Openreach Service Delivery Transformation

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National Meeting of Branches

25 June 2009

CWU Representatives from all Branches with members in Openreach met with Steve Robertson (CEO Openreach), John Small (MD Service Delivery) and Jane Hobbs (Human Resources) on 24 June 2009.


Following this meeting Branch representatives met with the CWU Executive team reporting and discussing the issues that members, had raised with us about the Service Delivery Transformation package.

Feedback from the Executive

The Executive team has recommenced negotiation with Openreach to try to find a mutually acceptable way forward on SDT or at least the individual component parts of the previous package.

Project Beck

The CWU had taken part in discussions with Openreach on SDT with the objective of avoiding any threat of compulsory redundancy and to obtain an assurance from Openreach that it will abandon any plans to outsource all non-civils work, all complex work, poling and Next Generation Aaccess build.

This project is a direct threat to the job security for every single member in Openreach, irrespective of what function they may carry out.

Whilst directly affecting members in the Complex teams the massive reduction in work, at a time when numbers in the RTC could reach several thousand, would severely restrict redeployment opportunities. The CWU has reaffirmed to Openreach that it will not give in to such a ‘slash and burn’ approach. No-one should be in any doubt that the CWU will use any and all means at its disposal to resist these plans if they come to fruition.

Attendance Patterns

The CWU Executive recognises that the attendance proposals were a step too far. It is also recognised that elimination of overtime, bringing back work from India, in-sourcing work currently done by contractors and future-proofing coverage for key products and services in a digital Britain will require some change to attendances. The Union’s aim therefore will be to seek a mutually acceptable agreement with Openreach that removes the worst fears felt by members. It is important to restate that, if it is possible to reach agreement between negotiators, the outcome will be subject to a consultative ballot of members as prescribed by the Union’s rules.

GPS Technology

In recent correspondence from Openreach, it has been stated, as it always has been, management’s intention to roll-out the GPS technology. It is understood that this will inevitably raise concerns with members. Experience from the trial in Solent is that it is the use of the information derived from the GPS equipment by management that causes problems rather than the technology itself. Whilst we have already negotiated a Code of Practice, it is the CWU’s intent to further improve this.

The first phase of fitting GPS equipment will begin in early July in Scotland West, North East and Cumbria, South Wales, Northern Home Counties and The Downs and Severnside GM patches. Local consultation with the CWU will occur. Nationally the CWU will review the situation and, in particular, the adherence to the Code of Practice. The Union has said to Openreach that this provides the opportunity for the Company to show a demonstrable and tangible sea-change in management style. If this does not happen, the CWU’s attitude to this technology will harden.

In some respects, it is only because of the other serious challenges on jobs and attendance that this has not happened already.

Alongside the deployment of GPS technology, it is also proposed to pilot new ‘lift-the-lid’ laptops. The CWU is also pressing for the introduction of the Health and Safety button originally shown to us.