Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pay Appeasement Never Works

In this week's New Statesman RMT leader Bob Crow has written the diary. In it, he writes...
We had submitted our pay claim - at the management's request - back in November...
Excuse me? Doesn't that sentence tell you all you need to know about what is wrong with the management at Transport for London? Instead of drawing up its budget and working out what it could afford to pay its staff by way of a pay rise, it asked the Union to put in a claim. What did it expect? A claim for very little? Any union, but particularly one controlled by a leftist idiot like Bob Crow, was bound to put in a claim for far more than the management would find acceptable. So instead of keeping control of the agenda itself, it handed it to the RMT.

Yet another reason for Boris to finally get rid of TfL Managing Director Peter Hendy. He should be replaced by someone who doesn't believe in a policy of pay appeasement.

16 comments:

KP said...

what you describe Iain is common practice, certainly amongst the public sector

Ive been a member of both PCS (civil service)and GMB (local govt) both of whom are routinley invited to submit their claim for a payrise

Rob said...

"Any union, but particularly one controlled by a leftist idiot like Bob Crow, was bound to put in a claim for far more than the management would find acceptable."

Any Union? I'm guessing you've never been in one, but many are actually composed of level headed realists. It's easy to rail against unions, but for many people they do correct genuine injusticies that do happen.

Mirtha Tidville said...

There are some realists in un ions, but there are more left wing idiots sad to say......and I was in one for 30 years...

KP said...

One of the most sensible unions is USDAW led by a real moderate in John Hannett. They do a brillant job in representing some of the lowest paid workers in the country.

very unfair to equate all with Crow

Anonymous said...

Can't you people read?

What Dale said was any Union, especially one controlled by a leftist idiot like Crow, ie Crow is the leftist idiot not the other Unions.


Arthur S.

Anonymous said...

This was a Livingstone planted elephant trap.

Johnson should have cut senior staff salaries by 5% on walking in the door last May and demanded a pay freeze at every other level thereafter.

Crow's actions this year are a predictable response to the failure to give that lead a year ago.

Chris Paul said...

What are you on about? The pay deal is pretty much done I think and isn't the cause of the strike.

Boris is a floppy fringed nob who said he would "fix" the RMT. Bob Crow is elected by workers and whether we like his politics or not he's doing what he's paid for by those workers i.e. getting a decent wage for his people. Some would call it a market.

Batteredstrat said...

Unfortunately for the people of London, Bob Crow is a dinosaur from a different age.

He expects public sector workers to achieve better pay, conditions, security and pensions than the private sector. this is no longer acceptable to the people in the private sector who have seen the public sector grow fat upon their efforts.

He also knows that this is his last chance to get a good claim in for his workforce and secure his own long term position, because after the election the true state of the public finances will be plain and there will nothing left.

His workers already have a better deal than most of us who have no security, no pension (since Brown stole it to pay for theirs), and are facing real terms cuts in living standards year on year for the next 5-10 years. TFL need to grow a pair and deal with this pronto.

Richard Dale said...

Pay should be increased if they have difficulty in recruiting or retaining drivers. At the moment that is exactly what's happening in a large part o the private sector. These guys are earing what I used to, but I had far more responsibility and had a lot more training and exerience to get there.

Anonymous said...

O/T, but ...

Sorry to be a dummy about this but I have forgotten … will the treaty be accepted if Eire says yes in a second vote? If so, why? What about the French and Dutch who voted no. They didn’t have a second referendum. Did their governments just go ahead and ratify anyway?

Anyone?? Please??

Rab C. Nesbitt said...

As a member of USDAW, can I just say that KP talks complete shit. And John Hannett is hopeless.

raincoatoptimism said...

At June 21, 2009 5:20 PM , Anonymous said...

"Can't you people read?"

No, wrong again, Dale's entry reads;

"Any union, but particularly one controlled by a leftist idiot like Bob Crow, was bound to put in a claim for far more than the management would find acceptable."

As if to say, that's what unions do, they ask for too much and get moany when its not met.

But this of course is fictional.

And of course when Crowe talks about seeing how much football players earn a week, and when he campaigns for mild increases people say tube workers already get enough, he gets cross. Who wouldn't get cross.

Union reps are elected, and as far as I can tell, those who rally against those leaders when they ask for pay rises - in a workforce's' interests - are only doing so because their views are to the contrary of theirs.

What exactly is it about pay increases that Tories dislike? Is it stretching TfL? No.

Brett said...

Are you drawing an equivalence between salary negotiation with union representatives and Chamberlain?

Negotiation on salary either collectively or individually is the lifeblood of civil behaviour.

You are far more likely to get unions act unilaterally if you seek to impose upon them and don't bring them to the table, or give them the feeling that they have been involved in the decision making process.

It's hardly the closing of the pits moment - though I could see how you would make it one.

Mr Angry said...

Iain is completely right about TfL and especially Hendy. Quite why Boris has not sorted TfL out is a damn good question.

Anonymous said...

"leftist idiot" is a tautology

SHB said...

In my experience of dealing with pay negotiations where the trade union reps are involved then you can ask for a pay claim to be submitted. But this would be done after an initial meeting at which the management would position their expectations and the employees would position theirs.

Thus when the 5% increase in headline rates of pay gets tabled by the employees you respond with 'well I made it quite clear that the company was only willing to consider 3% plus another 1% in areas of sick pay/holiday pay' as an example.

There is an element of ritual to all of this and both sides need to play the game. Tactically it is important to concede somethig at some point so the trade union guys can take it back to the employees as a 'victory'. Another powerful tactic is to concede a point/improve an offer if it is conditional on the trade union guys recommending acceptance of the offer.

Of utmost importance from a management perspective is to have people doing the negotiating who will not be intimidated or bullied by the union reps.