The pay rise recently agreed with BT (which this branch voted against) has become even more controversial as payment is now delayed to October. This is because part of the rise is not pensionable. Under pressure from the union, BT will pay out interim payments at the end of June, which can be from £200 to £750 depending on grade.
Digital Realty is an American company which took over part of the former Telecity. The new firm has renewed the union recognition agreement and achieved a pay settlement with CWU reps, subject to a members’ ballot. This is in contrast to Equinix (see below). Grading structure issues are still to come.
Ofcom have confirmed that an agreement has been made with BT, and separation of Openreach into a subsidiary company can go ahead, as announced a year ago. That does not end all the uncertainty for CWU members. There are conditions about pensions that need to be implemented before anything else, and consultation on the ‘TUPE transfer’, the movement of staff to a new employer. TUPE opens up the possibilities of variations to terms and conditions over time, and so will be critical for the union.
As well as the future of Openreach, Ofcom is on the hook over Sky. The regulator will need to make decision on 21st Century Fox (ie Murdochs’) bid for 100% ownership of Sky. European regulators will also want to have a say, as Sky is big in Italy and Germany.
Members who once worked for Telecity and are now employed by Equinix have been told the company wants to pull out of its recognition deal with CWU. If they succeed, all negotiations would stop and safety reps would go.