Today BT are writing to their staff in the reward framework to say that there will be no increase in base pay in 2017, they’re saying that they’ve invested too much in base pay for the reward framework over the past few years and that you must pay the price for the company’s financial position this year. This despite writing to you on 27 April about the pay review and saying ‘As part of the review we are now finalising the areas we would like to update and where we need to target increases in base pay. We will be discussing these with Prospect’
Not only is this approach to pay unprecedented it is also incredibly divisive, earlier in 2017 BT agreed to pay increases to team members of 2.6% in a 15 month deal. Yet the company will expect its managers to deliver the improved company performance over the coming months. BT expect that you will think that it’s ‘good news’ that you will receive a discretionary bonus this year but Prospect is absolutely clear that in no way does this compensate for no increase in basic pay, nor does it address the issues of differentials, market levels of pay or pay progression. (BT are implementing the equal pay review but that forms part of the previous years pay settlement).
The BT Committee met yesterday and agreed unanimously to reject the company position. In reaching this conclusion we also considered the other challenges that the company has presented to Prospect, potential job losses, giving notice on the 2009 BT Pension Scheme agreement and the wider review of the reward framework. We know from members that they are concerned about many or all of these proposals and we are clear that this decision to freeze pay in 2017 is a step too far.
In the next week or so we will launch a consultative ballot of members to gauge your reaction to the pay freeze. The BT Committee will be recommending that you express your views loud and clear to BT and provide Prospect with a mandate to force the company back to the negotiating table.
In the meantime I would encourage you to ensure that your Prospect contact details are up to date, including making your preferred email address your personal email by logging on to the Prospect website or by calling 0207 902 6600. I would also encourage you to talk to your colleagues, who are not currently members of Prospect and encourage them to join, take part in the ballot and ensure their voices are also heard. If you have any comments or questions about this circular please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org