NACO has been involved in detailed and complex negotiations with the Co-operative Group in relation to the 2012 pay review.
NACO recognises that the prevailing economic climate has contributed to the difficult and challenging times that face NACO members and their families. After a number of negotiation meetings a final position was reached and a formal offer was tabled for a 2.5% variable pay pot (see pay matrix below) for Role Bands 4 and above, with a flat rate increase of 2.5% for Role Band 5 managers.
The Co-operative Group Council met on Wednesday 26th April to discuss the proposals made to the NACO negotiating team and review what options were available to progress the pay review. The Council believed that the negotiating team had secured the best offer available from the Co-operative Group at this time and that the offer compared favourably with settlements that have been reached for management grade personnel in the private sector in the first quarter of 2012.
The Co-operative Group Council also reviewed the feedback and commentary that has been received from members over recent weeks through the NACO website and directly to the officials and Council members. There is a clear appetite from members to resolve pay issues quickly and concentrate efforts of the restructuring and reshaping of the Co-operative Group in relation to Project Unity and the huge changes taking place in the Food division. It was further noted that the Office for National Statistics has recently announced shrinking output for the second quarter running, officially putting the UK economy in a 'double-dip' recession.
As a consequence the Co-operative Group Council decided unanimously to accept the offer on behalf of all members at the Co-operative Group, understanding that a 2.5% pay pot is likely to be at the higher end of retail pay deals for 2012. With inflation around 2% lower than 2011 (RPI - 3.6% ONS, March 2012), we believe the offer is the best deal we can secure at this time.
The 2.5% Variable Pay Pot
The detail of the final position is as follows:
- An overall pay pot of 2.5% of the salary bill
- A variable pay matrix (linked above) which focuses the largest percentage increases to those lowest in the bands and rewards performance
- Pay ranges formalised to 80% - 120% with the reference points market matched resulting in significant increases at the lower end of the management grading structure (salary scales linked above)
- The salary ranges will be applied prior to the award so members are in the correct position in the range and so receive the appropriate variable increase
- Any member currently below the band minimum of 80% will be moved to the minimum of the range following the application of the pay award
- Role Band 5 managers will receive the flat rate increase of 2.5% in the June payroll (back dated to 25th March 2012)
- Role Band 4 and above will receive the variable award in the July payroll (back dated to 25th March 2012) to ensure that the awards are implemented accurately
The Co-operative Group Council has expressed concerns over the effectiveness of a performance based variable reward system in general and in particular its appropriateness when utilising a limited pay pot.
As a consequence the Co-operative Group has confirmed that it will work with NACO to undertake a full and detailed review of the variable pay system over the next few months to ensure that its effectiveness can be maximised in future awards.
As part of this review process we would value your thoughts on the use of a variable pay matrix. Please leave anonymous comments below.
The Co-operative Group continues to review its structures to maximise performance and contain costs. As a direct result NACO is involved in a number of restructuring consultations which will, unfortunately, lead to some members losing their roles through redundancy.
As the pay awards will not be implemented until June or July (see above) we have reached an agreement with the Co-operative Group to ensure that all of those members who are made redundant prior to the implementation of the award will have their redundancy payments recalculated to take account of the 2.5% award.
Alongside the annual review NACO has reacted to specific feed back from members employed in the Co-operative Funeralcare division. In Funeralcare there is an agreed Operational Management Structure that complements the Role Bands in the Co-operative Group.
The Co-operative Group Council had received detailed reports from the CFSMA Divisional Meetings in relation to two specific concerns of the members. Firstly the median salary for the Assistant Manager Role (Role Band 5 equivalent) and the Hub Manager median points (Role Band 4 equivalent).
These matters were raised with Funeralcare alongside the main negotiations and as a consequence of the changes that are to be implemented to the Role Band salary scales the following has been agreed:
- The median salary for the Assistant Manager Role will be increased by £1,000 per annum
- A full review of the Hub Managers pay and grading with comparison to the differentials between the role and the role of
Conclusion and your thoughts
The Co-operative Group Council believes that the position reached in the 2012 negotiations will compare favourably with settlements in the retail sector and the wider co-operative movement.
The Co-operative Group Council represents members employed by the Co-operative Group and negotiates and consults on terms and conditions of employment including pay. The Council relies on the support of members and welcomes feedback and engagement.
It should also be noted that there are currently two vacancies on the Co-operative Group Council – one seat for the Manchester & District and one seat for the South East. Should any members be interested in joining the Co-operative Group Council and require any further detail on the activities and responsibilities please contact the NACO National Office.