A message to our members about Pay in BT, Openreach and EE

Following Philip Jansen’s message to you earlier this week with regard to the company’s pay and reward proposal, let’sbe clear, we believe you deserve this for all your hard work over the past year. However, this is not a resolution to the 2021 pay negotiations – as acknowledged by Philip Jansen himself.
An unconsolidated £1000 in cash is not a pay increase. It does not protect the value of your pay against inflation. It is an attempt by the company to try to buy you off with cash and to disrupt our Count Me In campaign. It sadly confirms the direction the company are taking.
An unconsolidated pay rise means your pay will not go up with the cost of living. Next year you will be on the same pay, at a time when RPI inflation is currently 1.4% and is predicted to rise to 2.3% by the autumn. This will affect applications for mortgages and rents and your future pension as it will be non-pensionable.
Undoubtedly, BT have made this move because of your support for the CWU. What is vital now is that we re-double our efforts to win the Industrial Action Ballot and deliver an agreement on job security. We know you will not be bought off and unlike BT, we will not put a price on your job. They are trying to divide the workforce, and ignoring the voice of members, so that they can plough on with their job cuts and a race to the bottom on pay, terms and conditions. We can’t allow this to happen.
BT were one of the big winners at the recent budget. The CWU estimates the new ‘super-deduction’ will save BT hundreds of millions of pounds over the next two years and could wipe out their corporate tax bill entirely. BT have not only survived but practically thrived throughout the pandemic and, as such, we’re expecting profits after tax for the 2020/21 financial year to come in at around £1.7 billion.
The issues contained within our Count Me In dispute affects every single person who works for BT, Openreach and EE. Don’t let the company’s desperate move of a cash bonus buy you off – we still need to get a resounding ‘Yes’ vote in our industrial ballot if we are to show the company we mean business.
We have your back, you have ours. Together, we will win this dispute.

We’ve now witnessed an act of desperation from the company where they’ve attempted to win your support via a bribe. They’ve put a price on your job, a price on the future of your workplace and a price on replacing a proper pay review that would protect the value of your pay – and that price is £1,000 before tax and national insurance!
It seems they genuinely believed that you would withdraw your support for the union for about £700 in cash…but it’s clear you’ve seen this bribe for exactly what it is. They can put a price on your job but they can’t put a price on your dignity! Our priority now is not to be distracted by this sideshow.
It’s now the job of every single person in this union to focus on winning the forthcoming industrial action ballot. To quote a very old BT adage, it’s good to talk’ – so let’s make sure that every single member is part of that conversation, and lets deliver the biggest ‘yes’ vote in our history.

CWU president and chair of the T&FS Executive Karen Rose

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