EDS deal with civil service union is prelude to closer relations

27 Jan 00
Computer services group EDS has reached an agreement with the dominant civil service union PCS to harmonise terms and conditions for more than 3,000 employees working for the company across eight government departments and agencies.

28 January 2000

The union is balloting its members on the proposal, with the result expected by February 16.

The agreement is seen as a prelude to a wider partnership deal to be signed later this year. This would be a symbolic development in public sector industrial relations: EDS has historically been regarded as anti-union, while PCS has fought tooth and nail against the civil service's outsourcing programme.

PCS senior national officer Colin Sambrook admits that negotiations have been difficult. 'It's a really hard trick for us to turn. We just said: "We have to be adult about this". We are a civil service union that believes in public funded services.'

The harmonisation will apply to all staff not on individual contracts and will include EDS employees working for the Inland Revenue, Employment Service and Department of Social Security.

In a letter setting out the offer to PCS, the US-owned multinational states: 'EDS believes that PCS is now well positioned to move forward with the company towards a positive partnership which will be based on trust and integrity, regular dialogue and the recognition of the needs of both sides for compromise.'

EDS employees are either on individual or 'image' contracts, so-called because they are similar to civil service terms and conditions. Those on the former could now see their holiday entitlement, hours of work, night-time allowances and parental leave harmonised.

PCS already has partnership agreements with Capita and Manpower, and is seeking one with Siemens.


Did you enjoy this article?