Promoted by David Beale, 36 Pleasant View, Withnell, Chorley PR6 8SE on behalf of Martin Powell-Davies of TUSC.

Thursday 21 August 2014

Performance Pay - an "absolute dictatorship of the employer"

The latest issue of the National Shop Stewards Network's weekly bulletin contains a tale that will regrettably strike a chord with too many teachers getting ready return to school and our own performance management meetings.

For the full bulletin, read:

The CWU in British Telecom has just undertaken a survey of members whether to ballot for strike action over Performance Management (PM). A majority are in favour. But PM is increasingly being used throughout the world of work. This week, a CWU member lifts the lid on this bullying culture (names have been changed):-

“A confidential meeting between a line manager and team member is taking place. Targets have been revised and raised. Now each member of the manager’s team must hit 100% of expected job standards, but not to worry as the individual has achieved 130%; an increase of 30%. They are continuously improving and being Right First Time.  However, some of the job activities have had their time allowed to complete cut by 33%, and in others, 50%. Well done, no matter, the individual seems to be coping well with this new revision and is on track to meet expectations. But hold on there. The manager has been informed that within the 130% productivity, not enough risk is being taken. It turns out that 16% of that 130% should in fact be 30%. On that alone, the 30% increase in productivity and meeting targets must be put aside. It also turns out that on one occasion, when the manager wanted an Instant Messenger chat, the individual had been 10 minutes late back from lunch. This same technology, the manager is informed, did not pick up the extra 20 minutes yesterday spent saving a job from ending up as a Service Level Agreement for the company. No matter. The member is told to watch their timekeeping, put on a development plan and is marked “Development Needed”. When they had walked in the room they had been on a mark of “Achieving Standards”.

Reports come in the tea break. Another manager elsewhere has marked all of his team as “Development Needed”. For 30 minutes A pissed off worker has been held back by team mates as  he verbally berates this manager who, after marking all the team down, is still sits sitting amongst them on the same floor in open view of all. It is regarded as crass piss taking. The team member sits down exhausted, it is never ending, and they are always on your back. What’s the point, no one is doing f**k all about it.

Archie is screaming, swearing and kicking all his desk drawers. Everything is falling on to the floor. He is literally in tears. “What’s up mate?”

“F***ing software, cancelled out all my macros again. Got to get this f******g job out ‘cos I’m expected to do two jobs a day; they’re on my back again”. Poorly designed and replatformed software has meant that jobs get stuck in being processed on the web based computer tools. The pressure is on for despite Senior Managers knowing full well of this known but unresolved problem, targets were recently raised. Archie is on a final warning and is desperate.

Welcome to the working world where for the working week, in the world’s oldest democracy, an absolute dictatorship of the employer rules the floor. It is suffocating.”

NSSN News: Lobby of TUC Conference on September 7th in Liverpool – The 2014 NSSN conference agreed that the Network will hold a public rally at the TUC Congress in Liverpool to lobby delegates to keep up the pressure for further co-ordinated strikes – 2pm Sunday September 7th in Jury’s Hotel opposite Echo Arena conference centre in Albert Dock. PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka is one of the confirmed speakers alongside Ronnie Draper BFAWU General Secretary and Steve Gillan POA General Secretary. 

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