Latest News

news icon

Openreach: SD Field Resourcing

15 September 2012

The National Team (NT) have continued to discuss the ongoing requirement for additional direct labour as well as the use of thrid party resource under the terms of the High Level Resourcing Principles (HLRP) agreement in Service Delivery (Field). A key part of the agreement reached at that time was that, by 31 March 2013, all BAU work in Service Delivery (Field) would be carried out by direct labour.

On Monday 3 September 2012 the NT, along with Andy Kerr DGS(T), met Liv Garfield and senior representatives from Openreach. The CWU team made clear that we believe there continues to be a requirement for additional permanent labour in Service Delivery (Field) to deal with the increase in work being carried out by Openreach.

As a result of previous discussions, Openreach are currently recruiting externally 440 engineers as well as converting to permanent a further 100 Fixed Term Contracts (FTCs) and agency workers. They are also continuing with steps to transfer additional resource from Network Investment, Frames, Controls, BT Operate and BTTC, as well as recruiting many from elsewhere in BT via an internal advert.

The c.1100 internal transfers comprise of:

  • c.450 from Network Investment
  • c.260 from Frames and Controls
  • c.80 from BTTC
  • c.150 from internal advert
  • c.160 from BT Operate

We recognise that it is important to secure roles within BT for those who are displaced but the CWU in each Line of Business will continue to challenge any reductions as appropriate. The CWU will also support those potentially matched for a role in Service Delivery to ensure the appropriate processes are used.

Interim Cover for Service Recovery and Provision

This level of permanent recruitment and internal transfers however places significant demands on their physical capacity to train and kit these additional engineers, and they are now at their maximum capacity for these new people coming into Service Delivery (Field). It will take time to bring this additional resource into Service Delivery (Field) and to get them fully trained before deploying them into the field.

In the interim, to support the service recovery and the increased provision demand, Openreach plan to bring in further contractor support. This will be a maximum of 1400FTE across the UK in order to deal with the additional volumes forecast. They will not be working on repair or accessing the UG network and will be focused on simple provision activities across copper and fibre (MI). Openreach will share data on the level and locations of third party contractors and the workstack (broken down by work type) on a weekly basis with the CWU.

Current Negotiated Position

A summary of the current position secured by the NT is shown below:

  • By the end of March 2013 at the latest, all BAU work in Service Delivery (Field) will be done by direct labour and all Kelly and Quinn, as well as the additional third party resource referred to above, and agency resource will cease.
  • On the use of third party, Openreach will work within the terms of the High Level Resourcing Principles agreement.
  • Openreach will recruit externally a further 350 additional engineers by the end of March 2013.
  • This recruitment will include conversions from the existing agency workforce who meet the required performance standards, following an interview process. The selection process and interviews for these agency workers will take place by the end of November 2012.
  • A further increase in the numbers of Team Members in Service Delivery (Field) through transfers from other Lines of Business by a further c.250 FTE by the end of March 2013. Should there be a shortfall in filling these posts with these internal transfers we will move to external recruitment.
  • If the provision demand from customers for enhanced NGA fibre provision continues to grow, then by the end of February 2013 Openreach will discuss with CWU the need for any additional direct labour in addition to that outlined above. Openreach will share with the CWU the information on this additional NGA work so that the total number of forecast NGA provisions is clear.
  • As part of ongoing joint discussions, Openreach will discuss with the CWU the role of the Mobile Workforce and how they fit into the future resourcing plans.
  • For the recruitment planned up to 31 March 2013, existing FTCs and agency workers will join on the standard Openreach contract, as will internal recruits and transfers from elsewhere in Openreach and other Lines of Business.
  • Openreach will not invoke contractual overtime (COT) from the end of the current period of COT to 31 December 2012. For the period from 1 January to 31 March 2013, due to the increased level of contractors in the organisation, Openreach will only do so after having consulted with the CWU and considered all other options at that time. The NT believes that members will welcome this commitment.
  • Openreach have confirmed that they are committed to discussing with the CWU the future application of contractual overtime.
  • Openreach will also be approaching ex employees to ask if they would wish to return for a limited period to support and buddy new recruits, and the full details of these plans will be discussed with the NT in the coming days.
  • Openreach will share and monitor the detail of the resourcing actions contained above for direct labour, FTCs, agency workers and contractors with the NT as part of our existing monthly resourcing meetings.

In total 1350 internal transfers are planned to be completed by March 2013. The NT have made clear to Openreach that any shortfall in that number should be made up by external recruitment. Discussions on that point will continue as part of our regular resourcing meetings. In addition, whilst monitoring the effect of the additional contract resource, we will assess whether additional external recruitment is also necessary. In order to ensure that the above commitments relating to the removal of third party resource from BAU work is met, the correct level of direct labour must be in place. This will continue to be a priority for the NT.