BT Fleet has lost some work and cuts to working hours (shifts) will follow. As Fleet work for many different companies, ups and downs are normal. But the recent management restructure was not. The company decided to put in place a new structure of one manager per site, and remove the highest grade of workshop supervisor. The resulting dislocation has seen new managers imported to London as promotion opportunities go.
The end of June saw the closure of the BT Pension Scheme, with members transferring into the BT Retirement Saving Scheme. However part of the union agreement was the setting up of a ‘hybrid’ scheme, which allows for part of pay to be treated like the old ‘career average’ scheme rather than an insurance policy.. Details of this are still awaited but BT say they will honour their promises – in time.
Soon the future ownership of Sky will be decided. Fox and Comcast are both bidding to buy the shares in Sky. Comcast are still offering a higher price for Sky shares – now £26bn. Meanwhile Disney ‘s takeover of Fox is going ahead and Fox owns 39% of Sky shares.
Speculation is high about how this will affect the company. There could be management changes, and a drive to recoup costs. Whatever the result, there will be an even greater need for a union presence to defend individuals.
We have big cause for concern about the SARS attendance review system. This goes up in steps 1 to 4 – with 4 being dismissal. This despite longer term absences often being related to disabilities. Advice to members is – do not co-operate with SARS 4, but pursue a case of disability discrimination. After all, Richard Branson says it is priority to get,and keep disabled people in work.
Sky’s plan to change bonus arrangements in Retail (stores in shopping centres) is well under way. Staff in 2 areas are receiving an allowance but ‘per item’ bonuses have been cut. Rumour is strong about further cuts which could mean staff reductions, closures of stores, and moving towards becoming a utility shop.