BT reaches deadlock with union
Strike ballot to go ahead
BT faces a strike ballot after it failed to reach an agreement in a pay dispute with engineers by today's noon deadline.
Some 55,000 members of the Communication Workers Union at BT will now vote on their first industrial action in more than 20 years.
The union had set a 12pm deadline for BT to improve on its offer of a two per cent pay rise. Leaders rejected the offer in light of BT's return to profit this year, and chief executive Ian Livingstone's own pay rise of almost six per cent and £1.2m bonus.
"We've made our position very clear," Deputy general secretary Andy Kerr said this afternoon.
"2 per cent is not good enough when the company is making profits of over £1 billion, paying shareholders a 6 per cent dividend and paying out large sums to senior executives while inflation is at 5.3 per cent.
"Our members are angry about the blatant double standards when it comes to pay for those at the top compared to the rest of staff at the company. We're not asking for the earth, we're asking for a fair and affordable share of BT's success. If it's good enough for the executives it's good enough for the staff."
Kerr added that the CWU remains open to negotiations, but insisted only a bigger pay rise will end the dispute. Prospect, the other union at BT, has accepted the two per cent offer.
BT has said staff have received higher bonuses this year and that performance-based payments are its favoured approach.
A spokeswoman for the CWU said arrangements for its strike ballot will be announced next week. Workers last manned the picket lines in 1985. ®
Good luck to em
I'm not defending BT here, I'm defending the BT workers.
As someone who regularly comes into contact with many people from many defferent departments of BT Retail and BT Openreach I have to say that the works really have had the shit parade droppedon them many times in the last 2-3 years.
Time was when being a BT engineer was a fantastic job that included a great salary, great prospects alas now each engineer is given unrealistic targets, micro managment and now even a poorer salary than in the rest of the private sector.
Mnay engineers are beaten on a aily basis about performance and timescales and it's little wonder that mistakes are made and the customer suffers.
Time to drop many of the BT middle management and let the engineers get on the their jobs. Stop putting unachieveable targets on them and things get done.
I say good luck to them and if they can get rid of the stupid middle management then a +2% pay rise is not much to ask...esp when their seniors are getting 70%+ bonues!
bonuses do not add to basic pay
"performance-based payments are its favoured approach."
yep because they do not add to basic salary so they are basically a way of implimenting a pay freeze
all this when the top brass award themselves an inflation busting payrise and big bonuses
time for the shareholders to vote down the boards renumeration package until it is fair across the board, oh sorry that won't happen old boys club and everything
It's not just about pay freezes...
Think about it: You pay into your pension, and it's based on contributions. A bonus isn't generally taken into the calculations. And if you're still on a final pay scheme (thank yer lucky stars) then bonuses aren't taken into account either. Another way to stuff the employees.
Same old same old Rip Off Britain.