PCS are balloting 1,500 members who work for Atos – about 400 of them in Healthcare as admin and reception staff (not the medics), the rest in IT Services for industrial action against the firm.
The ballot is over pay, as unions are limited to what they can legally ballot over by restrictive trade union laws. However this multi-million pound company whose CEO Thieery Breton was paid a £1 million bonus on top of his £900,000 a year salary still pay a pittance to their staff and have offered a below inflation pay rise for this year.
While the latest figures show the company made an annual profit of more than £283 million – almost 7% up on the previous year – they’ve offered below inflation to staff, and have refused to commit to becoming a ‘living wage’ employer (£7.20 an hour, or £8.30 an hour in London).
PCS held an indicative ballot recently on the pay offer and 95% of members in Healthcare and 89% in IT Services rejected it, so they’re confident they’ll vote to strike and plan to target this during the Olympics.A PCS spokesman said:
“By sponsoring the Olympics, Atos is trying to buff up its image and associate itself with the ‘spirit of the Games’. The reality of course is very different because, while company executives and shareholders cream off the profits, Atos is condemning the rest of its staff to poverty pay. It’s a scandal that, at the same time, this company is taking millions of pounds of our money to help the government cut vital benefits for sick and disabled people.”