As part of the results BT are announcing 4,000 job cuts, mainly in managerial and non-customer facing roles, to be clear Prospect will seek to ensure that all redundancies are managed on a voluntary basis and will be talking to the company about where and when those cuts are envisaged. Working with the company we have until now been able to ensure that staff reductions have taken place without recourse to compulsory redundancies and we are firmly committed to continuing to do so. Equally we will want to ensure that where staff reductions take place the work will also come to an end and will not result in those who remain working under even more pressure.
BT Pension Scheme
The financial statement makes reference to the funding challenge to the BT Pension Scheme (the defined benefit scheme) and the valuation commencing in 2017. It goes on to say that BT is considering a number of options for funding the deficit after the next valuation. Prospect recognises that these challenges have been growing and will be engaging with the company about these options and the potential impact on members of the scheme.
Members will be aware that pay negotiations for staff on the reward framework are now commencing and that whilst BT have recognised that they need to honour the equal pay review that was agreed as part of the 3 year pay agreement, no detail of that has yet been discussed with us. Against the background of these financial results we expect these negotiations to be challenging, so far we’ve made it clear to the company that we want pay talks to be concluded as soon as possible and ideally in time for increases to be paid in June but given the climate in which negotiations are likely to take place we will need your support and patience to ensure that we achieve the best outcome possible in difficult circumstances.
Growing Prospect membership
Now is a really good time to talk to any colleagues who are not currently members of Prospect and encourage them to join. They can do so by following this link - https://www.prospect.org.uk/be-involved/join