A majority of Communication Workers Union’s (CWU) members has accepted a 39-month pay deal from BT.
The results of a consultative ballot resulted in 86.6 percent of votes returned being in favour of the pay offer, which is worth three percent each financial year from April 2010 to March 2013. The pay rise, which is backdated to 1 January, will be implemented in employees’ August payslips.
Andy Kerr, CWU deputy general secretary, said: “It was a very hard set of negotiations including a ballot for strike action so this pay rise was very hard won.”
“This pay deal provides stability and security for both staff and the company.”
Last month, the CWU executive cancelled a strike ballot as the votes were being counted, citing potential legal challenges from the company. A strike may have affected BT’s troubled Global Services division, where CWU represents a number of employees. The division cut 5,900 jobs as part of a total group cull of 35,000 jobs in the last two years.
Anger among BT workers was fuelled by what they considered an unsatisfactory initial pay offer when the company’s reported profits of over £1 billion and paid shareholders a six percent dividend.
BT revealed in its 2010 annual report that its chief executive, Ian Livingston, received an annual bonus of £1.2 million – on top of a basic salary of £850,000.
Prior to the accepted pay deal, BT offered just a two percent pay rise for employees from April 2010 to December 2010 and a three percent pay rise for the 2011 calendar. From the start of negotiations, CWU had demanded a five percent pay increase for its members.
The Trustee of the BT Pension Scheme recently started court proceedings at the High Court in London to clarify the terms and scope of the Crown Guarantee governing the company’s pension scheme.