BT June 22 2020
The CWU has responded furiously to the roll-out of a new operating model in BT Consumer that will slash opportunities for offline work and effectively kibosh non-managerial promotion chances in the Service operation.
Despite appeals for a pause for thought by the union on changes that will have profound ramifications for members across Service, this morning the business has briefed employees it is pressing on regardless with a radical shakeup that cut 300 offline roles in Billing and Tech.
There are currently 62 people doing a TM2 or equivalent role with offline content in Billing and 360 in Tech. Under BT’s plans this ‘Level 2’ work will be eradicated entirely in Billing and reduced by two thirds to just 120 full-time equivalent posts in Tech – with all those displaced being moved to inbound ‘Level 1’ call work. That process will commence this week. Moreover, in Tech all the remaining ‘Level 2’ work will be moved to just two sites – Gosforth and Cardiff – with 60 FTE posts remaining on each site. In those two sites there will be a selection process with all TM2 or equivalent grades who have previously undertaken Tech offline in scope.
Full details of the changes are detailed in Consumer Members’ Bulletin No.121/2020 which was emailed to members this morning – but the CWU has already made clear its strong opposition to the changes.
Pointing out that the new operating model spells a career progression “road to nowhere” across Service, CWU national officer for Consumer Nigel Cotgrove explains: “Removing all offline work in Billing and concentrating the work on only two sites in Tech means that non-management promotion opportunities for TM1 grades will mostly disappear. “The changes therefore deal a massive blow to those who want to make a career in BT. While we understand the need for offline roles may be falling, the CWU has made it very clear indeed to management that we believe the roles should be spread over as many sites as possible. “Less than a year ago Consumer promised to build non-managerial career paths and to spread higher graded posts on as many sites as possible – yet now BT has reneged on this commitment in Billing and Tech and this will leave the vast majority of members with little or no future career options on Consumer. We don’t yet know what will happen in Connections and Mobile but we fear this approach will be repeated.”
Nigel continues: “These unwelcome developments follow other bleak news from BT since the COVID-19 outbreak began, including attacks on redundancy terms; compulsory redundancies in Enterprise; unagreed TM1 grading in Connections and cuts to salary and allowances for all new hires in Consumer. On top of that there’s the so-called ‘Better Workplace Programme’ which is designed to close sites.”
Nigel concludes: “There’s never been a more important time to be in the CWU. We will all need to stand together in order to fight for job security, defend terms & conditions and develop proper career paths.”