Financial Conduct Authority  

Unite asks FCA exec committee for vote on recognition

Unite asks FCA exec committee for vote on recognition

Trade union Unite has called for a vote on whether the Financial Conduct Authority’s executive committee should recognise Unite as representing staff at the regulator. 

In a post on its website, Unite, the union representing rights of employees at FCA, said: “Provided that we are allowed to campaign openly, a vote is all we ask. We have nothing to fear from a vote, and nor does Exco.”

It said that if passed, Unite would engage in collective bargaining on behalf of staff. 

“We would represent staff as a collective group in negotiating over matters such as pay, hours and holidays. We have much greater bargaining power as a collective unit than we do as separate individuals.”

The post said that a union would not only benefit staff but the FCA as a whole as “higher staff morale means a more productive and better performing workforce, as well as easier recruitment and retention.”

“Externally, being unionised will mean a lower public confidence risk."

Unite said it would be willing to work with other unions if recognised.

However, the FCA has responded by saying that the statutory process for recognition, which took place through the independent central arbitration committee (CAC), was the best way of assessing the views of staff on collective bargaining. 

In May, the central arbitration committee, an independent body, considered Unite’s application to be recognised for collective bargaining purposes by the FCA, but this was turned down.

A spokesperson for the FCA told FTAdviser today (August 1): “Following the CAC’s decision, we want to have an open conversation with all our colleagues about how their voice is represented - listening and responding to the diverse range of views and opinions we're proud of at the FCA.” 

Elsewhere, in Unite's post, it highlighted that while it respects the internal staff consultative committee (SCC), it emphasised that it is not a union.

“We are happy to work alongside the SCC. Exco might decide to retain the SCC, and might even give it collective bargaining rights. A compromise arrangement in which the SCC functions alongside Unite may be the best way forward.”

On May 4 and 5, FCA staff went on strike outside the regulator’s London and Edinburgh offices, with many more taking part remotely. FTAdviser understands around 240 FCA staff walked out.

A further strike took place on June 9 and 10 but the third set of walkouts due to take place in July  were suspended after Unite said it had “secured a route to union recognition” making strike action - which it described as a “last resort” - unnecessary.

jane.matthews@ft.com