An official arbitration committee has rejected Unite the Union’s bid to become recognised as the official trade union at the Financial Conduct Authority.
Unite had applied to become recognised as the official union for the sake of collective bargaining, but this morning the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) ruled the bid was not “admissible.”
The decision comes after months of wrangling over terms and conditions changes at the financial watchdog, with routine payments labelled as ‘bonuses’ scrapped in favour of performance-based pay grades. Unite requested recognition by the FCA last year, a claim the watchdog said should be settled by the independent authority.
The CAC was asked to decide whether the majority of workers within the bargaining unit would be likely to favour recognition of the union, a claim they rejected.
An FCA spokesperson said: “We said that the statutory process for recognition conducted through the independent Central Arbitration Committee was the best way of assessing the views of all colleagues on collective bargaining. 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.”
Unite had claimed the union had 600 members amongst a workforce of around 4,000. A petition calling for union recognition which was circulated by Unite was signed by around 1,274 employees.
That number fell from the number originally claimed by Unite, 2,400, after the arbitration committee called for a verification check which revealed both duplicates and unusual signatures from individuals including Mickey Mouse.
The decision will remove a headache for watchdog CEO Nikhil Rathi as he looks to move to the next phase of a ‘transformation’ programme designed to make the regulator more agile.
The regulator has been at pains to stress that the changes to pay and conditions will see the majority of staff receiving a 12 per cent pay rise over the next two years.