Cadent’s response to GMB strike action by operational field force

corporate

  • We will continue to provide our customers with a safe and reliable gas network throughout any action
  • Less than 45% of operational field force voted in favour of industrial action
  • Pay offer of 6.08% over two years, whilst giving our newest workforce significant changes to terms & conditions following feedback from operational field force
  • We have honoured our commitment to pay entry level colleagues a minimum of £10 per hour, to ensure they are paid above the Real Living Wage, despite the pay offer not being accepted

Martin Rimmer, Chief of People stated:
“We are disappointed that an agreement was not reached with the GMB regarding the balanced whole package pay deal we have offered our operational field force.

“We would like to assure our customers that we will continue to provide them with a safe and reliable gas network throughout any action. 

“Whilst the GMB has concentrated on asking for a higher pay increase, more than the 6.08% pay increase over two years that we have offered, they have not taken into consideration the whole pay package.  Especially the pay increase to our lowest paid colleagues to a minimum of £10 per hour, ensuring that they are paid above the Real Living wage. We also gave £750 lump sum payment in January to our field force and have offered significant changes to the terms & conditions of some contracts based on colleagues’ feedback.

“We believe in fair and decent pay.  In 2021, on average our operational Field Force colleagues earned over £44,500, with our qualified engineers earning over £47,000.  Had the pay offer been accepted, based on our 2021 information, qualified engineers would earn on average over £50,000.

“The pay review and negotiations had been productive over the past 18 months, with the majority (c. two thirds) of our workforce agreeing the pay increase, and this has been paid to them.  

“Despite the rejection of the pay deal, we have implemented the pay increase to our lowest paid to a minimum of £10 per hour, ensuring that they are paid above the Real Living wage.  We believe this is the right thing to do.

“Whilst all of our colleagues will receive a 6.08% pay increase, the impact of the £10 an hour minimum wage means that 37.5% of colleagues on our new contract will receive more than a 13.9% pay increase over the two years from June 2021, if the pay deal is accepted.  This is in addition to the £750 lump sum payment made in January 2022 to our field force and staff colleagues.

“It is disappointing that an agreement could not be reached on the fair pay deal and the broader package offered to colleagues.”

Cadent’s pay deal
1. Measurable increase in base pay of 6.08% over two years for the entire operational field force population as a minimum, equivalent monetary value between £1,495 and £3,227 increase.

2. Significant increase in base pay for the lowest paid colleagues ensuring a minimum of £10 per hour from April 2022 increasing to £10.40 in July 2022. (This is significantly more than the Real Living wage of £9.90 and National Living wage of £9.50.)

3. We have listened to our colleagues on our newer contract and significant changes have been made to the terms & conditions based on their feedback.

4. As part of the pay deal we made the commitment to pay £750 to our colleagues in recognition of the hard work and dedication. This was paid unconditionally in January 2022.

What does this mean to the operational field force salary?
Based on 2021 figures, the average gross pay of a qualified engineer in 2021 was over £47,000.  On acceptance of our pay deal from 2022 (fixed & variable pay rates), the average gross pay of our qualified engineer would be over £50,000.

Taking into account the pay offers for 2021 and 2022, all operational field force colleagues will receive 6.08% as a minimum increase over the two-year period.  The two-year pay offer in January 2022 provides 37.5% of colleagues on the new contract a minimum of 13.9% pay increase over the negotiating period. 

Significant changes have been made to the new contract’s terms and conditions following feedback from colleagues.

ENDS
On 24 May we were informed by the GMB that industrial action, a ban on overtime, that started on the 10 May, would stop at 23:59 on 24 May.

On 13 May we were informed that the GMB members would start two days of strike action on 30 & 31 May.

Cadent have been in talks with ACAS and the GMB union.  We are disappointed that an agreement was not reached.  On 25 April the GMB confirmed that industrial action short of strike, will take place from 00:01 Tuesday 10 May 2022 continuously.  (This means a ban on overtime only.)

Cadent were informed by the GMB on Friday (4 March) that their members had rejected the two year pay deal and on 18 March that they would be balloting members on industrial action.  The Ballot closed at noon on Friday 8 April 2022.

About the ballot:
Cadent field force - 2519
GMB members entitled to vote – 1,940
GMB members who voted – 1,263
- 1,124 (44,6%) voted in favour of overtime ban
- 1,095 (43.5%) voted in favour of strike action

From April 2022, the National Living Wage increases to £9.50 per hour, with the voluntary Real Living Wage currently being £9.90 per hour.  Cadent is ensuring that from April 2022 all employees are paid at least £10 per hour, which is significantly above the National Living Wage and above the voluntary Real Living Wage.  This will increase in July 2022 to £10.40 per hour. 

Salary comparisons:
  • Average pay for all our operational field force was £44,525 in 2021 – If the pay deal is accepted this would increase to over £46K
  • Average pay for a qualified engineers was £47,173 in 2021 - if the pay deal is accepted this would increase to over £50K
Cadent key standard benefits Statutory key benefits
25 days annual leave plus 8 bank holidays 20 days annual leave plus 8 bank holidays
Double match pension scheme up to:
  1. 6% employee contribution
  2. 12% employer contribution
Workplace pension scheme min 8% contribution
  1. 3% employee contribution
  2. 5% employer contribution
Life assurance at x8 annual salary No statutory life assurance benefit
Company sick pay:
  1. 6 weeks full pay after 6 months service
  2. 13 weeks full pay after 5 years service
Statutory sick pay
  1. 1-26 weeks at £96.35 per week minus 3 waiting days
  2. 27 weeks onwards no pay
Group Income Protection providing a replacement income employees confirmed as unable to work due to incapacity – 50% of gross basic annual salary for us to 24 months No Group Income Protection

Cadent

Cadent is the UK’s largest gas distribution network with a 200-year legacy.  We are in a unique position to build on strong foundations whilst encouraging the curiosity to think differently and the courage to embrace change.  Day to day we continue to operate, maintain and innovate the UK’s largest gas network, transporting gas safely and protecting people in an emergency.   Our skilled engineers and specialists remain committed to the communities we serve, working day and night to ensure gas reaches 11 million homes from Cumbria to North London and the Welsh Borders to East Anglia, to keep your energy flowing. 

Future of Gas: Here at Cadent we support the Government’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050. That means we’re backing the introduction of hydrogen as a low carbon alternative to natural gas for the future. We know people love the controllability of gas and, with our network already in place, it makes sense to switch to the lower carbon alternative offered by hydrogen, which we believe can keep homes and businesses warm for generations to come.

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Media contacts

Stephanie van Rosse

stephanie.van-rosse@cadentgas.com

01455 231 131
07767 337 343