Openreach Service Delivery Transformation

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Attendance Patterns Proposals

29 July 2009

The CWU Executive has been in negotiation with Openreach on a proposed Flexible Attendance Patterns Framework. The proposal was the subject of a discussion at a meeting of Branch Officers on 23 July 2009.


The CWU aims in these discussions have been:

  • an adherence by Openreach to a voluntary approach to redundancy;
  • an absolute commitment given by Openreach that it will NOT outsource around 9000 people through Project Beck;
  • ensuring that any changes in attendance for individuals is justifiable and is the subject of negotiation and agreement with the CWU;
  • that individuals who, because of personal or caring responsibilities, cannot work proposed patterns are protected.

Best Outcome Through Negotiation

The attendance proposals cannot be viewed in isolation from the more general issue of long term secure employment in Openreach. Following a long debate on 28 July 2009 the Telecoms and Financial Services Executive (T&FSE) agreed that the outcome of the negotiations is the best that can be achieved through negotiation alone and believes that the CWU membership in Openreach have the right to be consulted. It is also crucial that members are in full possession of all of the facts before making a decision.

The T&FSE recognise the possibility that Openreach may move unilaterally to change attendance patterns there is no agreement. Against that background and the threat of Project Beck, the T&FSE believes, on balance, that it is vital to have an agreement with Openreach within which the CWU can influence and control change.

Consultative Ballot

The T&FSE has therefore resolved to recommend the final proposed Flexible Attendance Patterns document to the membership in Openreach in a consultative ballot.

A home mailing will be sent to members in Openreach by the CWU setting out the full proposed agreement and assurances in order that all members have the opportunity to read and understand.

The postal ballot of members will commence with ballot papers being dispatched around 17 August 2009, with a return by date of 7 September 2009.

The T&FSE acknowledge that the proposed agreement may be both controversial and unpopular in some quarters but believes it is absolutely and democratically correct that members in Openreach have the opportunity to decide on their future.

The T&FSE has also resolved that, in the event of the CWU reaching agreement with Openreach through the ballot, should Openreach wish to open future negotiations under Paragraph 7 of the document, the outcome will be subject to a further ballot of all affected members for acceptance or otherwise. It was also reaffirmed that any attempt by Openreach to impose unagreed attendance pattern changes; go ahead with Project Beck; or declare compulsory redundancies, the CWU will ballot members on industrial action.