other employees would also be suspended for the remainder of 2020.

To say this is a disappointment is an understatement and this was stated to your employer verbally at a meeting held recently.

After a meeting with local reps it has been agreed to consult with members if they accept and agree to the decision by their employer to - in effect – implement a pay freeze throughout 2020.

Therefore, your reps decided to instigate a consultative ballot asking your thoughts on this.

We urge all members to participate in this ballot, which will be distributed to you, and to vote no, which will send the message to your employer that to suspend both wage discussions and bonus payments is not acceptable.

This ballot will run for a few weeks and if it is the case that members do not accept your employer’s decision to suspend talks on wage discussions then we will seek urgent talks with your employer to resolve this issue ASAP.

Yours sincerely

Steve Kemp

GMB National Officer 




Date: 10/07/2020

Mental Health Charter ​

Dear GMB member,

British Gypsum and the Trade Unions have worked together to successfully implement new Safe Operating Procedures enabling the successful re-start of our mining, manufacturing and logistics across the UK. We are now scaling up our operations to support the construction industry, provide protection for our customers and colleagues livelihoods, and play a vital part in the recovery of the UK economy.

This period of colleagues being furloughed is something that we never envisaged would happen, and for some of our workforce, this may have presented health challenges.  As we return to work, mental health and wellbeing and the need to look after people who may be experiencing challenges, is of paramount importance for British Gypsum and GMB Trade Union. 

We have agreed a five-point charter that outlines our commitment to offer support to anyone who might need it, encouraging an open and inclusive workspace for us all.

  1. We each have a responsibility for ourselves, each other, and a commitment to our own wellbeing.
  2. It’s good to talk, if you have a problem speak up.
  3. We are here to listen without judgement.
  4. We will respect you, and what you share with strictest confidence.
  5. We will offer reassurance and identify sources of support for you.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Kemp

GMB National Officer 



Date: 12/06/20


I write on behalf of GMB trade union who is recognised with British Gypsum / St Gobain in response to a statement that you put out - we assume - to the workforce.

Some of the content contained in the statement came as a surprise, given that at a conference call meeting to which we both attended, held previously with senior management from the company ( only 24 hours earlier ) absolutely nothing was stated specifically in relation to as you put it ' finding alternative options '. You then as an example put these so called options namely job share, reduced working hours and voluntary redundancy.

Regarding the paragraph containing your ' alternative options. ' This has caused a great deal of concern and indeed anger, culminating now in GMB reps stating that much of the workplace, already worried about their future employment before your statement coming out, now having read it has now made it even worse.

I ask that you look and take note of what is contained in the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (TULRCA) and in particular section 188 which states what a company must do in relation to “adequate information ‘’ for statutory collective information.

At the present time I have no information on how many jobs could / will be lost, where the job losses are potentially going to be, and importantly no consultation has taken place with regards to how these job losses are going to be met, and crucially how with joint proper consultation with the trade unions that job losses can be avoided. Also no information on what job share will ultimately mean and a reduction in working hours also remains unanswered and although in your statement you allude to consulting closely with the trade unions this should be done when you have a clearer picture of what is going to be presented to the workforce.

The most important point however is that I wish to raise is that we have been informed that British Gypsum / St Gobain are not in a position as yet to clarify this, then why given that this information has not yet been decided, is yourself as the CEO of the company then proceeding with what you see as options, without any detailed discussion on how this issue is going to ultimately play out?

Job losses and the threat of job losses has a profound impact on livelihoods.

Because of your statement this has prompted GMB members to ask further questions but - significantly – seemingly with no answers.

GMB wish to make it clear that we understand the current economic situation confronting the UK, and indeed the world, which is having an impact on companies throughout. The need to work together in these unprecedented times is going to be crucial, and so I ask that if future announcements is to be communicated to the workforce, then in turn they are communicated better than the one dated 10 June, with more sensitivity given the position GMB members are facing at the moment, and more information contained therein.

Finally you ask will there be a recession? My understanding is that the chancellor four weeks ago formally announced we were in one, little wonder when the UK economy shrunk by an all-time record of 20% in April!

Yours sincerely

Steve Kemp

GMB National Officer





Date: 25/03/2020


British Gypsum Current Situation


You will no doubt be aware of your employer making the decision to re-open plants around the UK.

This decision was made as stated by your employer on advice taken by the Government.

Your employer discussed this with myself and Scott  late this afternoon and prior to any statement put out.

We want to make it clear that we stated clearly to your employer of the need to - in essence - police in particular social distancing, to make sure that canteens and other places where people are likely to gather are monitored and make sure that it stops.

We expect sites to be cleaned spotlessly and consistently. They gave us an assurance that they will undertake this fully.

We all in this unprecedented and difficult time need to work together, to make sure that social distancing takes place at all times because this will save lives, it is as stark as that.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Kemp


GMB National Officer


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