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10 December 2020

Update on the Communisis pension & pay proposals

For members in Communisis
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Communisis seek to renegotiate our pay agreement in unprecedented times

You will have heard from Communisis about a change to the negotiated 2020 pay agreement.

Both Accord and Unite have been involved in the discussions with the business about the proposal. And we’ve done our best to reach a negotiated point that we felt could be put to our members.

Like many companies, Communisis has taken a number of measures throughout 2020 to manage the sustainability of its business and the employment of its staff. The business has been very open with both unions about the reasons for these measures and what difference they’ve made to the sustainability of the company and the employment of many of our members.

The good news is that Communisis has agreed to reverse the 10% pay reductions that some members took. The bad news is that Communisis is unable to commit to the implementation of the final year increase in our negotiated pay agreement – which would mean a zero-increase right across the company.

Through negotiation, Accord and Unite tabled alternative solutions which has resulted in the proposal that’s now been put to you: a one-off lump sum payment (i.e. not added to your salary) in January 2022 which would be worth 3% of your take home pay – meaning you’ll receive a payment of 3% of anything you earn, including overtime you’ve worked throughout the year. We sought assurances that in agreeing to this, Communisis would not return at the end of 2021 to say they can’t pay.

We don’t think it’s acceptable for companies to rip up agreements when it suits them. And while this isn’t the outcome any of us would have wanted, we can understand on balance that things have changed substantially this year.

Accord has not agreed to this change, but we agreed that Communisis should talk to its colleagues so that we can reach agreement collectively and continue to do what we can jointly to protect employment in the business.

Please let us know what you think by completing our online survey. Our survey closed on the 24th December 2020.

Update on 'One Communisis' pension proposal.

The impact of the proposed changes will vary, and you'll receive a letter from Communisis setting out the personal impact to you of the proposed changes to the scheme. Our analysis of these changes is that many of our members will be worse off in retirement due to the higher employer contributions that were introduced when the TUPE transfer from Lloyds Banking Group took place will not continue if the proposals are implemented.

While Communisis set out their argument that these proposed changes will make things fairer for all by applying a single contributions structure right across the business, we believe that employers should live up to the promises they make. This change is a reversal of the promises made to employees transferring across to Communisis from the bank in 2013/14.

Accord has been consulted about these changes, and I will continue to make representations to Communisis and Buck Consultants (the appointed administrator for these pension changes). If you're impacted, please tell Communisis what you think of the proposals. The ways to do this are set out in the letter you will receive, and on the One Communisis pension site.

Send us your feedback by completing our confidential survey. I’ll be in touch once we’ve collated the feedback. The survey closed at midnight 1st December 2020.

Due to covid-19 restrictions, it’s not possible for us to attend site to discuss with you individually, but we organised a virtual meeting through Microsoft Teams for members to attend.

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