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Steria workers at Capita to strike over lack of pay rises

15 Dec 2011

Systems developers and analysts employed by IT services firm Steria and contracted to work for outsourcing firm Capita are to strike on Friday in a dispute over pay that dates back to 2010.

An overwhelming 82 per cent of staff polled by the Unite union agreed to the action, which will see staff picket sites in Bristol, Coventry and High Wycombe for 24 hours.

Unite regional officer Jerry Pickford claimed that the staff are taking the action as a last resort after not having had a pay rise since 2010.

"Over the last few years, our members have seen their workload increase tremendously and for nearly a decade they have received below inflation pay rises, which in real terms is seen as a pay cut," he said.

"This is the first time this group of workers have ever taken these steps as they feel they have no option other than to withdraw their labour in protest at the refusal of Steria to make any kind off pay offer."

Pickford claimed that, while staff are not receiving any pay increases, Steria's executives are still receiving hefty bonuses. He promised further action until the situation is resolved.

"Management claim the current financial condition is the reason that a zero pay award has been given to staff. However, Steria continues to post excellent results for last year and the first three quarters of this year," he said.

"It also seems that its executives are immune to these financial conditions as they award themselves very healthy pay rises and bonuses. Further action will be planned for the near future."

However, Steria said the strike action was uncalled for and that the firm was not in a position to offer any further pay increases.

"Steria has carried out a comprehensive pay review awarding pay rises to our lower paid employees this year. We cannot add any further costs to our pay bill," it said.

"At this time of increasing economic uncertainty our priority is to protect the job security of our employees. Steria does not believe encouraging individuals to take strike action, where they will lose pay, is in anybody's interest."

The strikes will be the second round of industrial action to hit Steria in 2011 after staff contracted to work at the government's Identity and Passport Service division went on strike in July over pay freezes.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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