Financial Conduct Authority  

‘All eyes on FCA’ says Unite amid appeal rejection

It said: “The panel notes that there have been challenges with the veracity of the union’s petition.

“The union has acknowledged that there were duplicates and false entries with the initial figure of 2400 in favour reducing to 1473 when the union reviewed the results, which further reduced to 1242 and this figure formed the basis for the support check.”

In its finding, the Cac said union membership provides a “legitimate indicator” of the views of staff in the proposed bargaining unit as to whether they would be likely to favour recognition of the union. 

“No such evidence to the contrary was put forward in this case and the panel is therefore content to assume for the purposes of this decision that members of the union in the proposed bargaining unit favour recognition even though only 451 of those 633 members signed the union’s petition,” it said.

It also noted that 791 non-members, 19.87 per cent of the proposed bargaining unit, signed the union’s petition and on this basis, it had evidence which indicates that 35.05 per cent of workers in the proposed bargaining unit are likely to favour recognition of the union.

However, it concluded: “Having carefully considered the parties’ submissions, the panel does not consider that the evidence before it is sufficient to enable it to conclude, on the balance of probabilities, that a majority of the workers constituting the proposed bargaining unit would be likely to favour recognition of the union as entitled to conduct collective bargaining on behalf of the bargaining unit.”

Strike action

This comes as last week, the FCA’s Unite members took part in the first day of strike action and held placards and flags complaining about changes to pay and conditions of employment.

The strike followed on after members of Unite agreed last month to take part in a work-to-rule, meaning they would work strictly to their contracts of employment, job descriptions and working hours. 

It began after 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.

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”.