Decision Maker Response

Mike Coupe’s response

May 11, 2018 — Thank you for taking the time to sign this petition - I understand why you signed given how our proposals were presented - and appreciate the opportunity to respond and explain what we are trying to do.

Our proposals represent an investment of more than £100 million in our Sainsbury’s store colleagues. They would take our hourly rate of pay from £8.00 an hour to £9.20 an hour and would make us the highest paying retailer in the country.

This means that more than 90% of Sainsbury’s store colleagues would get a pay rise. This follows four years of annual pay rises that mean we would pay colleagues 30% more in September 2018 than we did in September 2014. I am proud to have increased our base rate of pay by 30% during my time as Chief Executive.

The aim of these changes is to make pay fair and consistent for everyone. At the moment we have colleagues working side-by-side in store, doing exactly the same job, but being paid different amounts, depending on when they started working for us. That doesn’t seem fair. So we are proposing to move everyone onto the same contract, with the same terms and conditions and an increased hourly rate – which means that the vast majority of colleagues get a pay rise.

So why the backlash? I do appreciate that, while most colleagues will get a pay rise, there are some who won’t. Let me reassure you that we have thought very carefully about what to do about that. We have proposed top-up payments for an 18 month period to make sure that no colleague earns less than they do today. And at the end of that 18 months – in March 2020, we will review the hourly rate again.

We are in the middle of consultation on these proposals with all of our colleagues – and we have made significant changes to our proposals as a result of feedback from our colleagues.

For example, all London boroughs will now receive a location pay premium; we’ve increased the proposed pay for online drivers and increased the proposed pay for everyone who works between midnight – 5am. These are meaningful changes that will have a real impact on our colleagues’ pay and that will cost Sainsbury’s millions of pounds a year. But it’s been important to us that we listen throughout this process and respond to concerns along the way.

The retail industry is changing quickly and every business is having to adapt, including Sainsbury’s. Ensuring our contracts are fair and consistent and paying our colleagues an industry-leading rate of pay so that they can give the best possible customer service is just one part of our plan.

I hope this provides you with the reassurance that we are trying to do the right thing.

Thank you again for taking the time to write to me.