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Future BT Employment Proposition

7 March 2014

The BT Committee recently received correspondence from BT which outlined the company’s approach to evolve the employee proposition for team member people in BT and also set out initial proposals regarding that ‘Future BT Employment Proposition’.

The BT Committee considered all aspects of that correspondence and what became apparent was their desire to protect the terms and conditions, and career prospects of existing people and to that end we have sought legal advice. We are expecting to have that written legal advice by early next week. The BT Committee therefore has agreed not to enter into negotiations with the company. However, they did agree to reconsider that position subject to the following issues being resolved which included:

  • Receipt of the legal position on protection of existing BT employees and confirmation from the company that NewGRID people will remain within the NewGRID grading structure and on NewGRID terms and conditions both now and in the future.
  • Addressing all of our representations on the reneging of the previous agreements which are in summary:
    • The introduction of agency staff into both Sandwell and Accrington to deal with high levels of sick absence.
    • The commitment given to create 80 new BT jobs in South Shields which has resulted on only 19 jobs being created to date.
    • The 100 Rover 2 contracts which were agreed in the second BT Flex centre in Belfast should be for a 12 month fixed term as agreed rather than 6 months.
    • Assurances given for Rover contracts in Newport with regard to ring fencing the roles and clear job descriptions to ensure separation from NewGRID grades which have not been provided.
    • No discussion has taken place on the bonus arrangements for the Rover SIA roles as agreed.
    • Issues in Openreach around the introduction of an unagreed 60 minute personal travel time commitment and the introduction of a 3 day instead of 7 day notice period as a minimum in relation to the requirement to work away from home.
  • BT committing to no recruitment onto new unagreed terms whilst negotiations continue.
  • An activist forum to be arranged in order to discuss BT’s proposals.

To date we have not received a satisfactory resolution to any of these points. However, we did convene the activists’ event on Wednesday 26 February 2014 at which a presentation was given by the company outlining their proposals and their rationale behind them. Unfortunately we are unable to give any more information at this time and neither are we in a position to give definitive answers to many questions that were asked on the day as we are still seeking clarification on a number of issues.

A full report will be given to the BT Committee in the week commencing 10 March 2014, including those issues that require legal opinion and we will report further to branches at that point.