The meeting was held against the backdrop of the announcement late last week, that Vodafone is considering insourcing some of the functions, such as QoS, Planned work and Optimisation that were outsourced to Ericsson in 2009. If this were to happen there would be Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employees) Regulations (TUPE) discussions and the union would be engaged in consultation on behalf of members as we were on the exit from Vodafone. In these discussions we would want to focus on maximising choice, where possible, for members.
Prospect made it clear to Ericsson that prolonging decisions on the future for employees who have already been subject to significant upheaval would be unacceptable, particularly when employees are thinking about redeployment, retraining and relocation. We recognise that it is not only Ericsson who have a say on this, so we have contacted Vodafone separately and made this clear to them also.
We understand that further 'workshops' are being held between Ericsson and Vodafone to understand whether these proposals are taken further. We have pressed Ericsson to ensure that employee's interests are not left out in these processes, and that timescales are set to provide a speedy resolution. We have also asked Ericsson to press for an extension to the occupancy of the Hayes building.
Ericsson has confirmed that Knowledge Transfer (KT) will continue to be worked and paid in line with the agreement made with Prospect. We were advised that KT had started for Hayes and Manchester. Although it has been held up in the RAN Ops team as the union was already aware, and had sought to intervene constructively to resolve. We reminded Ericsson that KT was a voluntary arrangement in line with the agreement made.
No other Knowledge Transfers have been proposed to the union or consulted over. We were able to ensure that KT was paid in an area where it had been overlooked, so if you are asked to take part in such activity please contact Ken Harwood or Martin Wills in the first instance for further advice.
Ericsson confirmed that redeployment activities should also continue, in line with the Redeployment Principles agreed and shared with members in previous communications. We have again pressed for consideration to be given to redeployment into field roles where possible. Although we have not had a satisfactory answer to that request we will continue to press the company.
We will continue to consult with Ericsson over these matters over the coming weeks and months. If you would like to discuss this work, or how you can help, with us please contact your Prospect rep, or call my office on 01455 555200.