Bulletin No January 2024     

GMB Members G4S Meeting Update

 2022/23 G4S Pay Negotiation Q&A

Dear GMB Members,

First and foremost, we want to express our gratitude for your ongoing support in these endeavours and recognise the frustration you may be experiencing. We appreciate the significant turnout at our online meeting to discuss the 2022/23 pay negotiations, with many of you posing excellent questions.

Understanding that some members couldn’t participate, we thought it was important to create a Q & A sheet. This aims to provide an overview of the discussed matters and address questions raised by members, ensuring transparency and inclusivity.

  • Q. What happens if G4S are unsuccessful and do not retain the DWP contract, have the union approached other possible contractors about pay? 
  • At this stage GMB’s Head of Research and Policy has advised that the DWP contract renewal notice has not yet been published, so we have not yet made any approaches to any other potential contractors. 

           We have written to the DWP seeking to have an input into the re-tender process on behalf of members who                 perform a crucial function for DWP.

           Once the tender is published we’ll certainly consider approaching potential contractors as a valid action.  

  • Q. Is there any truth in the rumour that G4S are not going for the contract and just kicking this around till April? 
  • G4S have not given any indication that they were walking away from the DWP contract and have always stated how important the contract is to the Secure Solutions business.
  • Q. Now that ACAS have confirmed that they are unwilling to arbitrate unless the TOR is agreed, is our only option to strike? 
  • No, we are presently balloting on an offer, which might be accepted. If it isn’t we will approach the Company about an enhanced offer. At that point we can consider industrial action as an option. 
  • Q. How much time must someone be a union member before being eligible to participate in a strike? 
  • Someone who wants to participate in strike action needs to be a union member, there is no minimum length of membership. However if someone is not a when the legal balloting is underway, then they will not have a say in the outcome.
  • Q. When will we start pay negotiations for 23/24 year?
  • We want to commence these as soon as possible once we conclude the current dispute.
  • Q. How did G4S cash and transit manage to finalise a deal within three months of the initial offer, while it appears that we are still far from reaching a resolution in our situation? 
  • G4S Cash have a history of being organised and prepared to take industrial action. We have not got the same history in Secure Solutions, in part because we have believed we were constrained by a no strike clause, which is not the case.
  • Q. Is the company intentionally delaying the contract renewal, considering the uncertainty surrounding it, especially since the guards, who constitute the main income stream, are being treated poorly? 
  • That is a distinct possibility; this is one of the reasons we are seeking to meet with DWP on your behalf regarding the contract renewal process.
  • Q. Are the company intentionally delaying the pay process due to possibly losing the contract? 
  • Again that could be a possibility, however that tactic would be very apparent and likely to have significant reputational damage to G4S, something that we believe they would want to avoid, particularly with Government contracts.
  • Q. If we go on strike what arrangements would be put in place to reduce the burden of financial pressure on guards who take action? 
  • GMB Rule Book provides for a minimum payment for members who ultimately take action, but every industrial action is considered on its merits to identify if this is appropriate.
  • Q. Where do we go from here? 
  • The ballot closes on the 9th, and we have sought a meeting date with the Company in the following week to discuss the results. This meeting will likely determine our next steps. We are also going to schedule another online meeting for the w/c 19th to update members.
  • Q. Might the company take the position, once the minimum wage takes effect, that it serves as your salary increase without providing any back pay? 
  • This is effectively what they have already offered by refusing to offer any increase/backpay to Dec 2022 – April 2023. This is a period of only 3 months, so represents very little cost to the Company, and we believe their refusal to make an offer reflects their view of the membership. 
  • Q. Surely we are the main income stream for the contract and should receive a fair pay award accordingly? 
  • Absolutely! GMB members play a crucial role in the smooth functioning and maintain the safety of DWP sites. It is a skilled role, performed by professionals with a qualified background. It is worth far more than the National Living Wage, which the majority of guards are now on. 
  • Q. What happens if you leave the company before the pay claim is settled, will you still be entitled to the back pay as you would have worked through that period ?
  • Legally you are not entitled to the back pay – this has been determined previously at tribunal – however we will seek to ensure that as part of any settlement that anyone who has left is paid their back pay.
  • Q. How can we preserve and enhance the pay differentials between team leaders and guards, especially considering that the current 6p per hour gap will vanish with the National Minimum Wage increase in April? 
  • This is a crucial issue and why we believe that we cannot allow the erosion of the differentials to continue. G4S has the money to maintain, and even enhance the rates, and we need to ensure that we can bring enough pressure to bear to secure that outcome. At present G4S have no reason to maintain, let alone enhance rates, as they don’t believe there is an issue.

In conclusion, it is evident that sustaining the momentum is crucial as we navigate through this process. 

The LNC committee urges members to engage in conversations with colleagues and encourage them to join our cause. 

Our strength lies in unity, and it is in our collective best interests to persist in the struggle for equitable wages across the DWP contract.

GMB DWP LNC                                                                                                                                                 GMB National Officer

Please ensure you share this update with non-members and encourage them to voice their opinions on pay by joining GMB: https://www.gmb.org.uk/join-gmbPhone Number