BT today announced it has reached agreement with the CWU’s leadership on a new pay package for team members. This package, which has been agreed by the union’s executive, will now be recommended to union members in a consultative ballot. This ballot will take place within the next few weeks.
Having failed to reach agreement on a one or two year deal, the two sides have instead agreed on an unprecedented thirty nine month deal that will take both sides through until March 2013. This deal will provide BT with wage stability for several years.
The agreement will see team members receive pensionable pay rises worth 3 per cent each financial year from April 2010 to March 2013 with the rise being backdated to January 2010. The union had previously demanded a 5 per cent rise for 2010/11 alone.
BT had previously offered a 2 per cent pensionable pay rise from April 2010 and a 3 per cent rise from January 2011. The company had also offered lump sum payments worth up to £500 for each team member but these have now been removed given the revised terms over thirty nine months.
Ian Livingston, BT chief executive, said: “This agreement is good for BT, its employees, shareholders and customers. BT will benefit from a long period of certainty whilst our employees will have financial stability during uncertain economic times. I am pleased that we have been able to work with the union’s leadership to resolve this matter as industrial action would have been in no-one’s interest.”
Andy Kerr, CWU deputy general secretary, said: “Following a very difficult set of negotiations and the first national ballot for strike action in BT since 1987 we’re delighted to have resolved this pay dispute through talks.
“This is a fantastic deal for our members providing a fair rise in their basic pay this year and for the following two years. This deal is among the highest pay settlements in the country this year recognising the contribution of staff and BT’s success over the last year.
“Although our ballot for strike action was ultimately withdrawn, we believe it played a major part in getting BT back to the negotiating table with a significantly improved pay offer.”