Latest News

news icon

Openreach: Resource - Complex / Volume

13 March 2011

The CWU Executive has continued to press Openreach to take positive steps towards permanent recruitment as a more sustainable option to the current reliance on third party labour and continued use of contractual overtime.

Over the last three months the CWU has worked with Openreach to secure the future of our Network Investment (formerly Complex) members as promised in the Service Delivery Transformation Agreement.

Openreach has now announced a major organisational change across a number of support units. This will potentially throw up a number of redeployees and debate continues with Openreach over the scale, timing and rationale of the changes.

Network Investment

A fundamental part of the overall Service Delivery Transformation Agreement was not only removing the threat of Project Beck but also working towards a situation where Network Investment (formerly Complex) had a secure long term future.

The required efficiencies have been achieved meaning that the CWU can now discuss with Openreach what work can be insourced during the coming year. Hopefully this will remove any lingering uncertainty for members in Network Investment over the commitments the CWU and Openreach entered in to.


Whilst the team continue to challenge the scale and universal need for Contractual Overtime (COT), there has been an equal focus on securing a long term solution.

Openreach has agreed to recruit 250 apprentices, 246 have either been recruited or are in the early stages of recruitment.

Due to the surge in Managed Installs as NGA rolls out, as this demand is not uniform it raises fears around the possible invoking of the agility clause.

The CWU has convinced Openreach of the need for direct labour recruitment in this area. The intent is to recruit 350, B2 engineers to form part of a UK wide mobile workforce. They will be on NewGRID Terms and Conditions, although there is an outstanding point of negotiation around travel.

The adverts for these jobs will be specific in making clear that they are for a Mobile Workforce.

In September there will be an additional 500 apprentices all on current terms and conditions.

In addition to the previously mentioned recruitment, a further 150, B2 single provisioned skilled engineers (also on NewGRID Terms and Conditions) will be recruited through conversion from Agency/FTC.

Dependant on work volumes maintaining, the team believe that there is potentially more recruitment and are pressing for this.