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Openreach: Attendance / End of Day Flex

11 August 2013

Openreach have presented proposals to change both attendance and the operation of flex in Service Delivery Field and National Operations and TV at a series of meetings with the National Team. These changes were communicated to Openreach people by an article in 'Looplive' from Liv Garfield.

It is the feeling of the National Team that the meetings were just an opportunity for Openreach to give reasons why they wish to impose the changes without agreement with the CWU. The two proposals are outside the collective agreement ‘Service Delivery Transformation’ negotiated in 2009.

Areas of Conflict

The two key areas of the agreement Openreach are in conflict with are:

3.2 The Working Day - Start and Finish Times

On the Day Flexible Working - Individuals will be expected to undertake flexible working on the day of up to plus or minus a maximum of one hour from the rostered end of day attendance time. Openreach will not schedule work to trigger flex. The flex will be operated to complete job(s) or task(s) that the team member could complete within the one extra hour, so saving ineffective time the following day and ensuring that customer commitments are completed on the day promised.

4.2 Ongoing Changes to Attendance Patterns

In the above circumstances for ongoing changes, it is unlikely that team members will be expected to change the current number of days they attend, i.e. a team member currently working a 4 day week will continue to work this, unless they volunteer and appropriate consideration will be given. Similarly every effort will be made to allocate a pattern which contains rest days off to those team members who previously worked a pattern that contained rest days off, without compromising the needs of the business and our customers’ requirements.

Unacceptable Situation

During the recent meetings with Openreach, despite the National Team reminding Openreach of the terms of the collective agreement, it became apparent that Openreach’s intention was to impose the changes on CWU members of both attendance and flex. Whilst we have been meeting, Openreach have been working away behind the scenes in preparation to impose the changes. The present situation is completely unacceptable to both the National Team and we believe to CWU members.

Gordon Mason SPOC East Anglia said:

Despite the fact that our National Team have continually indicated their desire to discuss and where possible come to an agreement on these issues the Company has decided to press ahead without agreement.

The existing agreements we have with the company which were only agreed in 2009 have been totally ignored by Openreach. This type of industrial relations belongs to the 19th century not the 21st.