25th June 2020 – BT Pay 2020 – Ballot Results.

We commenced a ballot on the Monday 15th June 2020 with regard this year’s pay award from BT for all Team Members (NewGRID Grades) and other NewGRID grades on Workforce 2020 contracts which your Executive was recommending acceptance.

The result is as follows:

  • A 1.5% increase in pay from 1st July 2020 fully consolidated and pensionable, and flowing through to pay related allowances.
  • The next pay review date of 1st April 2021 to remain unchanged.

The CWU ballot of affected members has now concluded, and we can advise you that the result was as follows:

  • Accepting the pay offer:                    63% of valid votes
  • Rejecting the pay offer:                     37% of valid votes

Of the ballot papers dispatched, 55% were returned.

The CWU has now confirmed acceptance of the pay offer to the company and this will be implemented on 1st July 2020.
We now need to unite our strength and focus in opposition to the other serious job security threats that we face.

Thanks to all who participated in the ballot

15th June 2020 – Pay Ballot Now Open.

The Pay Ballot is now open and closes on Thursday 25th June 2020.
Which ever way you wish to vote, please cast your vote in a ballot which may prove to be a turning point in BT / CWU relations.

11th June 2020 – Branch Recommends Rejection.

The position of your CWU national representatives is to recommend to you that you accept the offer and they have set out their reasoning for this in the Members Bulletin below.

However the CWU is a democratic organisation and this means that branches are able to make their own recommendation to the members they represent and having reflected on the position of our headquarters we believe the right thing to do at this time is to recommend to you that you vote to reject the proposal for the following reasons

The proposal is headlined as a 1.5% increase but this is clearly not the case. Our pay review date and claim was for an increase from April 1st but BT is only proposing this increase from July 1st. This means that the real offer is in fact  just over 1.1%.  Whilst we accept we are in exceptional times right now we do not believe that this reflects the contribution you have all made over the last 12 months. BT has made great play of the key worker role many of you have fulfilled. Warm words from the company  are all well and good but they do not pay your bills. Seeking to impose a pay offer on us and unilaterally changing the date of the pay increase shows their true colours. Clearly BT have been impacted by Covid 19 and as a responsible trade union we have to accept this but BT is far better placed than many companies to be in a position to negotiate with your union. It is clear they have refused to do this.

The CWU also surveyed you recently on the pay proposal and we have been provided details of  the responses from our branch membership. Of the people who responded a clear majority of 60% indicated that the offer was not acceptable. As a branch it is important that we reflect the views of our members.  

Finally in their email to you our national representatives set out their thinking as to why they are recommending the pay proposal and within this they state “We believe that your ongoing contribution and commitment is worth more and that you should be more fairly rewarded for the dedication and hard-work that you have so obviously shown in delivering for customers, as vital key workers, during this exceptional time”   It is clear then that no one within the union whether nationally or at branch level believes the pay proposal reflects your contribution however our national team go on to state their thinking that pay is not the priority for you at this time and that the union needs to ready itself for other challenges and “bank” this pay offer .They then go on to reference “Compulsory Redundancies in Enterprise and potentially other areas of the business; Future Site Strategies and potential closures through the Better Workplace Programme, unagreed changes to future Terms and Conditions; future Redundancy Terms for our members; and a myriad of Grading related issues.” Your national leadership is right to highlight the huge challenges we face and the impact this will potentially have on you as employees. But  these challenge are here now. Our national team say the priority is job security but BT has already forced through their first ever compulsory redundancy of one of our members and more are to follow over the coming weeks. By accepting the pay proposal BT will conclude they are pushing at an open door and it will hasten the many changes that will be massively detrimental to you. We believe it is time to tell BT no and that we will not accept imposed change. In doing so we accept that our national leadership is correct in saying that negotiations have been exhausted but let’s be clear, in truth there has been no negotiation. If this is the way BT are heading we can either accept it or challenge them. As your branch representatives we have to be honest and tell you this may mean we end in a dispute situation but if we hold back now we believe we will only be delaying the inevitable at further cost to our membership.

In the end the choice of how you vote is yours and regardless of the outcome it is important that you do vote so that you have your say but please remember that a union will always act to defend your interest . But our ability to do this only exists because an employer believes you are prepared to make a stand. Without this they will say nice things about us, pat us on the head and then ignore us.
We cannot let them ignore us so please vote no.     

5th June 2020 – Union to recommend acceptance of 1.5% offer with ballot due to open 15th June 2020.

Further to the briefing issued in April, providing an update to discussions on your pay award this year, we’re sorry we haven’t been in touch.  Since then we’ve been dealing first and foremost with your safety and wellbeing at work during these unparalleled times.  We have though, still been talking to the company in full recognition that you were due, and deserving of, a pay rise on 1st April.

Phillip Jansen, CEO, wrote to you recently setting out the challenges facing the company due to the coronavirus pandemic.   It was an obvious appeal to all employees to accept that BT will face significant challenges to its revenues due to these unprecedented times and that whilst you would continue to be employed and paid, the company wouldn’t be able to afford more than a 1.5% pay rise – payable from 1 July 2020.  
They also state that the next pay review date is 1st April 2021. 

We’ve made every possible effort to shift the company’s thinking on this. We believe that your ongoing contribution and commitment is worth more and that you should be more fairly rewarded for the dedication and hard-work that you have so obviously shown in delivering for customers, as vital key workers, during this exceptional time.  However, we do need to acknowledge that the country has seen the biggest quarterly economic contraction since the financial crisis of 2008. We would be foolish to think BT sits in isolation of this. 

We’ve also asked a large sample of our BT members, via a survey, for your views on the offer as we’d already had feedback from many of you that you thought we should accept 1.5% mainly because job security is paramount and that to fight against this would not be in your best interests at this time.  The results of the survey showed 70% of you prioritised job security over a pay rise.

We wish to be clear with you that we have now exhausted all possible discussions, and escalation channels, in respect of any pay rise. There is no further increase, or positive movement, to be achieved through negotiation. In parallel with this, we are also extremely aware that we cannot ignore the wider issues facing you, and your future employment, right now, which are influencing people’s thinking.

BT are determined to continue with reorganising the company and we need to challenge their approach, not just on pay, but on a number of fronts: Compulsory Redundancies in Enterprise and potentially other areas of the business; Future Site Strategies and potential closures through the Better Workplace Programme, unagreed changes to future Terms and Conditions; future Redundancy Terms for our members; and a myriad of Grading related issues.

We believe that the pay offer needs to be banked for members while we fight on to defeat greater threats and attacks. However, our recommendation to accept should not be seen as a position of weakness. On the contrary, it is to unite our strength and focus in opposition to the other serious job security threats that we now face.

There are a number of fronts on which your union need to challenge the company. We want to do this in a co-ordinated and united way with the full backing of our membership. 

As a consequence, the union is recommending acceptance of BT’s offer of 1.5% from 1st July 2020. We will be running a consultative ballot and you will receive an electronic vote within the next couple of weeks. 

Andy Kerr – Deputy General Secretary – T&FS

20th May 2020 – Update

The Branch has received no information from Head Office with regard to the pay survey.

Interestingly, inflations figures released today, show that.
The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 0.8% in April 2020, down from 1.5% in March.

The Retail Price Index (RPI) 12-Month rate was 1.5% in April 2020 down from 2.6% in March.

24th April 2020 – BT Pay Survey

Members by now should have received a Union survey on BT’s Pay Offer. We would urge you to complete it.

6th April 2020 – BT Pay 2020

We have been in dialogue with the company, as much as we have been able in these difficult times, to discuss your pay award which is due on 1st April 2020.  You will no doubt have received the communications from BT advising of the offer they are making. (BT Communications are below)

The CWU are disappointed with this offer, we believe you are worth more!  You are the invisible group of key workers who have shown your unrivalled commitment to your work by being courageous and flexible to keep businesses and families connected, ensuring the population stay safe in their homes during these unprecedented times.

That said, whilst many workers across the country face losing their jobs, we welcome BT’s commitment to your job security, that is paramount.  We also accept that BT may well have some significant financial challenges ahead and future reduction in revenue due to the fall-out of the Covid 19 pandemic ; however we believe that now is the time for BT to recognise your commitment by  ensuring financial priority is given to front-line workers above any other financial commitments. 

We are seeking an urgent meeting with the company to discuss their offer. Further details will be reported in due course.

Yours sincerely. Andy Kerr Deputy General Secretary  

BT Communications – 6th April 2020

BT – standing by the country; standing by our people

  • BT keeping the UK connected, safe and working, says Philip Jansen
  • Commits to no job losses related to the coronavirus crisis for the foreseeable future
  • Pay increase for key and non-managerial workers; pay freeze for managers
  • Reconfirms award to all employees of £500 worth of BT shares in June
  • Chief Executive to donate his salary for at least the next six months

BT is currently playing a critical role in powering the UK’s digital infrastructure, as well as keeping customers connected globally.  Despite unprecedented demand for connectivity, BT’s fixed broadband network – the nation’s communications backbone, and EE – its number one mobile network, are both performing strongly.
We are prioritising support for critical services, specifically the NHS, from connecting the new Nightingale Hospitals to innovating to enable isolated patients to speak with their loved ones.  This is why many of our frontline people – engineers and customer service colleagues – are designated as key workers by the UK Government.
BT is also working with Government on initiatives to support the country’s most vulnerable people and on the provision of data to guide public health policy.  A raft of measures is ensuring that the company’s 30m customers have connectivity, flexibility and access to the critical services they need.

To reflect this vital role, BT announces today that, whilst ongoing transformation programmes will continue, no employee will lose their job in the foreseeable future – at least the next three months – as a direct result of changing trading conditions brought about by coronavirus. Throughout the same period, BT will continue to pay all employees’ salaries in full and – in line with its commitment to maximise support to the UK’s national effort – will not put any staff on publicly-funded ‘furlough’. We are currently supporting thousands of colleagues who are unable to work; have protected the jobs of 400 new engineers who cannot currently be trained; and are reskilling and redeploying many of our 4,200 retail staff to provide services to some of our most vulnerable customers.

To recognise these frontline key workers, who are doing so much to keep the UK connected through the crisis, BT has also decided to offer an annual pay increase of 1.5% effective from 1 July 2020 to its team members (non-managerial staff) in the UK.
At the same time, BT has decided not to make an annual pay increase to its managers in 2020/21. 
BT also reconfirms its previous commitment to make an award of £500 worth of BT of shares to all employees in June. The ‘yourshare’ scheme amounts to around a £50m investment this year in making all BT Group colleagues shareholders in the company.
In addition, BT Chief Executive Philip Jansen has decided that, for at least the next six months, whilst the business works through the crisis, he will donate his salary to the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 appeal and to affected small businesses in his local community.

Philip Jansen said: “BT is stepping up, standing by the country in this time of need and standing by our people who are working tirelessly to keep everyone connected, safe and  working.  I have been extremely proud of the commitment shown by BT colleagues to support our customers in the last few weeks and want to recognise that. This is an unprecedented situation and I want to give our people some certainty about the months ahead. This period requires sacrifices from us all, and I want our people to know we are all in this together.”