2009-08-10 16:56:10 UTC
Monday, August 10, 2009
Shameful Way to Treat CMEC Staff
That is how PCS described CMEC managements decision to rip up the
contracts of 111 CSA staff and force them to work different hours.
8 till 8 Initiative
Management had originally identified 868 staff who had contracted hours
outside of the new business hours of 8am until 8pm.
Following two rounds of meetings with their line manager and then SEOs
111 staff were still unable to agree to change their hours.
Many of the staff who were able to agree a change wanted to work days or
are able to agree a later start in the morning.
Many of those staff who are unable to change are likely to lose pay or
extended working hours allowance. This will also affect their pension.
Despite this, management have decided to proceed.
At a meeting on Friday 31 July 2009, PCS made it clear that this is
unacceptable and a shameful way for CMEC/CSA to treat its people.
Management have decided to proceed with the business change from 14
December 2009. They will effectively lock-out those staff who are
contracted to work outside 8 till 8.
Initially, senior managers will consider each case and where an
agreement cannot be reached, staff will receive a letter giving six
months notice of the change to hours and offering continuous employment
(on the new hours).
PCS has argued that this exercise should be carried out on a no-
detriment basis ie. no-one should lose out.
PCS has also offered to work with management to try and resolve any
PCS has also written to Mark Grimshaw Managing Director of CSA urging
him to think again.
Breach of Contract
PCS has strong legal advice that an imposed change will constitute a
breach of contract. Management have also taken legal advice but they
declined our offer of exchanging advice.
CMEC are clearly unilaterally imposing a change of contract in that they
are changing employees contracted working hours.
Our advice clearly states that changes to contracts can lawfully be made
- Agreement (with individuals)
- Collective bargaining
- Having an express clause in the contract that specifically permits the
change (but if not operated reasonably a claim for breach of mutual
trust and confidence is likely to succeed).
Unlawful changes to contracts:
- Unilateral imposition of a change of contract (such as changing an
employees working hours or working pattern without their agreement). In
law, this equates to a dismissal under the terms of the original
contract and immediate re-hire under the terms of the imposed new
contract with the imposed change of term.
In this situation, employees may make a claim of unfair dismissal under
the terms of the old contract, and breach of contract. If the terms of
the new contract are unreasonable, they may also claim constructive
unfair dismissal and breach of contract.
This affects us all
PCS believes that this is not just a matter for those 111 affected. If
management feel able to rip up their contracts illegally then
undoubtedly they will feel able to do the same to the rest of us if or
when it suits them. PCS has asked for members meetings to discuss this
For management to want all staff to work in the new business hours is
understandable. What beggars belief is that they care so little for
their people they are prepared to cut their pay to make them do it.
Advice and Guidance
PCS advises any member directly affected by this change to contact their
local PCS representative or the PCS Leeds office for help and/or
Meanwhile, PCS will continue to try to dissuade management from
proceeding and further guidance will be issued.