How to get the pay rise you want (Part 2) Getting your facts straight
James Lazou, Unite Research Officer, gives you tips on how to find the information you need for your pay negotiations.
We at Unite believe that pay and terms and conditions are something to be negotiated and discussed with staff and not imposed.
If the organisation genuinely can’t afford a pay rise or even a cost of living increase we will be the first to say so. In these cases staff are often just as keen to keep their jobs and organisations afloat as are management, as long as they are involved in that decision. But Unite knows that in many cases this isn’t the case.
The most important thing you need, however, is up-to-date and complete information. This is where a recognised trade union will help.
There are two parts to this, firstly a union rep is able to communicate to staff in the organisation, survey members or coordinate meetings to see what issues and concerns they would like to raise in any claim.
A recognised trade union representative also has the legal right to ask for the most up to date financial information about your organisation.
The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 states that every employer who negotiates with independent trade unions must provide information to them:
• without which unions would be materially handicapped in conducting collective bargaining with the employer; and.
• which is related to matters the union is recognised to negotiate on for that group of employees.
The Act does not specify exactly what this information should be but the ACAS Code of Practice on ‘Disclosure of Information to Trade Unions for Collective Bargaining’ sets out some of the relevant items. This can be found here: http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/2/q/CP02_1.pdf
You can also often find this information on your organisations website or the appropriate registering organisation.
For example the Charities Commission now publishes very clear information on their website for each charity in the UK:
If you are finding it difficult to get this information or would like to find out more about building a recognised trade union in your workplace then get in touch with your Unite regional office and they will be able to advise and help you through this process.