Huge support for BTPFS pay deal

BT Facilities Services Ltd

Members in BT Property & Facilities Services (BTPFS) have overwhelmingly ratified a CWU-brokered pay deal that delivers increases of between 2.3 per cent and 3.6 per cent for the majority of CWU-represented grades.

In a consultative ballot, which closed this morning, more than 82 per cent of those who cast their vote gave their backing to the company’s final offer, which had been heavily shaped by the union’s determination to achieve a meaningful rise for as many members as possible against the backdrop of a performance-related pay matrix that the CWU believes is fundamentally flawed.

Headline elements of the complex deal, which is explained in detail in BTPFS Branch Briefing 11/2018 include:

  • A fully consolidated and pensionable 3.6 per cent increase for all hourly paid staff, including housekeepers and those security staff working in ‘Tier A’ operational buildings.
  • An overall 2.5 per cent increase in the pay pot for all other ‘Band 1’ colleagues, with individuals’ rises being determined by the ‘market aligned’ performance pay matrix that the CWU only agreed to the company using this year on a ‘without prejudice’ basis so as not to create a precedent for future pay negotiations.
  • An increase in the call out allowance for staff rostered for attendance, if required, beyond their normal hours  – from £118 to £135.
  • The introduction of jointly negotiated uprated engineering pay bands (the result of a commitment made by the company as part of the 2017 pay settlement) before the application of the current pay review.

Commenting on the four to one vote by members to accept a deal, which only emerged following an unusually long and exceptionally tough set of negotiations that were further complicated by a wrangle over call out payments that the CWU has long argued are woefully inadequate, assistant secretary Sally Bridge said: “Taking the main elements one by one, the CWU is pleased to report that, although BTPFS is not formally signed up as a Living Wage employer, it has once again agreed to apply the ‘outside London’ rate increase of 3.6 per cent to all hourly paid staff.

“With regards to the overall pay pot increase of 2.5 per cent for the rest of our grades, this represents a significant improvement on the opening offer proposed by BTPFS. While we continue to dispute the applicability of a performance related ‘market aligned’ pay matrix, we’ve moved them significantly on the amount of money on offer.

“The biggest battalions of CWU members, who fall into the ‘good work’ performance rating in the Q1 ands Q2 pay bands are now set to receive 3.4 and 2.3 per cent retrospectively.

“On the vexed issue of call out payments, which have been a major bone of contention between the CWU and management for the last two years, we’ve managed to secure a long overdue £17 increase. Although we know that may not meet the expectations of our members, the negotiating team believes this is at least a step in the right direction, especially viewed in the context of a firm company commitment for a further review in next year’s pay talks.

“Finally, the increase in engineering pay bands represents a very significant step forward, because the fact these band adjustments will be implemented before the performance related and market aligned pay matrix is applied means that significant number of members are now set to receive a higher percentage increase than they would otherwise have qualified for.”

Sally concludes: “This year’s pay discussions were extremely difficult due to outstanding issues from the 2017 pay review and the myriad of issues we’ve had to address.

“While we’ve not achieved everything we wanted, the CWU’s BTPFS National Team firmly believes this is the best settlement that could have been achieved by negotiation at this present point in time, and that it positions us well to tackle outstanding issues in future pay talks.

“This year’s pay settlement means the vast majority of our members will receive a decent increase, whether they be cleaners, engineers or those on security, and that has clearly been understood by members, as reflected in today’s overwhelming ‘Yes’ vote.”

See BTPFS Branch Briefing No. 11/2018 here