109/20: BT pension review agreement 2018 – Team Member redundancy terms under attack

Dear Member,

I am writing to you about the communication you will have received this morning from BT in relation to a ‘review’ on contractual redundancy and paid leaver terms for all BT employees in the UK. As part of this review BT has served 12 months’ notice on our whole 2018 Pension Agreement.   

The legally binding and contractual redundancy agreement was negotiated just two years ago and was an appendix to the pensions review agreement.  We have only recently, informally been told of BT’s intention to review the agreement and received formal notice on Wednesday 27th May 2020.

This alarming news will certainly concern you, particularly in the wake of other unagreed changes to future terms and conditions, compulsory redundancies in Enterprise and the Better Workforce site closure programme. BT are undoubtedly making a further move to reduce redundancy terms for our members.   

This is a unilateral and provocative move from BT, with wide ranging implications. We have no doubt that BT is making this move to reduce the redundancy terms for our members.

  • BT could have asked the CWU to jointly amend the redundancy agreement without opening a full twelve-month consultation on the pension’s agreement. Instead it took a confrontational approach.
  • The legally binding pension’s agreement impacts on everyone (BTRSS, BTPS and Hybrid). Ending that agreement means that BT could change pension’s arrangements in future after only 60 days consultation.  If there is no intent to alter pensions, BT should keep the legally binding pension provisions in place.
  • The legally binding and contractual redundancy agreement provides BT and Openreach members with a maximum of 104 weeks redundancy plus up to an additional twelve weeks if you apply Pay in Lieu of Notice. Be under no illusion our terms are now under threat
  • The existing agreement provides our members with legally binding approach to job surpluses in order to avoid compulsory redundancy such as consideration of onshoring, reduction of contractors and agency staff, recruitment freezes.  It also provides pay and pension protection for those that are retrained and reskilled. 

The formal notice to terminate the BT Pension Review Agreement 2018 will take effect no earlier than the 28th May 2021 unless another date is agreed with the CWU. 

The CWU will continue to fight for job security and will be insisting on new contractual redundancy terms and a new legally binding pension agreement.

It is clear from recent developments that BT is attacking our hard-won terms and conditions on multiple fronts.   There has never been a more important time to be in the CWU.

We will stand together to protect job security in BT.

Look out for more in the coming weeks.