Openreach Service Delivery Transformation

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Implementation of Attendance Patterns

10 December 2009

The Executive team have held several meetings with Openreach to discuss the actual implementation of new attendance patterns under the transitional arrangements.


The meetings have been around the timescales and framework within which the local negotiations and implementation will occur. Details of the patterns for any locality or function will be the responsibility of Branches (and the Executive team in the case of Service and Central Operations).

Transition Phase

The transition phase of implementation will commence on 1 April 2010. In order to comply with the six weeks notice period of change, local negotiations, including preference exercises, will need to be concluded by mid-February. There will be regional workshop where branches with members affected will be represented. Localised negotiations will be held following these workshops.

To facilitate and maintain consistency, a standard format of data is being discussed and agreed. This will contain information that will seek to support the roster pattern proposals for the unit under negotiation. Whilst the actual data will differ, the template will be consistent. The type of data will include current attendance patterns, current rostering for Saturdays, Saturday overtime and call-out, weekday overtime and call-outs and, of course, the proposed new rosters.

We are currently debating with Openreach a number of issues of detail including whether there should be a standard length of lunch break.

Visibility of Flex

The agreement states that flex will not be used until there is easy and consistent visibility for members. A system, accessed via INFORMe, has been developed and the Executive team have been given a demonstration. There is confidence in the management team that the system will be fully operational and functioning early in the New Year.

Preference Exercise

Part of the initial implementation process is a preference exercise that will set out a range of patterns for people to choose up to three preferences. The CWU has argued that, whilst the actual start/finish times and number of Saturdays may vary from business unit to unit; the format of the preference form and number of options should be standard.

  • Members currently on a night working arrangement will remain on those arrangements and would be out of scope of the preference exercise. Individuals still have the right to voluntarily cease night working.
  • In Complex gangs, all team members will have to work the same pattern and this should be agreed by the team members involved.

Personal Circumstances

The Union has been very clear that there needs to be a robust process for meeting the needs, not only for those who would traditionally warrant a Personal and Domestic Roster but also for people who have social needs and responsibilities. Openreach has accepted that balancing the needs of the business with the needs of the individual will be a fundamental principle of implementation and ongoing change.

Putting this into effect will be easier than before since all team members will share the Saturdays and evening work (with the exception of those who genuinely cannot). For one-off events parent nights, weddings or just needing to be at home to accept a delivery there will be a robust swap process.

Where people have commitments that either happen every week or fortnightly (e.g. football season ticket) there will be a process to accommodate, as far as is reasonably possible, those needs. This may simply be changing the roster with someone else to avoid particular Saturdays or evenings. There will also be cases where people, for genuine reasons, just cannot work at certain times or days, and this will also be catered for. The actual detail of the processes is still being negotiated but the important factor for now is that individual needs are being catered for. This was one of the biggest concerns of members before and during the ballot.

Annual Leave

Some of the processes and rules surrounding annual leave (particularly on Saturdays) are being reviewed to test their relevance now.