BT averts strike action with pay deal
BT has compromised on a pay deal with its employees to avert a strike that could have had a serious impact on broadband customers.
The Communications Workers Union (CWU) was demanding a 5% pay rise for BT staff, while the company was initially only prepared to offer 2% and a £500 lump sum.
The union’s anger was fuelled by a huge pay rise for BT CEO Ian Livingston, after the company announced profits of £1 billion for the last financial year.
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According to BT, the two sides have now settled on a 39-month pay deal, which will see staff given a 3% pay rise for each financial year until March 2013. The rise will be backdated to this January.
BT has reached agreement with the CWU leadership, but it still needs to be rubber-stamped with a ballot of CWU members, which will take place in the next few weeks.
The union had previously warned that strike action could result in delays in fixing faults on broadband lines and disrupt the rollout of BT’s next-generation fibre network.
“This agreement is good for BT, its employees, shareholders and customers,” said Livingston. “BT will benefit from a long period of certainty whilst our employees will have financial stability during uncertain economic times. I am pleased that we have been able to work with the union’s leadership to resolve this matter as industrial action would have been in no-one’s interest.”