Trade union firm Thompsons has produced a last-minute offer involving non-monetary benefits and profit shares to stave off staff picketing its offices across the country today in a dispute over pay.
Staff, represented by the GMB union, voted for strike action last week after rejecting both an original offer of a 1% pay rise and a revised offer of 2% after talks at ACAS.
Some 89% voted in favour of walking out today.
Thompsons, one of the few unionised law firms, said the impact of LASPO and fixed costs in personal injury meant it could not afford the 3.5% demanded.
However, GMB national officer Nadine Houghton said yesterday: “Last-ditch talks with Thompsons have produced a new deal, which we will now put to our members in a ballot.
“The ballot will open on October 21 and close on November 1. This shows how strong we can be when members and reps stand together.”
A statement from Thompsons said: “Following constructive discussions with GMB at ACAS, whilst we have not been able to increase the pay offer, we have made some proposals on non-monetary benefits and a proposal for an agreement to introduce joint structures with staff involvement on profit share and remuneration.
“GMB has agreed to ballot members on the proposals and the strike action scheduled for 18 October has been called off.”
The GMB – which is not a client of Thompsons – has said staff have accepted real-terms pay cuts for three years, while its accounts show that “partners have taken millions”.