FUTURE OF WORK – FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT – 9 August 21
Further to our communication on 8th July we write, as promised, to set out the programme ahead.
The framework agreement, is a living and breathing document and is the vehicle that is enabling the work we are now doing with BT, on various workstreams, to resolve the issues we set out throughout the Count Me In campaign. Through your solidarity and support the relationship with BT has categorically improved, which has led to clear principles being agreed between us. The company is now in the process of ensuring managers in each BT customer facing unit are briefed on these principles.
Currently the CWU and BT are working on a roadmap and timescales for each workstream, and we will share some of this with you as soon as we are able. The workstreams are:
- Better Workplace; addressing potential problems in advance of making any announcements;
- Reskilling and Redeployment – to minimise redundancy;
- Pay, Terms and Conditions – we have a commitment to resolve the unagreed pay points, and to embark on discussions to ensure decent pay, terms and conditions for all BT employees. This will include a fair pay, grading and reward structure;
- Strategic Resourcing -we will have sight of and the ability to influence BT’s future resourcing requirements well in advance. We will aim to ensure our members are equipped with the anticipated skills in advance of these being required, thereby securing your stake in the future of BT.
Job Security was a catalyst for our campaign; our framework agreement has safeguarded jobs, ensuring a more centrally coordinated approach that anticipates future surplus resource before final decisions are made. Where there are planned site closures, voluntary paid leaver and redeployment will be given initial priority. In addition, we have agreed safeguards on the future of some sites under the Better Workplace workstream and we will now be engaged in discussions on how site closures will be approached.
The Future of Work Framework Agreement creates a firm foundation of how we will work with BT in future. We have put in place a governance team to ensure progression, delivery and implementation of the principles contained in the agreement across all CFUs. We will consult members on key aspects prior to the finalising agreement.
The framework agreement will result in, increased job security; secure UK based roles; implement fairer grading and pay structures; more opportunities for upskilling and see the union, on behalf of members, become a powerful stakeholder rather than an observer to BT’s plans. The issues are not going to be resolved overnight, but we are giving you a commitment to provide regular updates on progress via briefings; podcasts; videos and interviews with senior officials.
UPDATE ON NEGOTIATIONS WITH BT GROUP
Following an excellent forum with our Branches we are now in a position to formally announce that we have agreed to extend the period of negotiations with BT Group and in turn, the company has extended the moratorium on any further announcements.
We are pleased to inform you that we have made progress in all the areas we are negotiating. To remind you, these are;
- Redundancy Process
- Strategic Resourcing
- Better Workplace
- Terms and Conditions
- Job Evaluation and Grading
- Pay and Reward
At this juncture, we are not in a position to reveal the full details of the discussions but both the company and the CWU are committed to working towards a resolution over the coming week or so.
We ask members to take this as a positive development but also to remain vigilant and ready to respond, should negotiations break down. It is absolutely clear to us that your support has got the company back in the room and talking to us seriously.
It is our duty to try and reach agreement by every means possible but BT Group are fully aware that if we cannot, there will be a national industrial action ballot.
If we have to ballot then we, as a union, will be able to say to every single member, the company and the media that we have tried by every means possible to avoid that path.
All of the pressure is now on the company.
I want to thank you for your continued support and ask that we continue to stand together. I totally understand how frustrating the lack of information has been but these are extremely complex negotiations. Rest assured, your union has your back and we know you have ours.
We will be holding a further branch forum within two weeks where it’s our intention to present an agreement or call the ballot.
Together we will win this dispute.