Service Operating Model: 300 Offline Roles Cut and Promotion Chances Reduced

Bulletin 121/2020


Dear Colleagues

Service Operating Model: 300 Offline Roles Cut and Promotion Chances Reduced

Consumer Service is rolling out a new operating model in service this week which will cut offline work and reduce promotion chances.

The changes are being driven by moves to simplify work and the introduction of new technology and systems. There will be advisors doing inbound call work at “Level 1” and a single role at “Level 2” doing combined inbound and offline work. The Local Case Management Advisor role will be altered.

The CWU opposes the way this is being implemented and we have not agreed to any of the changes. We have raised all the issues below with Consumer which has decided to press on regardless.

300 Offline Roles Cut in Billing and Tech

There are currently 62 people doing a TM2 or equivalent role with offline content in Billing and 360 in Tech. Under BT’s plans this will reduce to zero in Billing and 120 full time equivalents in Tech. Those displaced will be moved to inbound Level 1 call work

Moreover, in Tech all the Level 2 offline work will be moved to Gosforth and Cardiff with 60 full time equivalent posts remaining on each site. In those two sites there will be a selection process with all TM2 or equivalent grades who have previously undertaken Tech offline in scope. Selection will be on the basis of FCR data. Where there is no data, or insufficient data, there will be a management selection process. there will be the chance to appeal selection via the grievance process.

While the need for offline roles maybe falling, we have made it clear that we believe the roles should be spread over as many sites as possible.

Career Progression – the Road to Nowhere

The changes deal a massive blow to those who want to make a career in BT.

Removing all off line work in Billing and concentrating the work on only two sites in Tech mean that non-management promotion opportunities for TM1 grades will mostly disappear.

Less than a year ago Consumer promised to build non managerial career paths and to spread higher graded posts on as many sites as possible. BT has reneged on this commitment in Billing and Tech and will leave the vast majority of members with little or no future career options in Consumer.

Into the Unknown for Connections, Homemovers, Mobile and Fibre

At the moment offline work is going to continue on Connections, Homemovers, Fibre Tech, Fibre Connections and Mobile sites. However, this is under review and there is every possibility that these areas will follow the Tech approach and move offline work to less sites. We will continue to press BT to keep offline work on all sites.

More positively DI work has now come back from offshore and will be based across all Connections sites once fully deployed. Mobile DI work will remain in Mobile.

Local Case Managers “in the Moment Support” Ending

Local Case Managers in all parts of Consumer will no longer be required to offer “in the moment support” to assist colleagues. This has been part of the pilot for over a year but will no longer be in the job description and will further reduce off line work. Support in the future is due to come from Team Managers.

We feel that removing this support this will harm overall performance. The best people to support our members are other experienced advisors. Yet BT believe this formal role is no longer needed as it was not working as planned.

So when the new model is deployed in your site members who are currently Local Case Managers should cease providing what is known as “in the moment support”, and refer all queries to their Team Leader.

Escalations – Level 2 Offline Work Should Not Go to Level 1

Team Leaders will manage escalations and complaints with support from the ECR teams. Advisors may still be asked to ask to assist with follow up work and tasks only where it is appropriate to their Level 1 or Level 2 role.

So where this work should be completed by a Level 2 advisor it must not be given to advisors working at Level 1.

So if you are in a site with no Level 2 advisors doing off line work, any Level 2 offline work must be sent to another site. In Tech that would be Gosforth or Cardiff, in Billing where there will be no offline work DI work will be referred to Connections. 

Disability Concerns

We have members across the UK who do offline work due to disabilities. The changed operating process could have serious implications for these members as offline work reduces or is relocated.

Consumer had not considered this as part of its plan. However, following the CWU’s intervention, BT has agreed that any advisors who are impacted by the removal or reduction of offline work, and who have adjusted duties arising from underlying health conditions, will continue with adjusted duties and BT will continue to review all cases in line with normal processes.

Tech Experts Left in Limbo Again

The changes for the operating model exclude our highly skilled Tech Experts members in Gosforth and Leicester. Their future has been under continual review for over 5 years with Consumer saying there is falling demand for a product that BT is not marketing. The grading still remains unresolved.

We have urged BT to market the product properly and use it to complement Home Tech Experts and Halo. The unique skill set of our Tech Experts must be properly utilised. 


BT has confirmed that it will be re-evaluating the new role with offline content. This would take into account the change in the role including the introduction of new DI work in certain areas. However, we have many reviews which have not been unresolved after several years, such as Camp 3.

For colleagues who are redeployed into a Level 1 advisor role there will be no change to pay grades and BT is not proposing to apply Pay and Pension Protection as part of this change.

Stand Together

These unwelcome developments follow other bleak news from BT since the Covid outbreak. Attacks on redundancy terms; compulsory redundancy in Enterprise; unagreed TM1 grading in Connections; cuts to salary and allowances for all new hires in Consumer.

On top of that there is the so called Better Workplace Programme which is designed to close sites.

There has never been a more important time to be in the CWU. We will all need to stand together in order to:

  • Fight for job security
  • Defend terms and conditions
  • Develop proper career paths

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Keep Safe

Nigel Cotgrove

CWU National Officer