Count Me In

Background

Throughout the past few months CWU members across BT, EE and Openreach have delivered a consistent, loyal and essential service.  You are one of those key workers and I thank and congratulate you for all you have done keeping essential services, businesses, families and friends connected with one another in what has been a challenging, tragic and unprecedented moment in our lives.  Read more »

13th October 2020 – Unity is strength, CWU tells members across BT Group, as Technology piles insult on injury

The seriousness of a compulsory redundancy bloodbath that is drawing to a head in BT Technology has today (Tuesday) been impressed on members in the division, with the CWU now convinced that the current jobs cull is about to be superseded by an even bigger one.

No fewer than 200 loyal and long-serving  employees, who’ve given their all to keep the country connected throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, see BBC news story, are now within weeks of being forcibly ejected under what Technology admits is just ‘phase one’ if its ongoing ‘transformation’. Read more »

1st October 2020 – National Day of Action

BT has been served notice that the anger of its workforce will be on full public view next week as the union steps up its Count Me In campaign of resistance against multiple attacks on employees in different lines of business.  Read more »

25th September 2020 – CWU & Prospect Joint Statement – Unions say Enough is Enough

The current situation in BT is one of grave concern to the members of both the CWU and Prospect. We are seeing redundancies being threatened and taking place across the UK, under the Better Workplace programme. Furthermore, there appears to be a process of permanent reorganisation across the business, again leading to the loss of members’ jobs and creating widespread anxiety. Finally, we believe the company are proposing to implement massive cuts to redundancy pay in order to make it cheaper to carry out their plans.
The CWU and Prospect are the recognised trade unions in BT. The Company has stated that we are the voice of managers and team members respectively in the business. Therefore, we are now using that voice to say enough is enough in terms of BT’s approach to industrial relations and more importantly, the treatment of our members.
We reject the aggressive and provocative approach of BT in tearing up contractual redundancy agreements that were reached only two years ago and put in place, following the closure of the BT Pension Scheme. We reject an approach that favours imposition over negotiation. We reject a location strategy that ignores where our members are currently based, removes BT from huge swathes of the UK, and is completely contrary to both the public health and environmental agenda that the company is signed up to.
In order to fight this unprecedented attack on our members, both unions representing BT workers are pledged to work as closely together as possible. The company will no doubt seek to continue its divide and rule strategy, using bodies such as the Colleague Board, who have no remit over your terms and conditions, to undermine the recognition agreements we have in place. However, The CWU and Prospect will reject any attempt to circumvent the collective process and will, wherever possible, campaign jointly to fight changes that are detrimental to members.

As union members we will be stronger standing together.
As unions we will achieve much more by fighting together.
Unity is Strength!

Andy Kerr – CWU Deputy General Secretary (T&FS)
John Ferrett – Prospect National Secretary

18th September – Andy Kerr’s Latest Message to BT Members.

An urgent rallying call has today (Friday) been issued to members across BT Group – with deputy general secretary Andy Kerr stressing the vital importance of across-the-board involvement in the union’s ‘Count Me In’ campaign.

Launched in mid-July, in response to multiple different manifestations of a belligerent new management approach that is sweeping across every single BT line of business, many thousands of members have already signed up in support of a concerted CWU fightback that is becoming more urgent by the minute. Read more »

11th September – Openreach Location Strategy – As reported in the i Newspaper.

Britain’s largest broadband network operator is introducing a new ‘location strategy’ that will see desk-based staff forced to work from one of nine sites. Read more »

18th August 2020 – Don’t betray loyal key workers, CWU urges BT Technology boss in damning open letter .

An urgent appeal has been issued to the boss of BT Technology to intervene in an increasing contentious row over the business’s current refusal to meaningfully engage with the CWU over ways the union believes staff surpluses could be addressed without the need for compulsory redundancies. Read more »

6th August 2020 – Andy Kerr – CWU DGS (T&FS) Article in the Tribune.

BT’s Attack on Key Workers. By Andy Kerr.
“BT workers kept Britain connected during Covid-19 – but instead of a reward from the company they now face forced redundancies and cuts to terms and conditions.” Read more from The Tribune »

6th August 2020 – Latest News on the CountMeIn Campaign can be found here...

An already serious redundancy situation in BT Technology took a further turn for the worse this afternoon  (Wednesday 5th August 2020) with management’s announcement that around 30 more team member grade employees have been added to phase one of the jobs cull. Read more »

14th July 2020

Extraordinarily, the bombshell that BT has placed its entire office-based Aberdeen workforce of 97 members at risk of compulsory redundancy from as early as September 30, dropped mid-way through a special CWU online branch forum on Tuesday to discuss the fast deteriorating industrial relations outlook across BT Group.

At a stroke the jaw-dropping development – which is not just devastating to the individuals directly affected but also to an entire city that is already struggling to cope with the decline of  the oil industry – gave unwanted but highly poignant additional launch-day impetus to the union’s Count Me In campaign of resistance.

Background

Throughout the past few months CWU members across BT, EE and Openreach have delivered a consistent, loyal and essential service.  You are one of those key workers and I thank and congratulate you for all you have done keeping essential services, businesses, families and friends connected with one another in what has been a challenging, tragic and unprecedented moment in our lives. 

“It is, with a heavy heart that I am writing to you today to explain how your employer (BT Group) has chosen to ignore your sterling service and to highlight the urgency of how we must act in response.” 

BT Group’s reorganisation plans involve:

  • Closure of, at least, 175 sites
  • An un-coordinated approach across Customer Facing Units (CFUs) which will lessen the chance of re-deployment and managing the situation by voluntary means
  • Undermining and ignoring your agreements that protect your pension and voluntary redundancy terms
  • Drastically reducing the pay, terms & conditions for multiple roles and grades

All of this will have an impact on you and your future job security.  At a time of economic uncertainty and worry, BT Group is ploughing ahead with a radical reorganisation of its business; implementing changes that will undermine your existing benefits and job security as a BT Group worker. All of this to protect profit not people. The actions of BT Group are extremely shocking aggressive and morally questionable.

Your Union’s position is clear. We aim to enter talks with BT and campaign to:

  • Increase job security and maximise the number of UK direct labour jobs in BT
  • Agree a centrally coordinated response to redeployment across all CFU’s to create a pathway that allows retraining and reskilling well in advance of any redundancy announcements
  • Maintain decent pay, terms and conditions for all BT employees by ensuring a fair grading, pay and reward structure
  • Create a fair, enhanced voluntary redundancy package
  • Re-instate the legally binding element of the pensions agreement
  • Minimise the use of contractors and reduce off shore work to maximise employment for UK BT employees

Now is the time for us all to come together and get involved to achieve these aims.  By getting involved you will help us create the necessary leverage with the company.  Being a union member means we are part of an active community that achieve things together.  It does not matter if you have not been active in the union in the past.  There is something for everyone to get involved in to be part of this campaign. 

CWU’s Response – BT Members, prepare to ballot – now is the time to fight

The video session Tuesday14th July has over 20,000 cross-platform views already. You can watch it back via the following links;

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ThecommunicationsUnion/videos/925214821287800/?vh=e&d=n

YouTube https://youtu.be/dKVoJj1TKZQ

Twitter https://twitter.com/cwunews/status/1283083851506397184?s=21