Latest News

news icon

Openreach: NI Transformation / NGA

21 December 2011

The CWU National Team was given a presentation on 6 December 2011, which set out the impact of the major changes within Openreach Network Investment Transformation. The scale of the surpluses outlined within the copper and wideband planning population equates to 480.

Short and Long-term Solutions

The Union has been assured that roles have been identified for all those in scope. Some of the solutions are short-term and others permanent. Those opportunities identified to date are Volume CSE, Frames, NGA Modem Replacement, Volume Control (KCI), NGA Planners, Pole Tester, NVQ Assessors, Analyst/Admin and NGA Clerk of Works (new role). Individuals placed in permanent lower graded roles will be placed on pay and pension protection.

Clearly this will displace third-party frames agency in each Region, and if NI planners are moved into CSE roles we would expect them to replace field agency or Kelly/Quinns resource. Head Office will monitor this issue as part of their overall resourcing discussions.

No Union Agreement on Reductions

The CWU National Team challenged many of the assumptions made and have not agreed to the proposed reductions. It is clear that as the reprioritisation is scaled down and the resultant backlog of work emerges then the CWU expect that additional planning roles will be required in the coming months. When any BDUK bids are won then similarly the CWU would expect that clearly the planning function will have to be increased to deal with those bids. Head Office has made it clear that third-party resource in the planning environment will not be acceptable.

Selection Process

The Union has sought to ensure that the selection process is fair and transparent and instigated a process whereby NI GMs will contact the relevant CWU Single Point of Contact to discuss the reductions in detail in each geography.

Openreach Manager should by now have explained to the team members concerned the role they are moving to and why they met the criteria for selection. Individuals will formally be transferred to the new roles on 31 December 2011, and actually move week beginning 9 January 2012, when any training required would expect to start.

The CWU National Team has registered their concerns regarding the major impact this will have on a large number of our members and we are committed to ensuring that those individuals affected have the maximum support available. Further meetings are being scheduled in early January 2012 in order to discuss these matters further.

Raise an Informal Grievance

Every member who is affected by the NI Transformation and NGA Rollout process should send an email to their senior operational manager stating they wish to raise an informal grievance and outline their personal reasons why they will be unable to move to this new role. These reasons may include: Existing Personal & Domestic, Medical condition, caring family commitment, or capability issues.

Identifying Individuals

Individuals will be identified, balancing the requirement to retain the right geographical and skills mix within the region whilst optimising the available opportunities.

Selection Criteria

Consideration of the people that can be freed up in the region will be based on:

  • Work Requirement - the biggest impact will be for Copper planners in line with the reduction of work
  • Skill-set - Openreach will seek to retain people who have the most flexibility in their planning skill set (multiple skills)
  • Geography - Openreach will need to maintain geographical coverage with our NSRs and survey officers.

This will then be balanced against the requirements for available opportunities based on:

  • Geography
  • Skills fit e.g. Customer facing skills required for Modem Replacement
  • Physical - e.g. Climbing

Where two or more people meet the criteria for an opportunity Openreach will select those:

  • Most impacted by work that is stopping
  • With less planning skills
  • Lesser assimilation of planning skills

Selection Criteria Exclusions

People in the following categories will be excluded:

  • Current Managing Changing Capabilities (MCC)
  • On Maternity leave
  • People on special leave/sabbaticals
  • Performance
  • on formal PIP
  • on annual APR rating below a DN
  • Normally, more than two consecutive QPR rated at DN or U
  • Discipline
  • Formal attendance process
  • Long term sick
  • Full time Union representative