BT reaches agreement with the Communication Workers Union

BT (‘the Company”) and its largest union, the Communication Workers Union (CWU), have reached an agreement on how the Company will push ahead with its modernisation plans over the coming years.

The new set of principles, covering areas such as pay and redundancy, will ensure our colleagues continue to be treated fairly and with respect as we focus on growth, simplifying customer journeys, reducing the number of systems we have and transforming our offices into future fit workplaces.

As we expand our full fibre broadband and 5G mobile networks, our products and services are helping to power the nation’s economic recovery from the pandemic. Our frontline colleagues play a vital role in keeping our customers and the country connected, which is why reaching this agreement with the CWU is critical.

The agreement with the CWU covers three key areas:

  • Pay - we have committed to implement a pay increase for team members (a commitment we’ve also made to our management teams) in the UK that will be awarded next year. The precise details will be determined nearer the time and will depend on various factors including business performance, economic outlook and inflation. Discussions with both of our unions (the CWU and Prospect) will begin in the usual way and in good time for the reviews to be implemented.
  • The Better Workplace Programme - we have agreed to look at the timing and location of some of the sites we are proposing to close in order to minimise the impact on our people. During the next 12 months we’ll only propose to close buildings where we anticipate colleagues can relocate to an alternative location. We’ve drawn up a set of principles which will guide our future planning and we’ll continue to talk to the union as we develop the plan. There are no changes to locations and sites previously announced.
  • Redundancy – once our proposed modernisation programme is complete, we’ll be a leaner, simpler and more agile organisation with fewer people. As much as possible, this will be achieved through natural attrition as around 10,000 colleagues choose to leave BT a year. In areas where we may need to look at reducing roles, we’ve made a commitment to consider steps to avoid compulsory redundancy where we reasonably can. Where appropriate we’ll do this by seeking volunteers through the broader use of voluntary paid leaver schemes, supporting colleagues to move to new roles by retraining and reskilling, and helping them to move to new locations.

As we implement our plans to build a better BT for the future, how we get there is every bit as important as the detail of our plans. Reaching this agreement is the culmination of intensive negotiations between BT and the CWU and it also recognises their role as a critical stakeholder as BT moves forward with its modernisation plans.

The continued support and dedication of our colleagues, our unions and their members is paramount and the agreement announced today will allow us to progress BT’s modernisation agenda and enable us to achieve our cost savings targets. Our outlook therefore remains unchanged.

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About BT

BT Group is the UK’s leading telecommunications and network provider and a leading provider of global communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities in the UK include the provision of fixed voice, mobile, broadband and TV (including Sport) and a range of products and services over converged fixed and mobile networks to consumer, business and public sector customers. For its global customers, BT provides managed services, security and network and IT infrastructure services to support their operations all over the world. BT consists of four customer-facing units: Consumer, Enterprise, Global and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Openreach, which provides access network services to over 650 communications provider customers who sell phone, broadband and Ethernet services to homes and businesses across the UK.

For the year ended 31 March 2021, BT Group’s reported revenue was £21,331m with reported profit before taxation of £1,804m.

British Telecommunications plc is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

For more information, visit www.bt.com/about