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SD NO&TV: Winter – Proposals and Ballot

19 September 2013

The report given at the Special Openreach Briefing Committee held on 18 September 2013, gave details of a proposed way forward that has been reached with Openreach. The proposals will be the subject of a consultative ballot of members affected, i.e. Service Delivery Field (N&S) and NO&TV. The Executive will be recommending members vote yes in the consultative ballot.

The detail of that proposed agreement is contained in the letter and addendum to the Attendance Patterns Framework Agreement (SDT) below:

Details of Changes

(The following detail is subject to a positive result in the ballot.)

The National Team (NT) and Executive listened carefully to the feedback and concerns raised by members and Branches throughout the past number of weeks as the discussions with Openreach developed. It is important to note that the NT and Executive have been clear throughout the process that our aim was to find an agreed way forward on this issue and to persuade Openreach of that view in order to avoid un-agreed changes. The NT believes that the documents above provide that way forward.

It has also been important for the NT to ensure that the terms of the SDT Agreement were maintained and that ongoing changes to attendances would be dealt with under the terms of paragraphs 4.1 and 4.2. This way forward ensures that is the case.

The detail of the proposed changes is as follows:

  • There will be no change to the Attendance Patterns Framework Agreement for the on-going management of attendance arrangements in Openreach.
  • The scope of the change is Service Delivery Field (North and South) and National Operations and TV (NO&TV).
  • The proposed changes do not affect those who currently work a 5 day week. Their rostered attendance patterns and start / finish times will remain unchanged.
  • Roster changes associated with the move to winter working will not change the total number of Saturdays worked in a year, as per the current agreements in each region.
  • The number of rostered late attendances across the year will not increase as a result of winter working, as per the current agreements in each region.
  • A preference exercise will take place for those not currently on a five day week which will have four options: 9 day fortnight, 14 day 3 week, a 19 day 4 week and a 5 day week.
  • All the above patterns are of the standard equal day length.
  • A percentage allocation has been agreed for each attendance and processes for over and under subscription form part of that process.
  • In previous years c5% of people have volunteered to move to a 5 day week during the winter period and both the CWU and Openreach anticipate that at least those numbers will do so again.
  • It has been recognised that the changes may require individuals to seek a personal and domestic (P&D) if they cannot work more than four days a week and additional support has been factored in to deal with those requests.
  • The outcome of the preference exercise will be discussed by GMs with the regional CWU SPOCs, and any issues resolved at that local level. In line with Section 6 of the SDT Agreement there would be a national escalation process to seek to resolve any outstanding issues within 7 days of the escalation.
  • In future years the notice period for changes of this nature will be not less than 6 weeks. For the changes to be implemented this year the notice period will be no less than 4 weeks. Due to the scale of the change the go live dates for the different attendances will vary but in all cases no less than 4 week’s notice will be given. The specific details are in the attached timetable.
  • Annual leave policy will not be affected by the attendance moves. All annual leave bookings made prior to 8 August 2013 will be honoured and processes put in place for that to happen.

It is important to note that following agreement in the consultative ballot, at the end of the agreed winter period (28 March 2014), people will return to their existing attendance arrangements.

Addendum

In relation to changes in future years an addendum forms part of the proposed agreement which sets out the way in which these changes will be dealt with. Discussions will begin each year during the summer period to determine the requirements for the coming winter months.

The issues for debate will be as follows:

  • The time period for which winter working is required (maximum period is clock change to clock change).
  • The attendance patterns to be incorporated into a preference exercise. This will include all aspects of the attendances including start times etc.
  • The process for selection if there is a miss-match between the outcomes of the preference exercise and agreed requirements for that winter period.
  • Roster allocation and notification process.

The addendum does set out that in future the notice period for making these temporary changes will be not less than six weeks and additionally that, at the end of winter working, people will return to their existing attendance patterns.

The addendum also contains the commitment to review the process and also an agreed way of dealing with any changes to the arrangements which would entail Openreach and the CWU carrying out national negotiations which seek to reach agreement on the way forward.

Ballot Timetable

The timetable has been agreed which sets out the consultative process, ballot timetable, preference exercise process, notice periods and proposed go live dates. The consultative process to enable members to ask questions and debate the proposed agreement will take place in the coming weeks.

The consultative ballot will be electronic and the specific details relating to the arrangements will be circulated to Members in due course.

CWU Branch / Membership Consultation period:From Wednesday 18 September to Tuesday 8 October
CWU Ballot – Opens:Monday 7 October
CWU Ballot – Closes:12:00 Wednesday 16 October
CWU Ballot – Result:16:00 Wednesday 16 October

Summary

The Executive and NT believe that the detail set out above and contained within the letter and addendum form the basis of a good way forward for those members affected by the intended introduction of a 5 day week during the winter period by Openreach. They ensure that those who currently have an RDO can express a preference and attain a pattern which contains an RDO during the agreed winter period. It also ensures that a process is in place which means that in future year’s higher priority will be given to those who do not get their first preference this year in an attempt to do so going forward.

The Executive recognise the changes this will involve for individuals and believe that the processes put in place will ensure that for those who cannot change, their issues will be dealt with appropriately. They also believe that this solution provides certainty for changes in future years.

Members and Branches made clear their views in relation to the imposition of changes to members’ attendances. This process will allow members to make their decision in a consultative ballot and only those who are affected by the changes now, or in the future, will take part in that democratic process.

The Executive will be recommending members support the new agreement in the consultative ballot by voting yes. Further documentation will be issued in due course.