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back to article BT union negotiations sour

BT workers will be sent strike ballot papers next Friday after five hours of talks with union leaders broke down yesterday. The Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents about 55,000 staff, accused the firm of "complete contempt" for staff after it refused to improve on a two per cent pay rise for this year. "Things …

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Paris Hilton

Title

"Rises of up to six per cent plus large bonuses for senior management have added to anger."

Just shows how in tune with their employees the BT management really are.

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Silver badge

SNAFU

They've been saying the same thing for years and years.

"Why should we get shed-loads of money while the workers get the pleasure of a pittance?"

"Because we're worth it."

As someone who got fed up of the parasites continuously feeding of the work I did at BT and then claiming the credit for it all to get huge bonuses, it's a very old song I'm hearing.

Back in the older days, engineers were offered something like £25 for every phone system they recommended and was sold - a phone system worth hundreds to the sales managers who then did fuck all but raked in the commission.

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FAIL

Not all management are management

As a BT staff member, I am bemused by the whole CWU thing. What the CWU constantly fail to point out is that just because someone is on a staff grade, doesn't necessarily mean they are a manager. If someone on a staff grade has an outstanding review and/or is in the bottom end of their grade's salary range then yes, they could clear a 5% pay rise. If, however, they're crap and/or at the top of their grade's salary range, they'll get nowt.

The CWU staff don't "do" individual reviews so don't get graduated rises, preferring to lump the good, the bad and the ugly all together. They're then playing hard done by because they're offered the average for all. The answer's simple. Go for individual reviews. Their talented members will then get better pay rises and they can just waste their breath trying to defend the monkeys.

It's about time the CWU joined the real world and left the Post Office Telephones mentality behind.

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FAIL

RE: Not all management are management

I think you've been under a rock for the last couple of months.

The April pay review in question is negotiated between the CWU and BT annually as a cost of living increase, and nothing to do with a team member's annual grade increment, which is individual.

The result of these negotiaitions goes on to affect all team member grades, even those at the top of their current grade.

While I, personally, am all for preformance related pay in out October pay increases, these cost of living increases should reflect inflation, pure and simple. They should not be related in any way to performance.

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Anonymous Coward

Too good to be true

I can't think of any other company that offers both an annual individual pay rise and an annual 'cost of living' pay rise, perhaps CWU members should count themseleves lucky that they're in this position and not let their union get too greedy.

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Coat

Are we beaten down dogs?

Cost of living or inflation based increases really should come as standard for any job otherwise year on year you are ending up with a pay cut and it does take much. If you liked going out for a beer and a packet of crisps once a week think agin chum, you'll have to find another notch on your finance belt. I know, not every company puts their prices-up, but its never good for moral and employee turnover for jumping job being the way to keep up with peers.

Anyhow, I doubt individual employee pay reviews awards are on top of the cost of living increase, so 2% cost of living is topped up 3% for an overall 5% rise for nice employees.

Lets hope this gets settled because life could become too interesting when you have managerial efficiency strategic synegisers of empowerment reserves in sub-departments and IT consultants out on the street going up in the lifter-arms to fix a new line and forgetting their saftey gloves, their screwdriver, and the wire and the handbrake...

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Grenade

@AC 11/6 08:50 Are we beaten down dogs?

"Cost of living or inflation based increases really should come as standard for any job otherwise year on year you are ending up with a pay cut and it does take much"

I don't think that happens anywhere except in the public sector. Certainly the private sector doesn't generally do it - a total annual raise below inflation is common. I've known people - extremely successful in their jobs, where the company was throwing as much money as it could afford at them - get a total of less than 5% pay rise in total over a five year period: they had the option of leaving if they didn't like it, or staying and suffering the effective pay loss if they wanted to stay in that job. Why should the BT employees expect to do so much better than the rest of people in the private sector?

When the economy is growing at x%, an average rise above x%+inflation will inevitably increase either inflation or unemployment - probably both. Even a rise as high as x%+inflation guarantees that either inflation will increase of unemplyment will not fall, and probably both will happen. Anyone who thinks that everyone should automatically get a rise of at least inflation is either living in cloud-cuckoo land or can't do simple arithmetic - probably both.

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WTF?

Individual Reviews

@AC

I'm curious - does this mean that BT staff can volunteer to be reviewed on merit, or decline and take their chances? Bizarre if I''ve understood correctly...

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Anonymous Coward

Eh?

No, "manual" grades aren't reviewed on merit. "staff" grades are and a mare of a system it is too but then that appears to be the case everywhere I've worked, not just BT.

Re: the other poster, where in your contract does it say you're entitled to inflation every year? If it does then I want one of those contracts please.

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WTF?

Re: re: The other poster

It doesn't. I doubt you'll find any other company offers it either. That said, any firm won't keep thier staff very long if they refuse cost of living pay rises year after year. Erosion of pay in real terms pisses people off.

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