Openreach announced to the CWU on 28th November that they were bringing new staff into pole testing, but not through the normal route of upgrading engineers with skills and experience. Instead they are bringing in new staff at the lowest grade and giving them 12 weeks training only. This astonishing attitude to such a safety critical job is being strongly opposed by CWU. There seems to have been no work on the safety and legal issues involved.
A special conference of the CWU over weekend 3rd/4th Nov decided on union organisation for the future. Conference voted to keep branch income steady and to keep CWU conference an annual event. A decision on closing the education centre at Alvescot was delayed for a financial report. More non industrial seats will be created on the National Executive.
Now Comcast is in full ownership of Sky, the financial press forecasts changes as Comcast seek to get a return on their massive investment. Staff will need a union more than ever and continue to join CWU.
From October 1st Openreach became more independent of BT and staff were transferred under TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employees). Terms and conditions all stay the same but the employer is now Openreach, although it is still a subsidiary company of BT.
A CWU ballot for BT London members, showed big support for a union campaign for a rise. London Weighting was last increased by BT in 2012. The company has consistently refused to make any offer of improvement.