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Openreach / Stores Reduced Hours Trial

19 November 2011

The National Team met with Supply Chains last week where the CWU were advised that they intended to trial, with Openreach, reduced opening hours at a number of stores hubs. Supply Chains explained they are still under pressure to cut costs and that some of the stores hubs are less busy than others.

The National Team has considerable difficulty with this trial but has secured some assurances, so the team is not opposing the trial as it is felt important that we receive regular updates from the trial and the outcomes.

The trial is set to run from 21 November until 24 December only and the outcomes will be reviewed jointly with the CWU in January. The trial is entirely voluntary and will not rely on overtime – i.e. all travelling time will be in company time and a van will be supplied.

The trial takes two forms. The first affects ten hubs that will work full days but part weeks. These will be in pairs with the main hub working 3 days and the secondary hub working 2 days. No people will be displaced during the trial. The second affects six stores hubs, again in pairs, where the first hub will open in the morning only, the stores hub employee will travel to the second hub which will only open in the afternoon. Again, no-one will be displaced during the trial. Clearly in the first trial the secondary hubs will be on reduced hours to reflect the travelling time but the second trial utilises working time to travel within the planned opening hours.

Members may initially have been advised that travelling would be on overtime but this was not correct. The secondary stores hub will be opened as usual by that stores person but the primary stores hub member will travel to the secondary location on company time and when they arrive they will take over.

Cover for annual leave and sick absence will operate as it does now.

The Stores hubs where our members will be asked to volunteer are:

Stores Hub
Mon/Wed/Fri
Stores Hub
Tue/Thur
Type of Trial
Worcester Banbury Cross 3 day / 2 day
Nelson Kendal 3 day / 2 day
Dundee Aberdeen 3 day / 2 day
Bradford York 3 day / 2 day
Colchester Ipswich 3 day / 2 day
Stores Hub
AM only, 7.30am till 11.30am
Stores Hub
PM Only, 12:45pm till 3.30pm
Type of Trial
Bedford Stevenage Mornings and Afternoons
Kidbrooke Dartford Mornings and Afternoons
Northolt Slough Mornings and Afternoons

Clearly if the trial is successful there will potentially be job reductions and this is the main reason the team have reservations about the pilot. The team are also concerned that members are not misled about the operation of the trial – travelling time must be done within work’s time and not on the basis of paid overtime or the trial is not based on agreed working conditions that already exist. The National Team members will be contacting those in the affected hubs being asked to volunteer and ensuring they have all the information and the co-operation of branches in ensuring we get good feedback during this trial will also be appreciated. Openreach will be asking engineers to feedback on their experience of the reduced opening hours as well.