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Openreach SD: End of Day Flex - BT Q&A

23 August 2013

As well as the report given to the Openreach Briefing Committee this week, the National Team (NT) have been seeking to ensure that Openreach deal with any changes to flex or attendances within the terms of the SDT agreement. The NT have met with Openreach management twice this week and must now report that no progress has been made in persuading the company to discuss alternative solutions within the terms of the SDT agreement.

Opposition to Unagreed Changes

From all the feedback from members both directly to Head Office and via Branches your opposition to any intended unagreed changes to move people onto a five-day week or scheduling work which triggers flex is very clear. Members are, of course, concerned about the impact any unagreed changes would have for them and their families. They are, however, clear in 100% of their responses that they expect any outcome of discussions with Openreach to be within the terms of the agreement you voted for, and therefore own.

The SDT agreement contains safeguards covering a range of issues associated with how and when members attend work. The introduction of the SDT agreement placed contractual obligations on members which you have honoured, however difficult it has been for some of you. We know you are clear that they expect Openreach to honour the terms of this agreement in the same manner in which you have.

The changes and the intended manner in which they will be introduced have a potential impact on every member in Openreach not just Service Delivery. Unagreed changes, which go unchallenged, introduced in one business unit within Openreach will create the potential for changes elsewhere on the range of issues covered by the agreement.

Openreach Statement

Openreach have published a question and answer document which contains the following entry:

What do the CWU think about our intention to make these changes?

We are in discussion with CWU at a national level on the intended changes, and want to reach agreement with them on the way forward. We have a good track record of reaching agreement with the CWU on many issues.

This does not accurately reflect the status of the discussions. Whilst we are prepared to seek to discuss possible solutions within the terms of the SDT agreement, Openreach's position is that these discussions should only be in relation to the implementation of their intended changes, even though these changes are outside the SDT agreement.

Our members have a good track record of delivering excellent customer service regardless of the season or circumstances. Openreach must now demonstrate that commitment to our members and their families by truly seeking to reach agreement with the CWU on future changes within the terms of the SDT agreement. The CWU National Team continues to be willing to work towards that aim.

The NT will, however, now meet and discuss the actions we need to put in place should Openreach choose to continue with their intention to introduce the unagreed changes.