20th June 2021 – Pay Rise Accepted.
Members in Rivus Fleet Solutions have voted by four-to-one to accept a CWU-brokered pay deal which delivers a fully consolidated across-the-board 2% increase
Set against a relevant RPI inflation rate of 1.5% in March, the settlement represents a real term increase for Rivus members employed in the former BT Fleet workshops which were sold by BT in 2019 to private equity asset management company Aurelius.
Last year Rivus members received no pay increase at all, and from the outset of negotiations the CWU negotiating team was adamant that it was therefore crucial that this year’s pay award delivered a fair cost of living increase.
Following intensive but business like talks, the deal that was finally secured comprises a 2% increase in base pay rates backdated to April 1, 2021, with the deal flowing through to London Weighting and shiftworking payments, also backdated to April 1.
14th June 2021 – Rivus Fleet – Latest News.
Revised Garage Incentive Scheme. This has been agreed by the CWU National Executive Counsel. We have managed to secure changes to the proposed scheme to benefit our members working in garages. We are now waiting for Rivus to inform us of the implementation and timescales of the scheme.
2021 Pay Review. See article below.
Voluntary Increase in Extra Hours. Rivus have come up with the idea of technicians working an extra 5 hours per week, to extend the week to 42.5 This has not gone down well with most of the members in garages, as they will only be paid basic pay for these extra hours and not overtime. Rivus came up with this idea because they say the average working week in outside dealerships is around 42,5 hours per week. They say that they cannot recruit in some areas due to the basic pay for technicians not being high enough, we are having been telling them this for a long time now, but rather than increase the basic pay they have come up with this idea. Rivus are planning to trial this in one garage in each Region. We have no agreement on this at present,
COVID-19. No new Covid cases have been reported in Rivus Fleet that we are aware off.
CWU Health & Safety Garage Visits. We plan to resume these shortly now that Covid rules are easing. And will be planning to visit many garages in June/ July and August.
Steve Phillips Branch Secretary /Rivus Fleet Secretary
9th June 2021 – Rivus Fleet members urged to accept across-the-board 2% pay offer.
The consultative ballot that is presently underway will close at midday on Wednesday June 16, with the result being announced shortly afterwards.
Pay negotiations with Rivus Fleet Solutions have delivered a ‘final’ offer that, if accepted, will see members receive a fully consolidated 2% increase. The proposed settlement is being strongly recommended for acceptance by the union’s National Team in an electronic consultative ballot that commenced last week.
Set against a relevant RPI inflation rate of 1.5% in March, the CWU-brokered deal that is on the table represents a real term increase for Rivus members employed in the former BT Fleet workshops which were sold by BT in 2019 to private equity asset management company Aurelius. Last year Rivus members received no pay increase at all, and from the outset of negotiations the CWU negotiating team was adamant that it was therefore crucial that this year’s pay award delivered a fair cost of living increase.
Commending the offer to members, CWU national officer for Rivus Fleet Solutions, Allan Eldred, said: “Management’s opening position in these discussions was for a 1% increase payment from July 1 – something that was immediately rejected by the union as insufficient. Following this, the offer was increased and made payable from June 1, with a pay review which the company would carry out themselves, without any obligations, on January 1 next year. This too was rejected by the CWU, resulting in further discussions which culminated in the final offer that is now on the table.”
Allan Eldred went on to say, “As such, it is the view of the CWU National Team that this final offer represents fair and reasonable offer that compares favourably the prevailing level of pay settlements being achieved across the UK economy, resulting in a higher award than is being seen in many sectors.”
20th January 2021 – Use of Personal Tools in Rivus Fleet Workshops/Company Liability.
You will all be aware that there has been a major issue recently over technicians personal tools being covered against loss through theft for company liability purposes by Rivus Fleet, this issue has been around for a few years and was discussed at length between the CWU and BT Fleet. These discussions resulted in an agreement that technicians would obtain and if needed would provide receipts for any of their personal tools should they be stolen while being used in Fleet garages, the company would then look to replace these tools to the said value of as long as these losses were not the result of negligence.
However Rivus have clearly stated this week that this agreement as far as they are concerned has ended or is not recognised by them, as they have stated that they will not be held responsible for any theft or losses while technicians personal tools are in Rivus Garages.
They have also stated that technicians will need to take out their own personal liability insurance to cover any losses through theft. This will prove impossible to obtain for some CWU members given that some of the garages are on sites in high risk insurance areas with very little or no security on BT sites these days.
Therefore, we have sadly been left with no choice but to advise our CWU members to remove their personal tools from Rivus Garages, as these tools are currently at risk, until Rivus review and change their position on this issue.
20th December 2020 – Rivus Fleet Workshop – Luton. Suspected COVID Outbreak.
Apparently there has been a suspected COVID-19 Outbreak at RIVUS Fleet Garage in Luton. So please remember to social distance and to use masks and follow any local guidence when visiting any workshop to protect ourselves and our fellow colleagues.
18th November 2020 – Rivus Fleet Solutions – Fleet Maintenance HR1 – Redundancy Notice/Consultation
The Department have been made aware Fleet Maintenance have put out a communication informing our members of potential redundancies. We believe the reason the head of Fleet has put out this communication is to create a state of fear and anxiety for our Fleet members.
Whilst we have received a legal HR1 notice for a headcount reduction of 45 full time positions within Fleet Maintenance, the CWU do not accept there is a requirement for the headcount reduction and will be opposing any unagreed reduction by all means possible.
Fleet know they have not convinced the CWU of the need for the headcount reduction as they have been unable to provide any information we have requested. The information was requested in meetings prior to Fleet issuing the formal HR1 notice.
Fleet’s proposal is flawed, as they have been unable to provide the basic information we have requested and we believe it is simply a cost reduction exercise.
The information requested which Fleet have been unable to provide includes:-
- Which external contractors they use
- How many vacancies we have
- How many agency workers we have
- Costings of external contractors and agency etc.
- Quality of service for Vehicles off Road
- How many hire vehicles we use
- What are the current productivity levels
- How much maintenance is outstanding
The fact Fleet have not been able to provide this information a week after it was requested, shows their proposal is flawed. This is information which should have been provided and considered as part of the proposal, not requiring us to ask for it.
Despite, not providing us with this information and to date, not engaging in the formal consultation process, Sally Warren, Head of Fleet Maintenance, still saw it as the right thing to do to go ahead and announce there will be redundancies in Fleet.
This announcement comes at a time in the middle of the Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic, where no allowance is put into their proposals for the measures we need to put in to keep our members safe.
Their proposal is also based across the current Monday-Friday. The union and Royal Mail are discussing measures which will see vehicles used for longer during the week and potentially at weekend. This will obviously mean more maintenance, however, Fleet have not factored this into their proposal. At a time when vehicles are going to be used more, requiring more maintenance, Fleet put a proposal to reduce headcount!
We would prefer to be negotiating rather than sharing letters in the public arena. However, Fleet decided to announce this without informing the Union and we felt the need respond.
To date, we have had no response from Fleet on our request for information. Our letters make it clear, if Fleet want to engage properly, we will consider their proposal. If they do not, we will resist compulsory redundancy by all means possible and conflict is inevitable.
12th June 2020 – Rivus Fleet Solutions – Redundancies
Branches will recall that Aurelius (a venture capitalist company) purchased BT Fleet last year and created the company Rivus Fleet Solutions to take over BT’s Fleet business.
There are over 60 potential compulsory redundancies threatened covering 22 locations. The company however, is dealing with the 22 locations as separate entities and because none of those locations have more than 20 employees at risk of redundancy, the minimum period for individual consultation is just 30 days. It is RVS’s intention for all redundancies to take place at the end of July. They have also said that they don’t see anybody leaving before that date.
The company has advised the union that they will be using the same selection process as used in the last round. However, they have also stated that they do not wish to lose their most productive employees and they will therefore not be asking if anybody wishes to volunteer to go.
It is essential that any member that seeks assistance from branches at IC meetings are supported.
Their proposal also includes changes to attendance patterns. These are largely reducing the daily opening hours at some workshops. The union has responded to management seeking further information and dialogue, in a number of areas of their proposal.
To be clear; no aspect of their proposal has been agreed by this union.
1st May 2020 – PHASE 2 FURLOUGHING GARAGE NETWORK & HEAD OFFICE OPERATIONS
The CWU National Team has been informed of additional furloughing taking place across the garage network and Head Office Operations at Aquarius.
As reported previously, Rivus advised that they would review the situation moving forwards and have now confirmed that due to continuing reduction of work volume there has been a need to furlough more employees. As such a further 66 employees are now being furloughed in addition to the original 133 which were in phase 1. The second phase of furloughing will commence on 1st May 2020.
The same process is being followed as per the initial furloughing and volunteers are being sought in the first instance.
We have also received confirmation that Stirling garage has been closed temporarily due to the reduction in workload and employees will be furloughed. The union is seeking further details on the reduction of work in Stirling
HEAD OFFICE OPERATIONS
In addition to the reduction of workload across the garage network we have also been informed of the need to a furlough employees working at Head Office Operations at Aquarius. Rivus have confirmed that 14 employees will be furloughed in early May. We fully recognise this is a very worrying and uncertain time for members and their families but want to assure you we are in regular discussions with the company on these matters and will keep you informed accordingly of any developments.
9th April 2020 – RIVUS FLEET SOLUTIONS WORKSHOPS – JOB RETENTION SCHEME “FURLOUGH”
The CWU has been advised by Rivas Fleet Solutions that the COVID-19 outbreak has had a significant impact on the organisation in terms of work. They have therefore notified us that they are going to implement the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which allows them to retain employees until the crisis has passed.
We realise this is a very worrying and uncertain time for you and your families but we want to assure you that we are working closely with Rivus throughout and will keep you fully informed.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme involves placing employees on a period of leave – “furlough”. The Government’s scheme will cover 80% of your normal pay, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. We have requested that Rivus top up the remaining 20% of your salary of which they have agreed to do so. This amount is subject to deductions for tax and national insurance in the normal way. The company will be reviewing the terms of the top up payment on a 3 weekly basis and have advised that if the financial situation in the future changes they may have to change these arrangements.
The Government funded scheme will also fund the minimum auto-enrolment contribution of your pension, this is 3%. The company will be topping up your pension therefore the pension contribution you currently receive will not be impacted.
We have been keen to ensure that furloughing is dealt with through volunteers in the first instance and are pleased that Rivus also share this view. If selection is required, this will be based upon agreed criteria to ensure transparency and fairness and the CWU will be fully involved in this process. Furloughing will be rotated over 3 week periods if required.
If furloughed, you will need to agree to accept a variation to your terms and conditions. The minimum furlough will last is for three weeks; however, this can be shortened or lengthened depending on the operational demands of the business.
You will remain employed throughout your period of furlough, under your contract of employment and your continuity of employment is not affected. Annual leave will continue to accrue in the normal way. Your continuity of employment is unaffected during the furlough period.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is initially set to run until the end of May 2020 (as declared by the government), but will be extended if necessary. Rivus are keeping the situation under review and have assured us that they will keep us fully updated. Rivus have initially confirmed that 133 employees from the workshops and SEV will be furloughed.
As a condition of being accepted for furlough you must provide Rivus with a mobile or landline number so they can remain in contact with you.
Government guidelines regarding furloughing may change from time to time; we will of course ensure that any change is reflected accordingly by Rivus.
We would like to take the opportunity to thank all members and branches for their patience and assistance through these challenging times.