6 October 2021

OMEC the new contract in MOD Guard Service

The trade unions have opposed OMEC from the outset, we continue to do so. We see it as an immoral, shameful attempt by MOD to exploit the Covid situation.

PCS is confident that OMEC will be scrapped as recruitment and retention rates fall off the proverbial cliff. Although PCS worked hard for two years to oppose OMEC as it only affected "new employees" it could not be stopped. But OMEC would also affect any existing shift workers seeking promotion (very few do now) and anyone who relocates to a different MGS unit-unless it is caused by unavoidable circumstances such as a site closure e.g., Stirling, which is due to close very shortly. There is also the impact from rostering on all the staff as MGS struggle to make OMEC work.

One of the only concessions we were able to get from them is that all existing permanent employees who were in place prior to OMEC being imposed will be exempted and allowed to move into shift working positions on "legacy" Terms and Conditions. PCS argued that those staff would simply be changing their working patterns and should not be considered "new" employees. PCS also insisted on getting that commitment in writing, offering some protection for our non-shift working members at larger sites such as the Clyde and Abbey Wood. If permanent shift work becomes available (albeit it must be at the same location) then they will not be subjected to the dreadful 48 hour a week, flat rate OMEC terms.

This is of little comfort to Fixed Term Appointment employees such as yourself and I honestly do not know if such scenarios have even been discussed at national TU engagement level (I have not been involved in those discussions for a couple of years now), but I will certainly make some enquiries and will get back to you as soon I can find out.

In years gone by, I would have said - with a degree of optimism- that we could have appealed to MGS Head Office's sense of justice and urged them to take into consideration the fact that the efforts of you and your colleagues will, without doubt, have been the main reason for them securing the new business at Lossiemouth on a permanent basis. Unfortunately, everything to do with OMEC has an air of mean-spiritedness about it and there is something of an entrenched attitude. PCS needs reps in MGS at all our sites, we need you to contact us with your issues on OMEC and we need to get organised to recruit new and existing guards into our union, so we are in a strong position to fight off OMEC.