Delegates at Connect's Conference have voted overwhelmingly to reject the company's proposals for an agreement designed to avert an industrial dispute. Following that the union's leadership has given notice that industrial action will start on 24 June.
Following a comprehensive debate at Connect's Conference, with elected delegates from all parts of BT, delegates voted overwhelmingly to reject BT's proposals. The union's BT Committee then decided to end the suspension of industrial action and to start industrial action short of a strike in BT on 24 June. This decision builds on a strong vote in favour of industrial action which you delivered in the postal ballot. We have now served BT with formal notice of industrial action.
The Pay Fair! campaign supports Connect’s objective of securing a better pay deal in BT:-
- A fair pay increase for all A fair deal should cover everyone. So far, BT has not made an offer which would cover people in RF Bands 2 and 3. And the proposed matrix for Band 1 will not distribute the available budget fairly.
- Equal pay We’ve made some progress with BT on this – but not enough. BT needs to do more to eliminate pay discrimination from the Reward Framework structure.
- Differentials How does it make sense to have managers paid less than the people they manage?
- Increases to pay ranges BT hasn’t increased some pay ranges for years. This has affected – ie reduced – the pay increases people have had from the agreed pay reviews. And it has caused some acute business problems, such as not being able to recruit into certain jobs.
- Pay progression A salary structure doesn’t work properly, and can’t deliver fair pay, if people can’t move up their pay ranges.
If this sounds like a lot to ask – it’s not. Much of it is not even about the amount of money this year, it’s about putting a workable structure in place for the future. The fact is that these are reasonable, affordable aims, and that BT can’t claim to run a world-class company without addressing them.
This industrial action will mean that Connect members in BT will only their contractual hours, which for some members would be a significant cut in the working week. We would also expect members not on formal call-out rotas to turn off their mobiles and BlackBerries and not check emails other than during within the 36 hour (pro rata for part-time workers) week.
If members take action together and really stick to contracted hours, BT will feel the effects. Many members have got into the habit of going the extra mile for the company, taking calls and doing work out of hours, staying late in the office, starting early to travel long distances to meetings, that some parts of the company will struggle to function effectively and meet crucial milestones on projects.
Connect don’t think the company, which is very aware of its public image and its reputation in the City, wants want this to happen. But right now, it’s trading on the goodwill of members – but not rewarding and respecting them accordingly.
Connect members in Vodafone fully support the action that our colleagues in BT are taking, they are in our thoughts during what is a difficult time. To find out more visit the Connect-BT PayFair website.