Formal notice has been served to Openreach that a statutory industrial action ballot will commence next week as a result of management’s steadfast refusal to engage with the CWU over the deep-seated concerns of Repayment Project Engineers (RPEs) about imposed changes to the grading of their role.
Furious RPEs took the highly unusual step in September of asking the union to register their readiness to take strike action against the belligerent new management approach they were experiencing, voting ‘Yes’ by nine-to-one in a 92% consultative ballot turnout .
At the time it was hoped that would force Openreach to reconsider. Such expectations, however, have proved futile – with complete management intransigence setting the scene for the forthcoming statutory industrial action ballot.
Yesterday (Thursday 7th January), Openreach was served notice that voting papers will be issued to the union’s entire RPE membership on or about January 14, with the result to be declared on or about Thursday February 4. At that point, assuming a ‘Yes’ vote and the company’s continued refusal to change tack, notice will be served for industrial action to commence on or about Thursday February 18.