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CWU Universal Manifesto

26 July 2009

The CWU has launched a 'universal manifesto' for workers in the UK telecoms and information industry, setting out benchmarks for pay, conditions and future negotiations.

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The formulation and publication of the manifesto fulfils the terms of a motion that was carried at CWU conference in May 2006 where delegates agreed that an 'aspirational guide' was needed to protect CWU members in those companies that are constantly seeking to benchmark pay and conditions at the lowest possible level they can get away with.

A Universal Manifesto for Workers in the Telecommunications and Information Services Industry

  • EQUAL PAY AND OPPORTUNITY, regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, age, religion or sexual orientation. We will tackle pay inequality by encouraging the use of pay audits to identify pay gaps within organisations, ensuring the findings are reported to the workforce and the Union. We will combat discrimination and support the growth of a diverse workforce, which is important from both a moral and a legal perspective and brings business benefits through access to a wider range of talents and skills.
  • EQUAL TREATMENT for agency, contract, temporary and teleworkers. We will strive to achieve pay and terms and conditions for these groups of workers that are equal to their permanent and office based counterparts. We will also continue to campaign and put pressure on employers, the Government and the European Commission to introduce laws that provide justice and equal treatment for agency workers and other vulnerable sections of the workforce.
  • TRADE UNION RECOGNITION AND RIGHTS OF REPRESENTATION for all UK telecoms and information services workers wherever they are employed and the elimination of all anti-union employer practices. We will strive for effective union organisation and more favourable legislation that enables all members to participate fully and democratically in the Union's decision making processes.
  • EMPLOYER ADHERENCE TO EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS including the operation of effective information, consultation, disciplinary and grievance procedures.
  • PROMOTION OF THE INTERESTS OF TELECOMS AND INFORMATION SERVICES WORKERS by lobbying regulators, Government, agencies and other organisations whose actions and decisions impact on the lives of telecoms and information services workers.
  • ANNUAL PAY RISES that progressively improve living standards. We will resist the increasing tendency to base pay rises on individual performance reviews, which is a subjective, unfair and discriminatory method of formulating pay awards.
  • FAIR PAY that reflects levels of skill and responsibility. We will tackle a culture in which thousands of workers are undervalued and paid barely a living wage for doing a skilled, full time job. We will resist the fundamental premise of employers that they can drive down wages by using private consortiums to share information on pay, effectively conspiring to set wages low across an entire sector.
  • ANNUAL LEAVE entitlement above the statutory minimum of 4 weeks paid leave and bank holidays, and the freedom to be able to take leave to meet family and personal circumstances.
  • ACCESS TO GOOD PENSION SCHEMES with a meaningful employer contribution. We will campaign to protect and promote the provision of defined benefit schemes whilst encouraging employers to make generous pension provisions for their staff, and informing members about the importance of saving for retirement.
  • WORK LIFE BALANCE in the length of the working week, the pattern of attendance and the provision of family friendly policies and parental leave, as well as generous and flexible paternity and maternity leave entitlements. We will resist employers imposing flexible working practices to suit their own agenda rather than the needs of their staff.
  • HIGH STANDARDS OF HEALTH AND SAFETY in all working environments to ensure our members are protected when at work. We will continue to support a network of safety representatives to provide advice to members and ensure that legislative standards are met. We will also lobby for changes to the law that will ensure better practice and reduce preventable and unnecessary injuries at work.
  • A PLEASANT WORKING ENVIRONMENT that encourages natural well being and reduces the risk of strain or illness.
  • EXCELLENCE IN MANAGEMENT STYLE that inspires our members to work effectively within their potential which recognises their individual contribution and ensures they are treated fairly and consistently. This means giving praise where it is due and offering training and constructive feedback where standards are not met. It means clearly communicating procedures and goals, setting realistic targets, and encouraging a culture of collaboration and support amongst staff.

  • FREEDOM FROM BULLYING AND HARASSMENT and a working environment that fosters dignity and respect. Bullying and Harassment take many forms, ranging from the extremes of physical violence to the less obvious such as ridiculing someone or misusing power to prevent progression. The CWU is committed to working with employers to tackle the underlying causes of bullying and harassment and to ensure proper procedures and lines of accountability are in place to resolve instances of such offensive and unwanted behaviour.
  • ACCESS TO TRAINING, LIFELONG LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT that maximises employability and encourages career progression. We will ensure that our members are given training to acquire the skills necessary for smooth transition from a traditional PSTN environment to an IP environment without any threat to job security or detriment to pay and grading.