Capita staff start strike action over pensions

Saturday 28 October 2017 to Sunday 5 November

Following the breakdown of talks at ACAS staff staff at Capita have started nine days of industrial action in a pensions dispute with the outsourcing company.

The dispute centres on Capita’s attempts to close the current defined benefit scheme and transfer staff to a defined contribution scheme.

Unite members are taking nine continuous days of strike action starting on Saturday 28 October 2017 ending on Sunday 5 November.

Unite conducted an industrial action ballot following the proposal to close the current defined benefit scheme. In June Capita informed its employees of significant changes to the pension arrangements. Staff in the scheme will suffer a massive cut in their retirement income as a result of the proposals.

Staff at Capita voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action in a ballot, calling on their employer to give them a decent pension. In the industrial action ballot 95 per cent of members voted for strike action, on a turnout of 72 per cent.

Dominic Hook, Unite national officer said: “Capita management only have themselves to blame for the fact that staff at Capita have been forced to take industrial action. The employer’s disgraceful plans to slash the deferred pay that staff will get in retirement has made employees angry in workplaces across the country.

“Unite has repeatedly tried to settle this dispute and made numerous alternative pension proposals to the company, all of which the employer has failed to consider. Unite suspended planned strikes in good faith in order to reach a settlement with Capita. Unfortunately the company has failed to make a reasonable offer to address the concerns of their workforce.

“Capita’s pension proposals will have far reaching consequences for the retirement of many Unite members. Some staff will lose a shocking 70 per cent of their retirement income.

“There is no justification for highly profitable Capita to treat its workforce in this manner. The extremely high vote in favour of strike action shows how strongly members feel about this.

“Capita must urgently rethink these pension proposals for the sake of their loyal staff and in order to prevent further delays to their contracts and increased reputational damage to the organisation.

The union is calling on the companies which outsource contracts to Capita to intervene to settle this betrayal of staff facing the loss of a significant proportion of their retirement income.

If Capita implements this proposal, then Unite has a real concern that it will open the door to further attacks on the other company pension arrangements. The Capita sites where Unite members are impacted are:

  • Birmingham (two locations)
  • Reading
  • Bristol
  • Manchester
  • Stirling
  • Belfast

Unite members who are affected are employed by Capita Life & Pensions Regulated Services Ltd, there are also some employed in Capita IT Services Ltd and Capita Employee Benefits. The following Capita contracts will be affected:

  • Prudential
  • Royal London CIS
  • Phoenix / Royal London (Birmingham)
  • Aviva
  • Specialist Services (all sites)
  • IT Programmes /projects (all sites)

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