We wrote to you last week to provide an up-date on our talks with BT. We have now reached an agreement with the company on the pay bill increase - sometimes referred to as the quantum - that will be available to finance pay awards for people in the RF in 2011 and 2012. This represents the first stage in addressing the pay of our members and the issues raised by the CWU's three year pay agreement.
We reported last week that the talks we have been holding with BT have been very positive. We believe the following will demonstrate just how positive they have been. We now have an offer of a significant two-year increase in the pay bill for the RF - sufficiently significant to enable us to address many of the concerns members have raised with us over the last few years.
- We have agreed that there will be a 3% increase in the Reward Framework pay bill with effect from 1 June 2011 and again with effect from 1 June 2012.
- In addition, there will be equal pay reviews each year, with increases paid with effect from 1 January 2012 and again with effect from 1 January 2013. There will be an equal pay budget of 0.3% for each of the two years of the proposed agreement.
- In total, the RF pay bill will increase by 3.3% for each of the two years, 2011, and 2012. These increases will be consolidated and pensionable.
- In addition, we have reached an agreement in principle that Starting Pay on Appointment arrangements will be re-introduced - and we will issue details of how this will work in the next week or two.
- We have also agreed that the standard on target bonus percentage for band one roles will be increased from 7.5% to 10% (until now, OTB for band one roles was either 7.5% or 10% - it will now be 10% for all band one roles), as was agreed as part of the 2010 pay agreement. This will come into effect in relation to bonuses paid this year (June 2011).
- In addition, we and BT have agreed that we will focus a greater proportion of the available budget on band one people, in order to address the differentials issues that have arisen between band one salaries and those of team members. A higher budget will be applied at band one, and this will result in two matrices, one for people at band one and another for those at band two/three.
We will now be talking to BT about the way this money will be distributed. Whilst these increases in quantum are potentially very good news (and will provide the headroom to generate decent increases for members, particularly at band one), the actual matrices are what matter. We will also be conducting discussions with the company on pay ranges, many of which have either not moved or have moved very little since the inception of the Reward Framework.
Once we have concluded all discussions, we will then ballot members on the total package. Consequently, we view this initial offer from BT as a very important and welcome first step towards a longer term agreement in the spring which should address many of the concerns people in the RF have expressed over many years. The discussions on distributing this quantum are likely to take at least a couple of months so this ballot will not take place quickly.