British Waterways respond to Union reaction to bonuses

Following the union’s angry reaction to news of BW Directors awarding themselves bonuses inspite of negotiating a tight ‘no-rise’ pay deal with BW staff and increasing the cost of user licenses, BW’s Board seem surprised that finances were ‘better than expected’.

In a statement, British Waterways BW said its finances last year had ended £9.6m up on the amount planned, due to “better commercial performance and significant savings in cost”.

It said: “As a result, BW was able to maintain expenditure on maintenance and repair at similar levels to previous years despite the government’s cut in grant.”

It added: “The board was delighted with these results and wished to recognise the exceptional contribution made by certain staff, including executive directors.

“Accordingly, and in strict adherence to government guidelines, they decided that capped performance-related payments should be made.

“In total some 215 people 12 per cent of the workforce will receive a PRP payment.”

via Union angered by director bonuses at British Waterways – Civil Society – Finance – News – providing news and in-depth coverage of charities, voluntary organisations and not-for-profits.

5 comments to British Waterways respond to Union reaction to bonuses

  • BW's statutory responsibility is to look after the well-being of our navigations. I can support the concept that they may have to do that by restricting wage rises and increasing the costs of boating in difficult times but I cannot condone that if they use the funding to award themselves bonuses! That particularly in the current economic climate where EVERYBODY has to be prepared to make financial sacrifices. And everybody means people who are well-paid to do a job that is competitive even without a bonus structure.

  • denis

    “As a result, BW was able to maintain expenditure on maintenance and repair at similar levels to previous years despite the government’s cut in grant.”thats a laugh ,,, have any of the upper echelon ever been out on a boat ? they would surely blush if they seen the state of the decaying canal system ,i mean the canals outside of the "tourist " hotspots ,,maintain repairs and maintenance levels to previous year,, lol they haven't spent anything like enough in the last few years except on hair brained schemes !!!!

  • Paul Ost

    Surely a much smaller spread across the workforce to show team work appreciation or donating it towards the cash strapped waterways would have been a far wiser thing to have done. ?

  • #RobinEvansMustResign – The Boater’s Revolution | Workboat Pug

    […] August 18th “Following the union’s angry reaction to news of BW Directors awarding themselves bonuses inspite of negotiating a tight ‘no-rise’ pay deal with BW staff and increasing the cost of user licenses, BW’s Board seem surprised that finances were ‘better than expected’.” http://waterwaywatch.org/2011/08/18/british-waterways-respond-to-union-reaction-to-bonuses/ […]

  • disgruntled bwemp

    Gaenor Prest
    Employer’s Side Secretary
    British Waterways
    Fearns Wharf
    Neptune Street
    Leeds. LS9 8PB

    16 August 2011

    Dear Gaenor,

    As you know we held a meeting of the senior stewards from both unions today. The feel of the meeting was one of pure disgust following the announcement of the Directors bonuses. At the pay meeting in May when we asked to increase the award for staff BW's response was there were very limited funds available for this. Now it transpires this was being put aside for Directors bonuses. The bonuses directors have received equates to one third of the pay pot for 0.5% of BW staff compared to two thirds of the pot being shared between 99.5% of the staff. Both unions agree this is a disgrace and our members are appalled how they have been treated, we believe this will damage staff morale even further within BW.

    We also discussed volunteers. Consultation with union reps before engaging volunteers is not taking place. Sending an email to a rep or telling them a volunteer will arrive the next day is not consultation and is in breach of the jointly agreed volunteering policy. If BW’s employees are to take seriously your claim that you are committed to staff engagement and good partnership working, then these practices need to change. Pay and reward decisions need to be negotiated and fair, and agreed policies and procedures must be honoured.

    As a result of the above you leave us with no choice but to withdraw from all national meetings for the time being. There isn't any point of us attending meeting and agreeing a policy for it then to be ignored in the work location. Therefore, the following meetings will now not take place:

    NJF
    BJFs
    Efficiency
    Maternity/Paternity
    Employee engagement
    Employee feedback

    Both unions feel it is necessary to take such drastic action due to the constant undermining and disregard BW have for the unions and their members.

    Yours sincerely

    Jane Hamer
    UNISON
    Phil Allman
    Phil Allman
    UNITE

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