Enhanced ‘career pathways’ in FND deliver new boost to promotion opportunities

Telecoms & Financial Services, Openreach

Members across Openreach Fibre Network Delivery (FND) are set to benefit from new enhancements to previously transformed promotion opportunities for TMNE2 engineers that have already seen several hundred achieve a £3,000-plus pay rises since 2019.

Introduced in December that year, the skills assessment framework – brokered by the union to address  discrepancies in the way promotion from the lower to higher TMNE2 pay points had previously been handled in the formerly separate ID and BCD business units – has already transformed the career progression landscape across FND.

Further improvements are now coming on-stream, however, following the successful conclusion of a new round of talks aimed at addressing residual areas where career pathways could sometimes be opaque – often because of the way in which FND has evolved since 2019.

CWU national officer Davie Bowman explains: “There’s now  a lot more build activity taking place, so the National Team worked hard to develop a new pathway which recognises the fibre build activities carried out by our members , providing clarity on the additional skills people need to achieve the uplift.

“We’ve also refined what happens for people who work on repayments work – namely the people in the field who do the complex work that the repayment project engineers (RPEs) plan. For these activities a brand new web-based training package and buddying checklist has been developed.

The revised approach came into effect on Monday November 1 – and as a result of the agreement around 300 team members will progress  to the higher TMNE2 pay point, over and above the 160 who were already scheduled to progress under the previously agreed system.

On top of that, it is expected that around 250 further team members will progress to the Advanced Engineer level in the next four months.

The pay rises  in question are significant – because the spot rate for a Workforce 2020 TMNE2 grade engineer on the higher pay point is £28,911 plus 10% bonus  compared to £25,775 plus 10% bonus for those on the lower pay point.

Davie concludes: “From the outset this has been about getting more money in the pockets of our TMNE2 members – and it’s really important that those on the lower pay point understand exactly how the career pathway system works – because that information may well inform decisions that could significantly speed up their career development.

“CWU branches across the country are on standby to assist  individuals who believe they already meet the existing or new criteria to progress to the Advanced Engineer but have not been contacted by their manager  – so,  if you believe you’re in that situation, speak to your local rep  without delay.

“The CWU National Team also strongly encourages anyone who wants to upskill to have regular career pathway conversations with their managers, because these approaches should be logged with a view to ensuring that no-one gets missed out. If, after a couple of conversations, nothing has happened and you feel you are being overlooked, again, speak to your local branch as a matter of urgency.”

  • Full details of the FND Career Pathway system – including the new  approaches outlined above which supplement the original agreement, and specifically the pay uplift mechanism  – can be viewed in Letter to Branches No. 697/19 & 457/21