Following BT’s announcement yesterday that it will be paying the £1000 bonus to all team member employees the CWU wish to state our position.
You deserve this bonus for all the hard work over the past year keeping the country connected by working throughout the pandemic and ensuring BT remain a strong business. It is however not a negotiated settlement and we don’t believe it is a resolution to the 2021 pay negotiations. This was acknowledged by Philip Jansen when he announced the bonus in March.
The timing of this is a provocative move by the company at a time when we have postponed our industrial action ballot and we are in intense discussions with the company to resolve the myriad of issues we have between us. We have made it absolutely clear to BT that we are prepared to make progress, but have genuine concerns about these discussions being meaningful if they consider it acceptable to make moves that derail any goodwill between us.
Many of you have asked us whether you should accept the bonus, as you don’t want to weaken the CWU’s position.
The CWU are clear that you should accept the bonus as a thank you but this is not an agreed negotiated pay settlement. Acceptance of the bonus will not in anyway affect any future industrial ballot
An unconsolidated £1000 in cash is not a pay increase. It does not protect the value of your pay against inflation. An unconsolidated pay rise means your pay will not go up with the cost of living. Next year you will be on the same pay, at a time when RPI inflation is currently 1.5% and is predicted to rise to as much as 2.9% by the autumn. This will affect applications for mortgages and rents and your future pension as it will be non-pensionable. In addition, it will affect many of our lowest paid and vulnerable members, due to the impact on their Working Tax /Universal credit payments.
The CWU will continue to try to make progress over the next couple of weeks, but we fully intend to go ahead with our industrial action ballot at the beginning of June 2021 if this is not possible.
Deputy General Secretary (T&FS)