Big ‘YES’ from 999 call handlers to CWU-brokered deal on attendance patterns

Telecoms & Financial Services

Members across BT Business Voice Services have voted by nearly nine-to-one to accept a major overhaul of attendance patterns that the union believes offer significant benefits over the arrangements that are currently in place.

Placed before members in an e-ballot which closed this morning (Monday), the comprehensive menu of attendances contained in the new Attendance Collective Agreement go a long way to address long-standing CWU concerns over inadequate advance visibility of attendances across Voice Services.

And with the company confirming that almost 98% of advisors are in line to receive their first choice of attendance pattern immediately – with the rest placed on a waiting list to transfer to their preferred option at the earliest possible opportunity – the deal has now been ratified by 88.4% of those participating in the consultative poll.

Crucially, the portfolio of attendances set out in the CWU-brokered agreement see the variation in start times greatly reduced and significantly restricted – and much improved visibility of what pattern of duties individuals will be working for the foreseeable future.

Importantly, the ‘Through-Night’ extension to 08:00, which management had initially proposed to be throughout the duty cycle, will now only be for one week out of six – thereby addressing a major point of contention.

Other safeguards secured for members by the CWU negotiating team include commitments by Voice Services management that:

  • Sunday, Bank Holiday and night attendance remuneration arrangements will remain unchanged
  • Existing ECOH (exceptional change of hours) arrangements will be honoured unless a new pattern has been allocated which relinquishes the need for it
  • Any pre-booked annual leave will be honoured
  • BT Group arrangements covering the loss of attendance-related payments (CLARPS) will apply
  • Car sharers and people with shared caring responsibilities will be allocated duties that enable this to continue.

Thanking all those who took part in the consultative ballot, CWU national officer for Voice Services, Allan Eldred, told CWU News: “There’s no doubt in my mind that this is a good agreement that results in genuine improvements for the vast majority of our Voice Services membership.

“Above everything it provides for hugely improved visibility on future working patterns to the extent that individuals will be able to see when they are scheduled to work this time next year – and for many it also results in significant improvements with regards to the bunching of days off,” Allan concludes.