Further to Briefing 49.20 sent to you in April, providing an update to discussions on your pay award this year, we’re sorry we haven’t been in touch. Since then we’ve been dealing first and foremost with your safety and wellbeing at work during these unparalleled times. We have though, still been talking to the company in full recognition that you were due, and deserving of, a pay rise on 1st April.
Phillip Jansen, CEO, wrote to you recently setting out the challenges facing the company due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was an obvious appeal to all employees to accept that BT will face significant challenges to its revenues due to these unprecedented times and that whilst you would continue to be employed and paid, the company wouldn’t be able to afford more than a 1.5% pay rise – payable from 1 July 2020. They also state that the next pay review date is 1st April 2021.
We’ve made every possible effort to shift the company’s thinking on this. We believe that your ongoing contribution and commitment is worth more and that you should be more fairly rewarded for the dedication and hard-work that you have so obviously shown in delivering for customers, as vital key workers, during this exceptional time. However, we do need to acknowledge that the country has seen the biggest quarterly economic contraction since the financial crisis of 2008. We would be foolish to think BT sits in isolation of this.
We’ve also asked a large sample of our BT members, via a survey, for your views on the offer as we’d already had feedback from many of you that you thought we should accept 1.5% mainly because job security is paramount and that to fight against this would not be in your best interests at this time. The results of the survey showed 70% of you prioritised job security over a pay rise.
We wish to be clear with you that we have now exhausted all possible discussions, and escalation channels, in respect of any pay rise. There is no further increase, or positive movement, to be achieved through negotiation. In parallel with this, we are also extremely aware that we cannot ignore the wider issues facing you, and your future employment, right now, which are influencing people’s thinking.
BT are determined to continue with reorganising the company and we need to challenge their approach, not just on pay, but on a number of fronts: Compulsory Redundancies in Enterprise and potentially other areas of the business; Future Site Strategies and potential closures through the Better Workplace Programme, unagreed changes to future Terms and Conditions; future Redundancy Terms for our members; and a myriad of Grading related issues.
We believe that the pay offer needs to be banked for members while we fight on to defeat greater threats and attacks. However, our recommendation to accept should not be seen as a position of weakness. On the contrary, it is to unite our strength and focus in opposition to the other serious job security threats that we now face.
There are a number of fronts on which your union need to challenge the company. We want to do this in a co-ordinated and united way with the full backing of our membership.
As a consequence, the union is recommending acceptance of BT’s offer of 1.5% from 1st July 2020. We will be running a consultative ballot and you will receive an electronic vote within the next couple of weeks.
Deputy General Secretary
Telecoms and Financial Services