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Latest GMB update for members working at Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce Update September 2020

Date: 07/09/2020

 

 

1 Update

Yet again we have a lot of information to communicate, so apologies for the length of this newsletter. To access the appendix document referenced in this update please click here

Firstly, the Company have registered concerns as to the content and tone of our newsletters. We make no apology for them - they are factual. It seems we have some rather sensitive leaders who like to dictate but can’t take criticism, even if it is the truth.

The half year results have shown what dire straits we are in. We have always acknowledged how serious the situation is and why we have had to take some difficult decisions - there be many more to be taken over the coming months, possibly years.

The results show the Company have saved £350m. This should have been significantly more. We previously reported our dismay at paying the 2019 bonus which would have resulted in another £100m saving and their reluctance to maximise furlough across all categories of employees, which would have resulted in tens of millions more savings.

Sebastian Resch - Operations Director, Civil Aerospace and the main architect of the Company’s plans - made the comment that we need to ‘cut our cost structure by £1.3bn’. What will be interesting to see is how much ‘consolidation’ will take place concerning to the 87 Executive positions, many of whom who sit at home dictating their mandate at a cost of £42m per year.

Whilst we are on the subject of Company finances we note the announcement of our departing Chief Financial Officer, Mr Daintith, who has clearly decided it is time to jump ship (or perhaps more appropriately don the parachute to land in greener pastures) with the prospect of another golden hello, despite only being with our Company for just over three years. It says it all doesn’t it.

2 Furlough & Working from Home

We have registered our concerns that there has also been a serious lack of attention given to the mental health of those on long term furlough (who have the added financial pressure) and/or those working from home who may not have the appropriate facilities or environment.

We have requested on numerous occasions that the internal information around mental health and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) on Engine Room is made available on the external Rolls-Royce website. We are still awaiting confirmation that this has taken place, despite receiving assurances it would happen.

Another outstanding issue to be agreed is a monitor-and-review process on the fair and equitable application of rotation, not only for those on furlough but those working from home as well. We remain suspicious as to what plans the Company have for those roles that have proven can be effectively worked from home.

It seems there have been several discussions between managers and employees taking place at some sites concerning employee holidays and shutdowns. At a national level the only feedback given to date is they are ‘in discussions’ and they have still not reached any conclusions.

We have yet to enter discussions on reduced hours working/shorter working week beyond furlough Phase 3, which we believe is both inevitable and necessary, and will be needed in a number of areas for some considerable time to protect jobs and the future of the Company.

The Company communications from 14th August 2020 created the illusion they were willing to discuss a shorter working week at Barnoldswick. However, with last week’s announcement that they are planning to transfer most of the Barnoldswick Fan blade work to Singapore, it is clear that the discussions we had in August, were nothing more than a sham as they obviously knew they were planning further cuts.

3 Headcount Reductions

Sadly, in Phase 1 we have finished up with approximately 100 + compulsory redundancies. This is a moving picture with national pooling still taking place, with the main areas being Inchinnan and Barnoldswick.

However, let’s be honest, at Inchinnan MRO it was in fact 525 compulsories and please be aware that the Barnoldswick figure does not include any numbers as a result of the announcement on 26th August. Despite telling the site they were moving the work, they failed to inform the workforce the amount of jobs that are too be exported as a result.

We have been clear that the Company should always maximise voluntary severance in the first instance, so it is very disappointing that the Company-controlled VS Decline number currently stands at 65. 113 applications are pending, 92 of which are in Turbines. We have asked the Company for these declines to be monitored and reviewed on an on-going basis and we are awaiting further discussions on how we deal with Phase 2 VS applications and expression of interests.

We were recently informed that some engineering areas are once again trying to ramp up the use of managed services to fill the gaps left by the headcount reductions, knowing full well there are several hundred more reductions to come in Phase 2. It is totally unacceptable to outsource and export this work whilst the threat of compulsory redundancies is on the table. We have yet to finalise the control measures and review process related to Managed Services

4 Collective Agreements/MOUs

We are sure you are all aware we have been working as a temporary appointed National TU Group for a number of months now. It was agreed nationally it would be the responsibility of the Group to negotiate and formulate where required changes to some of our agreements whether they be temporary or permanent.

We have several agreements to formalise and sign; • Temporary COVID Redundancy Agreement (December 31st 2021) • Temporary Collective Agreement (covers temporary T&Cs changes implemented in relation to furlough phases, shift changes and pay deferment) • National Trade Union Constitution (required no later than end of September 2020) • Managed Services MOU • Package Principles Agreement (covers, Pay freeze 2021, Productivity/Efficiency, Core Workforce, New Starter Rates, etc) • National Redundancy Agreement (2022 onwards) • Pension Agreement (CNC).

We have addressed the following issues from our last newsletter; • The Ross Ceramics issue with voluntary and compulsory terms has been resolved • All VS and Compulsory leavers will receive their contractual weeks in lieu of notice paid • Rundown payments at Inchinnan as previously agreed • Ensured Company clarified its Share of Fund (SOFTVS) availability for those leaving in 2020 and taking their options next year • We requested and now have a pay slip descriptor for all the deductions/paybacks being applied so people can at least understand what they are even though they may not be correctly applied.

5 Strategic Review – Phase 2

We have always recognised situation the Company are in and have always been willing to ‘work together’ to find solutions going forward. But as you know yourselves, this has not always been possible.

From arguing to force a shutdown of facilities to make them safe while the leaders priority was communicating the virtues of working from home, to unilaterally giving notice of binning our agreements - and we have many more examples.

Every day for the last six months has been a dog fight with management and continues to be so, who believe they can do whatever they like, whilst disregarding the views of your representatives.

On the 26th August the Company afforded us ‘one whole hour’ with Sebastian Resch who presented extremely limited information on their plans (we do not believe these are just proposals). They deliberately evaded answering direct questions that were posed to them. Thirty minutes later they briefed the affected sites, however the briefing at Barnoldswick presented different information to that given to the national team! The following day the Company communicated its half year results and footprint consolidation plans to the city.

They presented only a few specific elements; • Closure of the Crosspointe facility in the US and consolidation of the discs and HP turbine blades into Washington and Derby (announced prior to the meeting) • Transition and consolidation of widebody engine assembly & test to Derby from SATU (Singapore) • Outsourcing and consolidating Fan blades from Barnoldswick to Singapore • Closure of Annesley Site and consolidation to Derby & Oberursel.

At no time did they provide the business case for these decisions nor any indication of the number employees impacted by these announcements creating further uncertainty and anxiety at these affected sites.

Sebastian Resch then went on to state the Company’s plans will be ongoing for the next 3 to 5 years’ under the following three pillars; • Consolidation of Footprint • Make/Buy (Outsourcing to Supply Chain) • Joint Ventures with 3rd parties (TUPE & Outsourcing).

At the meeting we stated that footprint consolidation proposals surely need to be consulted as a whole package. Be under no illusions their intention is to inflict death by a thousand cuts and we believe the Company have formulated their plans but are unwilling to share any of those details.

This might be RR’s interpretation of consultation and it was made very clear to us again that the Company have no intention to meaningfully consult. The reasons they gave for this is their lack of trust, their dislike of our factual responses and the direct tone of our newsletters.

To be clear, if these consultancy driven plans are implemented every civil site left in the UK will be affected, including those perceived as benefiting from these announcements. Sites will be assessed against a Company Productivity/Efficiency matrix. Some of you may remember the disastrous ‘blueprint’ (terms & Conditions) initiative a few years ago. Yes, it does still exist. We have not seen the modern version yet but it’s there waiting to be slapped on the table, with no doubt the threat of “it’s this or your work goes”!

We understand the current load issues and its relation to employee numbers, but we are now in a situation that the executive are executing their long term strategic plans. History and experience tells us that on numerous occasions they have got it badly wrong to the financial detriment to the Company and UK jobs.

We cannot just accept their plans and continue to be dictated to. We cannot just accept death by a thousand cuts, never knowing who is next and slicing people’s legs from under them, along with the simultaneous attack on people’s pensions (including the removal of Share of Fund).

It’s worth pointing out the ethical concerns relating to ‘double standards’ by the Company. The National TU Group maintain we had reached agreement to pay Share of Fund for those leaving on VR and CR as part of the Covid redundancy agreement (applicable to the end of 2021). However, the Company pension announcements have stated that they are not prepared to guarantee SoFTVs for anyone leaving in 2021/22. This is unacceptable and includes factories where closure or further reductions have been announced before the end of 2021 but won’t close or reduce until after 2021.

We informed the Company the two points above would form the terms of reference to a Failure to Agree (FTA). The Company proposed meetings to discuss, to try to avoid a further deterioration in relationships.

Yesterday we had a follow up meeting with Sebastian Resch to address our concerns regarding the lack of meaningful consultation. We had open discussions concerning the lack of trust and participation, but it was clear we have one common goal to ensure we have a Company in the future. With this foremost in our minds, we have agreed in good faith to pursue a more collaborative way forward to engage in the strategic review.

Clearly, we will not be able to communicate some of the information directly and may be subject to a non-disclosure agreement, but we do recognise we need to work at pace to turn ‘what ifs’ into firm and meaningful proposals. Be under no illusion - as we have said manty times - we will have difficult decisions to make to ensure we do have a company.

We will also shortly be reviewing the Consultation Workstream Framework to take account of the consequences of Phase 2 and all its connotations including package principles.

Yesterday after discussions with Joel Griffin (Head of Reward) to address our concerns regarding the removal of SoFTVs aligned to the redundancy agreement, he provided the following statement we can share with you;

“Over the coming weeks it is our intention to seek agreement from the Trustee to enable us to meet the commitments already made in respect of SoFTVs for employees impacted by VS and compulsory redundancy in 2020 and 2021. NB, The proposals made in respect of the closure to future accrual are all under consultation are all subject to ongoing discussion until such time as a final decision is made by the Company and agreement is reached with the Trustee on a Rule amendment.

You will appreciate that the terms of the SoFTV requires the agreement of the Company and the Trustee and there is a lot of focus on this aspect of the RRUKPF at the moment. The Trustee is scheduled to meeting on 16 and 17 September, including a dedicated session focussing on member retirement options. This would be an opportune time for us to raise the question as to whether or not the Trustee would support the delivery of SoFTVs during 2021 for members impacted by redundancy. I understand that the Trustee is considering the topic of retirement and transfer terms more broadly given the high number of members transferring out.” We will wait for the outcome of the discussions between the Company and the Trustees at the meeting on the 17th September.

6 Pensions

As we have consistently stated, we acknowledge the exceptional circumstances the Company is in. Therefore, to ensure and secure a Company for future generations irrespective of which pension arrangements members have, difficult decisions need to be considered.

We understand Defined Benefit (DB) members’ concerns with the intimidating communications and the dismissive responses put out by the Company as to what they are going to do and it is now time for us to respond.

We now have a consultation meeting between the Pensions CNC and the Company taking place on the 7th September 2020.

The Pensions CNC has a proven track record in its responsibility to members’ pensions and has always been pragmatic in dealing with problems, stretching back over the last two decades. Seventeen years ago there was a pension deficit of £1bn and we agreed to a reduction in benefits and increased individual contributions to maintain the DB schemes going forward. That scheme is now in surplus.

The TU, through the Pensions CNC battled to secure, protect and improve our pension schemes to the point in 2018 where we agreed to loan the Company £145m from the surplus to help with the Company finances. We could have easily said no but recognised the need to help the Company at that time.

We will help the Company - our Company – again. We will put our differences to one side to do the right thing and make another big decision in the acceptance of the ‘force majeure’ clause and agree to the closure of the DB scheme.

We recognise that the Pensions CNC are not the only stakeholders in this process. There are several important aspects that fall under the remit of the Trustees, for example the ongoing management of the scheme and the schedule of contributions (including any repayment that may become due from the £145m pensions holiday that was afforded to the Company in goodwill).

The Pensions CNC will table a number of DB considerations and a new Defined Contribution (DC) option to provide adequate reparation for DB members and improvement to the DC scheme. The Pensions CNC have not forgotten about those that are in the DC scheme who were given an assurance in 2018 that we would revisit the 15% (see Appendix 1).

It is also noteworthy that Joel Griffin (Director of Reward) has openly stated “We’re not comfortable continuing with a two-tier pension arrangement”. We completely agree - lets have just one. Let’s have some ethical values of purpose - one scheme from board member to worker. Let’s see what behaviours the Company executives bring to the table on this one!

We have said in several newsletters it’s how we deal with the situation that really matters and pensions will be no exception.

7 Health & Safety

Following our last newsletter where we spoke about site Covid audits, concerns have been raised to us about the Health and Safety provisions for those working from home for a prolonged period of time. We will register this with the Company, including risk assessments, provision of suitable equipment and the mental wellbeing of our members.

We remain concerned that as lockdown restrictions are eased, concentration can lapse along with adherence to social distancing. Compliance to all safety measures put in place must be observed.

We end all our newsletters with the same two sentences.

We thank you for you continued support.

Remember, the only source of truth is through these newsletters.

Stay strong and remember the only source of fact and truth is via these newsletters.

Thank you for your continued support.

 

 

 

 

Date: 10/08/2020

Rolls Royce Update August 2020

 

 

1 Update

Yet again we have a lot of information to communicate, so apologies for the length of this newsletter. To access the appendices documents referenced in this update please click here

Rolls-Royce has confirmed it intends to repay the Scottish government, after using public money for development of the MRO workforce at Inchinnan, equating to nearly £1.6 million pounds, having now decided to close that part of the facility in favour of MRO bases around the world. The question remains how much and how long it will take RR to do the right thing and pay back the UK government?

Whilst still on the subject of money, we are keen to understand Mr Holt’s perspective on 1500 of our furloughed colleagues who were paid incorrectly – many of whom also left the Company.

We immediately raised the issue with the Company, and they are attempting to rectify the errors as well as communicating with the affected individuals. This once again demonstrates that the Company does not have the infrastructure to deliver on its self-imposed timescales, we have told them time and again that they are unreasonable and likely to fail, only to be told repeatedly by the Company that they can deliver.

 

2. Peoples Champion

As part of recent Company communications, we had the first public showing of the Company’s ‘People Champions’ - appointed by the board, from the board. Notwithstanding our bewilderment about what they actually do, where have they been for last five months?

For your information, Irene Dorner has been a non-executive director of Rolls-Royce since July 2015. In 2017 she was given the additional responsibility of presenting ‘the voice of the worker’ in the boardroom and receives an additional £15,000 for this role.

She is a qualified barrister and has spent most of her career with HSBC, finishing as CEO and President of HSBC in the United States before she retired in 2014. She holds a number of board positions at other companies including most interestingly the chair of ‘Control Risks’.

Control Risks are a secretive private UK company providing “Political and Security Risk Investigation Services”. They were hired by Crossrail in 2013 to challenge Unite’s campaign to reinstate a Senior Steward who was targeted by Crossrail for Trade Union activities and defending the health and safety rights of union members.

In summary, Rolls-Royce is employing someone who is the chairperson of a business known to be involved in anti-Union activities, in the position of a ‘Peoples Champion’.

 

3. Furlough Phase 3

The terms of Phase 3 and associated Q&A’s are identified in Appendix 1, but we draw your attention to the following points relevant to Civil Employees:

• Shift Changes – a standard 4 weeks’ notice/protection period

• The option of ‘wind down’ is suspended until 2022

We previously reported the utilisation of furlough has been extremely poor, not only in failing to maximise the support to prevent job losses (the whole purpose of the scheme) but also doesn’t demonstrate a fair and equal impact across management, staff and works.

In some cases, there has also been a serious lack of rotation, which has had a huge impact on some colleagues in terms of mental health and financial hardship. We are still waiting for the Company to agree a monitor-and-review process on a fair and equitable application of furlough, which has been a principle for the TU from the start, but alas missing from Company communications.

The Company seem to be more concerned about working from home following the latest announcement to some within Civil from Sarah Armstrong. We have fundamental concerns about this as it was not discussed with the national TU. We will seek to engage with the company and provide more details in our next newsletter.

 

4. Headcount Reductions

The Company are now in the ridiculous situation where they could be placing around 300 people at high risk of compulsory redundancy, whilst we still have around 150 volunteers who wish to leave the business who have either been rejected or are still waiting to receive an offer of acceptance or rejection. Again, this is as a result of the Company working to its own self-imposed and unachievable timescales.

Once again we need to inform you of the HR1/S.188 debacle. Despite it being a legal requirement, some site representatives never actually received the information for their site. Even more ludicrous is the fact that some people named on the legal documentation had actually left the business the day before it was issued. Right first time?

Following intensive negotiations we believed we had reached agreement in principle on the framework of a complete deal also referred to previously as the ‘package’ but once again after the negotiations had been concluded, we find the company’s underhanded tactics at work again, despite reaching specific agreement on the monetary value of run down payments we find at Inchinnan our MRO colleagues have not only been kicked in the teeth.

But now the company are putting the boot in when they are down and trying to reduce the agreed value of what has been agreed, this is totally unacceptable.

We have also learnt this week that the company are delaying VS application leaving dates for some to allow for training, but what was never discussed or agreed is that they would reduce the individuals paid notice periods. After raising this issue with the Company their failure to rectify the situation further erodes the relationship.

We now find ourselves back in the position of having to potentially raise another National FTA to try to resolve multiple issues.

Notwithstanding the contents of the last FTA, in which the COVID Redundancy Agreement and Terms for Ross Ceramics were taken offline with an agreed way forward, we are still waiting for this solution to be implemented. We are making it clear to the Company that until the Ross Ceramics issue is resolved, there will be no further talks on the Company Package.

 

5. Strategic Meeting

Many of you have been asking about the impact on the future of individual sites. Despite several promises and false starts, once again we are having to report that there is no progress from the Company on this extremely important issue and we have still not been given any further details on this subject. However, it seems there have been several discussions between managers and employees taking place at some sites concerning employee holidays and shutdowns.

We registered this point with the Company at a national level over two weeks ago, asking what the Company proposals are. The only feedback given to date is they are ‘in discussions’ and they have still not reached any conclusions. As usual those discussions are amongst themselves.

We have reiterated to the Company that until they come clean on their strategic footprint review, we will not be entering into any discussion’s regarding the closure of the DB pension fund and therefore we will be conducting our own review of our position on ‘the package’.

The Company are matching employees based on previously agreed skill sets (38 in works population and the jobs within the 7 primary capabilities in engineering) asking them to transfer to other sites (in some cases hundreds of miles) only for them to find they have moved from the frying pan into the fire. This is ludicrous and does not fit with the Company narrative of treating us all with dignity and respect. Equally outrageous is for the Company to be sacking some apprentices whilst pontificating the virtues of being a good employer.

 

6. Pensions

We received a number of complaints from people leaving the company about the withholding of parts of their VS payments (anything over £30k), until after they had received independent financial advice. This was to allow them time to consider the Bridging Pension Option (BPO), which for legal reasons can only be done before any payments are made. Unfortunately, this default position was not made clear prior to anyone leaving the company.

A large number of people stated they were not interested in the BPO, therefore, following discussions with the company a process has been launched whereby individuals can log on to the pension website, read all the information and then if they are still of the opinion the BPO is not for them, they can complete and sign a waiver form, which will then release the additional VS payments via the next payroll. It will also be possible to divert the excess VS into an AVC by completing the form on the website. For further information see Appendices 2.

Last Friday many of you would have seen the Company communications on the DB scheme. All affected employees will receive a letter concerning individual 60-day consultation. But this is not really consultation - the Company have already made their mind up and they see it as just a legal tick-box process they must go through.

Meaningful Consultation is supposed to be two way. The TU body that represents everyone for pensions issues (the Central Negotiating Committee – CNC) has yet to meet with the Company for the reasons explained in the Appendices 3 and 4.

As explained earlier, they have reneged on the agreed principle that we would have a strategic restructuring (Phase two) meeting; it was removed from our diaries and to date has not been rescheduled. They are now ignoring us.

As many of you are aware, we have battled to protect and improve our pension schemes over the last 20 years or so and we recognise the current situation we now find ourselves in. Some changes are inevitable, but as with most things it’s how we deal with it that is important.

We will not just allow the Company to rip it away from us with nothing in return, especially when they intend to simply pocket the £145m loan agreed in 2018 to assist the Company finances at that time – conveniently claiming that we are now in a ‘force majeure’.

Interestingly no force majeure was enacted within Services with 3rd party providers to support Inchinnan maintaining its MRO capability going forward or other Services work to support other sites. Yet again another example of double standards.

It is also noteworthy that Joel Griffin (Director of Reward) has openly stated “We’re not comfortable continuing with a two-tier pension arrangement” - yet the same person appears totally comfortable in trying to impose two-tier pay rates from 2022 for future employees.

We have yet to enter into discussions on the company proposals or indeed present any counteroffer which could include protections going forward and an improved DC scheme for all.

 

7 Apprentices

Most of our apprentices have been furloughed from the beginning and received 100% of their monthly pay due to the underpin guarantee negotiated by the TU.

We have had approximately 60 apprentices who have come off furlough for various reasons, we now need to address all apprentices to assist in getting them back into work to complete their training. Please do everything to assist with this if you can.

A national priority plan is being put together:

• Getting 2020 final year apprentices back into work

• With the reopening of colleges, plans are ongoing for 1st years into college/LDC apprentices coming back from furlough by October

• Develop plans for the rest of the apprentices across the entire business

• Review the timing of a greatly reduced 2020 intake for Bristol & Derby

New apprentice candidates who were due to start their apprenticeship in 2020 and had their 2020 offer retracted, will be asked if they wish to be kept on file for future communication and the potential of an offer for September 2021.

We are also confident we will be able to address securing training slots for the Inchinnan MRO apprentices, either internally or externally, including providing a relocation payment of £5,000 as displaced employees.

Although the Inchinnan MRO 1st year apprentices have been placed into the Compressors business to finish their training program after pressure was applied by the TU, unfortunately the 2nd year apprentices never got offered the same opportunity. The Company organised external employers or other RR sites to take over the rest of the training for these young people.

You are reminded that Harry Holt had committed to the negotiating team that all apprentices would finish their apprenticeship programs with RR - as did Warren East to the Inchinnan MP.

In addition. the TU also negotiated that the apprentices will receive 8 weeks’ notice pay and access to the virtual resource centre on the completion of their apprenticeship and the option of training extensions, where a temporary role exists – however, this may not lead to a substantive position.

We have also been asked a number questions about apprentice staged payments - please see Appendix 5 for further information on this subject.

 

8. Health & Safety

Recently the company has carried out 6 COVID site audits, these have been done by the independent HSE team within GBS in order to check compliance to the new COVID measures introduced across the sites in order to reduce the risk to our employees. The findings of these initial audits appear to show a good level of adherence to the new measures put in place, with one or two areas of best practice observed that can be rolled out as improvements on other sites/ business.

We have now requested that these audits be extended to all sites and continued for the foreseeable future, whilst the pandemic remains ongoing, like the company we remain concerned as lockdown restrictions are eased people’s concentration may lapse along with adherence to social distancing.

The latest figures from the government should serve as a reminder that the virus has not gone away and continued adherence to all safety measures put in place need to be observed, we have also started the conversation with the company about preparation for a second wave should it occur.

Thank you for you continued support.

 

 

Date: 20/07/2020

Rolls Royce Joint Union Bulletin 20 July 2020

 

1. Update

Unlike the Company, the TU negotiation team do not have dedicated resources to assist us in our communications. We have to juggle writing our newsletters whilst facing off across several fronts with the company, alongside our usual tasks.  This often takes place late into the evening or over the weekend. We are not saying this to gain your sympathy but trying to demonstrate our unquestionable commitment.

It’s therefore disappointing that throughout this issue our Company’s senior ‘leaders’ haven’t bothered to participate in discussions. We can only presume they are using the time to brainstorm their blue-sky thinking communications. 

What a shame most of them don’t bear any resemblance to workplace reality

Several Company communications have been issued over the last few weeks and finally, the Company accounts for 2019 have been published.

We previously reported the company could have saved around £100m by not paying the 2019 bonuses, but it’s clear they would rather attack your money this includes the bonuses paid to Warren East and Steven Daintith who received an eye-watering £1.79m in shares between them.

Harry Holt’s communication on the 8th July described how the Company is living up to its ‘Care Promise’. Many of you, including the national TU team, know a very different reality.  He is either completely unaware of the truth or has been misled by his team.

But fear not!  They have told you:

  • We will weather this storm together and you will always be part of the Rolls-Royce family
  • The dignity and respect with which we treat everyone, especially those leaving our company, will define the company we want to be in the future.

So that’s alright then.

In turn, we make this promise - we will never forget how they have treated the workforce during this pandemic.

 

2. Headcount Reductions

On the 14th July, over 1,800 colleagues started to voluntarily leave the Company.  In many cases, none of us have had the time to bid farewell to our friends and colleagues. We thank them for their loyalty and service, reducing the need for compulsory redundancies and wish them all well for the future.

The Company’s original timescales were both unrealistic and unnecessary. We successfully challenged them and obtained an extension, which proved extremely worthwhile - during this extension, the Company received a further 290 VS applications!

Getting to this point has not been easy. The company originally served notice on our current redundancy terms and threatened they would impose paying the legal, statutory minimum payments with the legal, statutory minimum notice periods – giving them freedom to control who got the sack.  Without asking for volunteers first.

They now laughingly claim they are “providing above industry and in country standards for our severance terms, ensuring that if you leave, you do so with a good package to minimise the financial impact” out of the goodness of their hearts.

We will let you judge how this came about (hint – it wasn’t the Company).

Irrespective of the progress made in identifying volunteers, the very next day (15th July) the company literally couldn’t wait to issue the S188 redundancy notices as outlined in the communication from Simon Burr and Simon Carlisle to Civil Aero employees.

This communication stated that a compulsory reduction of 1,446 would be a “worst case scenario”.  As they have yet to complete the VS program (some applications are still awaiting a decision), along with not fully exploring all mitigation options across the business, they have obviously guessed what the final compulsory figures will be.

You now have the ridiculous situation where management are assessing employees against compulsory redundancy criteria, whilst some colleagues haven’t even been told if they can leave on VS.

See Appendix 1 for the compulsory redundancy numbers and timescales.

We have reminded the Company that they have an obligation to continue to promote and pursue VS during the compulsory programme. Will they take any notice?

It’s a pity the Company does not adhere to the values and behaviours it constantly preaches. In their minds, this has always been about ‘pace’ and hitting the half-year results. Which, coincidentally, they are delaying until the end of August to take account of all the Phase 1 Redundancies, forecasted savings of Phase 2 and associated cost savings of the ‘The Package’.

We believe that is to create the illusion of a board in control.

 

3. Strategy Meeting

We agreed that we would enter into discussions on the Company’s Strategic Review of the Rolls-Royce UK Pension Fund (RRUKPF) provided that in return they initiate ‘meaningful’ consultation of Phase 2 restructuring proposals. The definition of meaningful is not just to present information about a decision that has already made. If the company have made their decisions, then we are on a collision course.

A meeting was held on 22nd June, but the content that they presented was poor and patronising.  We didn’t learn anything new.  A further meeting had been arranged for Friday 17th July but was unexpectedly cancelled.

Therefore, as promised, until this is rearranged, we will not enter discussions on pensions.

 

4. Company Package

As outlined in our last newsletter, the Company wanted to discuss a package of changes alongside redundancy terms, some of which will apply to all areas of the business whilst others will not.

You would be entirely correct in thinking this is an opportunistic attack by the Company.

We have agreed the topics of the package in principle, but a lot of detailed negotiation will still need to be undertaken and further details will be provided when available.

Any package that includes a permanent change to terms and conditions will require a ballot of affected Union members by March 2021.

As with the redundancy terms the outcomes listed in the appendices is a very long way from the original position of our ‘caring’ Company.

We have made several difficult decisions to help ensure we all have a Company going forward.

Please refer to the following attached appendices:

  1. Temporary Voluntary Severance & Compulsory Terms during COVID & Restructuring Redundancy Programme
  2. Furlough Phase 3 & Related Topics
  3. Restructuring Framework Principles  
  4. Redundancy Agreement from 2022

 

5. Failure to Agree (FTA) Update

The FTA was delayed several times – some by the Company in order to delay proceedings, others by mutual agreement.  As all terms of the original FTA have now been resolved, the FTA was withdrawn on 14th July.

You may remember that during the original FTA meeting the Company stated they do not trust us.

So, imagine our anger just two days after the FTA was withdrawn when we discover the Company has blatantly and arrogantly attacked TU representatives and their constitutional rights in Inchinnan Compressors.  We addressed this immediately and informed the company that this would put ‘the package’ at risk.

Despite what they might like to portray, we are not ‘working together’ and refuse to have joint communications. The relationship between the TU and the Company is extremely fragile and could shatter at any time.  And there is still a long way to go…

 

6. Apprentices

We will provide a more comprehensive report on apprentices for our next newsletter, as a current review is still ongoing of getting apprentices and their assessors back into the workplace.  We will also need to address shift pattern arrangements and future intakes.

 

7. Health & Safety

Although discussions with the Company are clearly important, everyone is reminded that the threat of COVID-19 has not gone away.  Everyone must continue to work safely and remain vigilant.  Please also look after your own wellbeing as much as possible.

If there are any unsafe practices taking place, or you are unsure, please contact your local workplace representative. 

 

Stay strong and remember the only source of fact and truth is via these newsletters.

 

CLICK ON THE LINK TO VIEW APPENDIX 1-5 

https://www.gmb.org.uk/file/rolls-royce-joint-union-update-200720-1docx

 

 
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