Strong results show BT can afford more on pay, says CWU

The Communication Workers Union has welcomed BT’s strong financial results which show the company making over £1 billion profit and calls on the company to improve its pay offer to staff to reward them for their effort and contribution to this success.

Staff at BT received no improvement in their basic pay in 2009. The CWU helped the company to make changes to its pensions schemes and headcount reduction, contributing to savings of over £1.75 billion, but BT is now refusing to budge on a below-inflation 2 per cent pay offer. BT expects to make £900 million savings next year but they will need the cooperation of staff to successfully secure these savings.

Andy Kerr, CWU deputy general secretary, said: “As we can all see from today’s financial results, BT is a successful company making significant profits. This is welcome to everyone at BT. We want the company to reward their hard working staff who have shown unprecedented loyalty during a difficult few years.

“BT has reduced its cost base. This has been achieved with the cooperation of the workforce who have gone two years without a rise in basic pay as well as seeing 30,000 colleagues leave the company with more jobs to go this year and significant changes to their pension schemes. All this has been accepted in good faith, but BT is now abusing that goodwill by refusing to make a decent pay offer this year.

“With inflation running at 4.4 per cent, shareholders getting a 6 per cent dividend rise and the company’s profits restored to health the offer of 2 per cent on pay is an insult. BT say they are investing in the future of the business in fibre and improved customer service, we welcome that but would like to see the company invest in the workforce at the same time.

“We hope that BT will rethink and agree to meet with us soon to resolve the current situation, but this must be against a backdrop of the company accepting that our members both require and deserve an improved pay award in real terms.”

CWU has rejected BT’s ‘final offer’ of a 2 per cent rise and conditional one-off payments based on meeting undisclosed financial targets. The union represents 60,000 staff in the company in call centre, engineering and retail roles.

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