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BT Fleet: Rationalisation Program

25 February 2010

On 22 February 2010, BT Fleet announced an extensive program of workshop closures, clerical rationalisation and the move of the Fleet Management Centre from Birmingham Trinity Park to Coventry Parkside.

As a result of this announcement a meeting of all branches with BT Fleet members took place on 23 February 2010 at CWU head Office.

The key factor on being able to make progress on the number of jobs affected was to persuade BT Fleet to increase to a 60 minute drive time as opposed to a 40 minute drive time that is the current norm for the BT customer. This has meant that an additional 85 jobs were retained in the Fleet Network. This has also allowed some work that was out to contract to come back into the Network and also reduced the number of proposed closures. This has ensured that there is still a definitive national network of workshops across the UK.

It is clear that the will be further discussions on attendance patterns as part of the ongoing review of efficiency by BT Fleet, together with the needs arising from the renewal of the G4 contract. The union has also reached an understanding on Agency and Fixed Term Contract staff.

While BT Fleet did not present the Executive team with an ‘either/or’ position, the team were left in no doubt that the only options left open to them was to close a significant number of workshops to reduce costs or face a full or partial outsourcing. The team absolutely believe that it is in the best interests of our members to remain within BT Group and that the option of potential outsourcing is real.

The negotiations have been very difficult but the position would have been considerably worse had we not engaged in these negotiations. The Executive are very aware, however, that the net result is far reaching nevertheless. The Executive team met with branch workshop and Trinity Park representatives who confirmed that they believed the Executive has taken the correct position in all of the circumstances.

Members of the Executive team will be visiting the closing workshops and Trinity Park over the next week.