Openreach Service Delivery – Unagreed Incentive scheme

Openreach Service Delivery – Unagreed Incentive scheme

The CWU Wales and Marches branches held two  Question and Answer video calls for members in SD on 11th February and 16th February 2021.

This is a summary of the questions raised and the information provided for those who were unable to attend.

We presented the following message from Davie Bowman CWU National Officer with responsibility for Openreach.

Question : Were the CWU consulted on the incentive scheme?

Answer : The CWU were discussing an incentive scheme as part of a basket of measures including greater flex and most importantly for CWU members the removal of up to 1 hour Personal Travel Time for 20/20 contracts.

The goal was to enable removal of Personal Travel Time for members. The incentive scheme was part of those discussions. Openreach initially decided without seeking agreement from the CWU to do trials of the incentive scheme in five areas where only two areas were trialling the removal of PTT.

Subsequently once again, without seeking agreement from the CWU, Openreach rolled out a national trial of the incentive scheme only. nIt should be noted Openreach have not sought to implement, (agreed or unagreed) removal of the up to 1 hour Personal Travel Time.

Question : What is the impact of the trial and implementation of the incentive scheme without CWU Agreement?

Answer : Implementing only the incentive scheme without consulting the CWU will mean that how it is managed and calculated will be at the discretion of Openreach including individual contributions to the team.

We are concerned this will herald a return to hard line performance management and set unachievable targets once people demonstrate higher productivity capability. We are also concerned that for members who joined the company since 2012 the 10% bonus will form part of an incentive scheme.

We have a policy to consolidate that 10% into basic pay. Openreach have denied that either of these scenarios will take place. The initial discussions were on removing the personal travel time for post 2012 members and the incentive and flex were part of a basket of measures to enable this to take place. We are concerned that this will not be implemented if they just get you to sign up to the incentive. Openreach are silent on this issue.

Question : What about the scheme does the CWU oppose?

Answer : The basis of the scheme will mean year to year the scheme will deliver less financial incentive for you  yet the performance requirement to earn the incentive will be required to increase year on year. The CWU will not have the ability to influence the calculation of the incentive unless Openreach would be compelled to return to negotiations by a low opt in.

The CWU want a fair team based scheme that does not drive the wrong behaviours, that does not eradicate voluntary overtime, that does not set member against member, that does not create an ever increasing productivity increase as standard without guaranteed payments of incentives. The CWU and some members have already been on this treadmill which led to a toxic performance culture.

Question: Is there a threat to the post 2012 automatic payment of 10% bonus which the CWU is arguing to be integrated as base pay?

Answer : Openreach are denying this is the case.  If this is to be believed then they could agree to immediately consolidate the automatic 10% bonus into base pay. This would be a real benefit to post 2012 members as that payment would flow through to hourly rate and future pension.

Question : Can Openreach implement the scheme and change the terms of the scheme without CWU Agreement?

Answer : The CWU are trying to avoid this by getting the company back to the table. The company claim 85% that have responded have opted in to try to persuade you. We have not seen data of those opted in or the numbers that have not responded. You have not been advised of the number responded or have not responded.  However. this is a non-contractual scheme and they can change the terms of it. The scheme will presumably be amended to benefit Openreach’s objectives.

We want to revert back to where we discuss the fairness of the scheme, ensure safety takes a high profile and how changes to the scheme are managed; but also the flex and the removal of the personal travel time element which was the basket of measures approach. There have been a number of new roles implemented in which the finalisation of the pay has not been agreed with the CWU. Openreach are trialling new recruits to do FTTP with no overtime payments and an integral 10% bonus based on completions.

BT consulted on compulsory redundancy terms in which 73% voted against changes but they went ahead and have changed terms. This is what the COUNT ME IN campaign is about involving the whole of Openreach and BT. You continuing to have a say through the CWU about what happens in the workplace.

Question : Patch Managers have been applying pressure to opt in and some people feel intimidated. What can we say to Patch managers?

Answer : The brief states clearly “it is entirely optional”. Report any intimidation to your Branch. We can ensure this is anonymous if required. We have already raised this as an issue.

Question : What happens if your performance is worse in a week and you have minus figures?

Answer : No bonus is paid. It does illustrate why there needs to be CWU involvement and protection of post 2012 automatic bonus.

Question : Why are Frames excluded?

Answer : The CWU favours reward that is fair and inclusive. This is something that should be discussed.

Question : Why are the CWU not calling Industrial Action?

Answer : The CWU will always seek a negotiated settlement in the first instance to issues facing you. This is more difficult when the company have determined they will not seek to consult and agree. The CWU Count Me In Campaign is about BT and Openreach’s movement away from consulting with the CWU representing your issues; and unilaterally changing terms and conditions and ignoring collective agreements with the CWU.

CWU Wales and the Marches