Count Me In Campaign – Agreement Reached With BT Group

Members should have by now received the latest Count Me In bulletin, giving details of the agreement with the company on a wide range of issues. It can be found below.

Our branch understands that some members may be somewhat disappointed in the outcome of these “intensive negotiations”, with, on the surface, little progress in the main areas of disagreement, namely compulsory redundancies and this years pay deal. Also no news on the repayment planners dispute.

Our branch view will be communicated shortly, after we have more time to digest the complete agreement which spans over 80 pages. However regardless of our view, the union must offer every member an opportunity to have your say. The CWU has a proud history of putting all pay deals and negotiated changes to terms and conditions to an all members ballot and that must continue.

But as Andy Kerr states in the bulletin,
“This agreement will increase job security, secure UK based roles, implement fairer grading and pay structures, see the opportunity for upskilling and see the union become a powerful stakeholder rather than an observer to BT’s plans.”
And that,
“the momentum that we achieved with the Count Me In campaign pushed BT Group back to the negotiating table.”

Also, more information is to be released over the coming weeks and more talks with the company are taking place, so as was stated at a recent forum “It is a good start” and we await more positive news with future updates.

8th July 2021 – Count Me In Campaign – Agreement Reached With BT Group.

We are pleased to announce that after a period of intensive negotiations, we have reached an agreement with the company, across all CFU’s, covering a wide range of issues
The CWU Executive has endorsed the agreement and we will now set out a clear programme of communications to engage you on the settlement in the coming weeks.
The agreement represents a huge turnaround from where we were 18 months ago, and I want to be absolutely clear – this is because of the Count Me In campaign and the outstanding support we have received from our branches and members.
Better Workplace – We have moved from the position of arbitrary change to one of negotiation. We genuinely believe the agreement we have reached will: protect jobs; puts the union back in the room; and delivers a new framework, which moves BT away from making knee-jerk decisions, without our agreement.
Pay – We were told 18 months ago there was no money for pay. The pressure of the campaign forced BT into making the £1000 Bonus payment. We do not agree that this is enough but through these negotiations, it has been clear that pay is a major issue for the employer. Despite this, we have agreed a plan for simplifying and resolving currently unagreed pay points, which will benefit a significant number of CWU members, and we have also secured a commitment to a consolidated pay rise for all CWU Represented Grades in April 2022. None of this was on the table before our campaign.
Redundancy – BT were moving ahead, at pace, with an unagreed plan which would have cut thousands of jobs. Change will still happen, but it will be negotiated, and we will see proper consultation and engagement. We have secured protections for our members in this area and the chance for the union to input directly – at Group level – into the future strategy.
This agreement will increase job security, secure UK based roles, implement fairer grading and pay structures, see the opportunity for upskilling and see the union become a powerful stakeholder rather than an observer to BT’s plans.
The employer’s strategy is a long term one and that will mean this agreement is a living and breathing document. With this in mind, we will continue to engage members throughout the coming months on any progress (or otherwise) we make with the company. It is crucial that despite reaching agreement, we maintain the pressure and momentum that we achieved with the Count Me In campaign. It is this approach which has shifted BT Group.
In the coming weeks we will engage with members on the full terms of the agreement via podcasts, videos, and email.
My final message is one of thanks. The work that has been done, across the union in the last 18 months has been incredible. We have gained new members, representatives, and activists. It is because of your work and the countless meetings and communications that we are in a more positive position.
I look forward to communicating further with you all next week.
Andy Kerr
Deputy General Secretary (T&FS)