Colleagues will have read with alarm and dismay the press articles over the weekend in relation to the pay awards and retention bonus payments that are to be awarded to the Co-operative Group Executive, the pay off for the former Chief HR Officer Rebecca Skitt and the excessive use of expenses. I can assure members that NACO is shocked at the revelations and we sought an urgent meeting with the Group on Monday evening to state our concerns. 2014 Annual Salary Review
The eight members of the Executive will enjoy an annual total reward pot in excess of £12million and all of this has been subject to a full review including the use of external reward specialists to seek an alignment with market medians. At the same time NACO has become increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress in the pay talks with the business.
We would normally be updating members on the progress of the annual salary review but we have made no progress as the Group is reviewing the reward, pay and benefits package. It appears that the Executive review can be undertaken swiftly but we are now in a position where the annual review will be delayed. Project Orion
NACO has been led to understand that the Co-operative Group needs to save £500m by 2017, through Project Orion. Members have been asked to identify areas of costs saving and have seen big cuts in recruitment, training, and many other expenses.
As a result of the extraordinary effort of all colleagues the business has already identified £100m in savings. Members are feeling the pressure of budget cuts but have be led to believe that we must all work together, in the spirit of solidarity, to pull the Co-operative Group out of crisis.
From information gathered by the media, it appears the Executive are not party to this act of solidarity. Media reports state that Rebecca Skitt, Chief HR Officer, has left the business with a payoff of £2million after less than 1 year service - she joined the Co-operative Group on March 11th 2013. We have been advised by the Group that this figure has been inflated but the true figure is still well in excess of £1million
In September 2013, at a time when Project Orion was being finalised, Skitt, Euan Sutherland and 'management guru' Rene Carayol shared a £320 bottle of wine as part of a meal in Mayfair costing over £800. Hardly the austere surroundings you may expect from the Chief Executive of a co-operative in crisis.
The latest news story to break this morning is that the Chief Executive Euan Sutherland has handed in a resignation letter to the Board as, according to press speculation, he finds the current Co-operative structures “ungovernable.”
We have asked for further urgent talks with the business to understand the current situation and once we are in a position to update members we will communicate further.
Whilst we await developments on the current matters at the Group NACO would like to understand your views on these issues so that we are able to accurately reflect the views of the membership.
Please click the link below and give NACO your view of the current circumstances: