Union members accept Siemens pay deal

Bectu members have accepted a revised pay deal, and the union will enter into discussions with Siemens over a performance-related pay scheme
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

Members of the union Bectu at Siemens on Wednesday accepted a pay offer from the company, calling off industrial action that had been agreed to in March.

The dispute involves Siemens contractors working at the BBC. The union had initially demanded a pay increase of £1,200, but 88.9 percent of members voted in favour of accepting a £300 consolidated increase backdated to 1 January 2010, the union said.

"Members have voted to accept the pay offer and therefore this resolves the outstanding trade dispute and the industrial action ballot is now null and void," said Bectu national officer Suresh Chawla in a statement.

The union said it will enter into further discussions with Siemens around a performance-related pay scheme proposed by the company. If the scheme is accepted, staff will receive a further £80 consolidated increase, also backdated to 1 January.

The union said it tried to get Siemens to match a flat £450 rise the BBC paid to its in-house staff this year. The agreed increase will be paid to contractors in the next salary round, Bectu said.

The BBC outsourced its technology unit to Siemens in 2004 amidst opposition from Bectu and the staff involved.

"We're opposing it because we think it is bad for the BBC in the medium and short term even though it appears to be good value in the short term if the cost savings are correct," a Bectu spokesman said at the time. "In the medium term it is equivalent to selling the BBC's nervous system to someone who can then sell it back and charge what they like."

Last month Siemens announced plans to cut about 4,200 jobs worldwide from its IT Solutions and Services (SIS) division, as it reorganises the unit to focus on solutions and IT outsourcing.

SIS currently employs about 35,000 staff worldwide, including about 3,500 in the UK and about 10,000 in Germany.

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