Financial Conduct Authority  

FCA Unite members to ban overtime as part of strike action

FCA Unite members to ban overtime as part of strike action

The Financial Conduct Authority’s Unite members will take part in a continuous overtime ban from May 6 as part of its strike action.

FTAdviser has learned that members of Unite, the union which represents staff at the regulator, will take part in a work-to-rule which will consist of staff working strictly to their contracts of employment, job descriptions, shift start and finish times and working hours. 

In addition to this, Unite members will also strike on May 4 and May 5 as the start of its action. 

Unite said it was not aware of what number of staff will take part until the action commences. 

Last week, three quarters (75 per cent) of Unite union members voted for the first time in favour of industrial action against the FCA over disputes around changes to pay and conditions.

Some 90 per cent voted to support industrial action short of strike action.

FTAdviser understands that only 61 per cent (380) of the 624 Unite members participated in the vote.

The vote followed a non-binding ballot earlier this year in which 87 per cent of members voted for strike action, which paved the way for a full industrial action ballot.

Key concerns by staff included the loss of routine payments labelled ‘bonuses’ which represents 10 to 12 per cent of salary, the narrowing of pay bands, lower pay bands for Scottish staff, cuts affecting graduate trainees, and a threat of future cuts to pensions.

Other concerns by members included a perceived unfair appraisal system and a high level of pay inequality, which Unite said was “unusually high by the standards of public sector regulators”. 

The union claimed that while pay bands for most staff were being squeezed, those for senior managers were being uprated.

An FCA spokesperson said: “Our new employment package is highly competitive, providing fair, competitive pay at all levels and rewards strong, consistent performance. Most colleagues are receiving an average 7 per cent increase in base pay this year and over 12 per cent over the next two years, with an additional one-off cash payment of 4 per cent in May. 

“Our lowest paid and strongest performers will receive more. The changes we have made ensure the FCA’s pay and benefits package remains one of the best, if not the best, of any regulatory or enforcement agency in the UK.    

“We acknowledge the result of the ballot of Unite members, and respect colleagues’ votes and their strength of feeling about some of the changes we have made.” 

Earlier this week, a freedom of information request revealed that the FCA said its disciplinary policy may apply when there are no “exceptional circumstances” for staff not wanting to return to the office.

The FOI said the regulator is “committed to supporting colleagues” and expects individuals and line managers to have open and honest conversations regarding "exceptional personal circumstances" that may impact on the return to the office.