OPENREACH – PTT, Flex and Unagreed Incentive Scheme Trial

You may have received (or heard about) a briefing and invitation to participate in an Incentive Scheme Trial called “My Team Incentive Pilot” being run by Service Delivery in a number of Patches.

To be clear this has NOT been agreed with the CWU despite what you may be told to the contrary.

While the CWU Openreach National Team have been discussing this issue with the company it was in the context of a “Basket of Measures” with the purpose of removing the use of PTT, for those who have joined the company since 2012, and aligning with the Parking at Home policy.  The 3 strands to the discussions were around PTT, Incentives and flex changes.  PTT was the main strand and the driver from the CWU but we accepted that the incentives and flex could create an overall package beneficial to both the company and our members, but only as a package.

What became clear was that Openreach were focused on the incentive part of the “Basket of Measures”.  This was confirmed when their proposal was to trial in 5 patches across the UK; all 5 patches would trial Incentives with 1 patch also trialing PTT and another of the 5 patches also trialing Flex.

No patch would trial all 3 strands of the package simultaneously at the beginning but COULD possibly be trialed later in December.  This is clearly outwith the principles of what we set out to achieve as a “Basket of Measures” which was made very clear to the company.

Discussions continued up to last week where the NT raised a number of questions which have yet to be fully answered.  A further meeting was arranged but was cancelled with 20 minutes notice with no explanation as to why.  It subsequently came to our attention, via our Regional Co-ordinators, that the company intended to go ahead with their proposal on the Incentive Scheme part without any further discussions with the CWU.

“Why” you may ask would the company act in such a way without concluding the discussions with the CWU?  Perhaps because there would be less constraint on how the trial was conducted and any changes that they may want to make.  Already on the briefing that the company has prepared there are changes to what was discussed with the CWU.  For example, the original proposals did not include a measure on the SAM Delivery V Plan potentially reducing reward.

We would ask that you consider very carefully whether to participate in this unagreed trial;  in fact one of our requests for TMs participating in the trial was for it to be voluntary on an OPT IN basis.  That also seems to have changed in the briefing pack.  While this may look attractive to some at the moment, without CWU involvement what cost to you in the future as the company seek to drive down costs at every opportunity.

It took us many years to get rid of the scourge of Openreach’s previous Performance Management Culture, and UNAGREED schemes like this could lead us back to that place. Members will appreciate why the removal of PTT formed such a key part of these trial negotiations for the CWU, given the importance to our members of this outstanding objective. It is for this reason, that we need to relay our bitter disappointment that Openreach SD management have chosen to proceed in the manner described above.

Whilst the CWU are not opposed to Team Based Incentives for our members, as long as they are agreed and fair, unless the Openreach NT reaches agreement on this Trial/Pilot, we would ask you to seriously consider whether you should take part.