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BT betters pay offer under strike threat

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Updated BT has made another pay offer to the Communications Workers Union (CWU) in the hope of avoiding a strike.

As is standard form for industrial disputes, details of a letter sent late last night were leaked to the media this morning. It improves on the two per cent, one year offer rejected by the CWU with the promise of a three per cent rise next year.

Performance-related bonuses of £250 are also reportedly on the table.

On Friday union leaders announced that a ballot on industrial action will go ahead after BT did not meet a noon deadline to improve its offer.

Deputy general secretary Andy Kerr criticised "blatant double standards" over the much more generous pay rises awarded to senior executives.

The union plans to comment on the new offer this afternoon, when we'll update this story.

If a walkout goes ahead, it will be the first at BT in more than 20 years. ®

Update

This afternoon the CWU's Andy Kerr said:

We’re very disappointed that BT’s revised offer remains materially unchanged for this year in terms of pay.

As we've made clear, 2 per cent is unacceptable for our members as it does not reflect the reward they expect given the contribution they have made to cost savings of £1.75 billion and profits of over £1bn. In addition, inflation is at 5.3 per cent and staff are comparing this offer with the large salary rises and bonuses for senior executives which expose the blatant double standards being adopted by the company when it comes to remuneration.

BT's decision to leak their offer to the media today has also raised trust issues for us with the company. We will meet BT to discuss whether an improved offer exists but we will continue to press ahead with plans to ballot our members on industrial action in the absence of any real progress on pay.

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