Troubling new issues emerge with ISS in disputed BT Facilities outsourcing

Telecoms & Financial Services

Discussions with BT, CBRE and ISS on the terms of transfer for 1,700 BT Facilities Services employees who are in scope for outsourcing took a dramatic turn this week following the shock exposure of troubling new issues that particularly relate to housekeepers who will be moving over to ISS in just six weeks time.

Despite previous encouraging progress in discussions that have to date focussed on the nuts and bolts of the standard contractual and non-contractual Ts&Cs and benefits that will transfer with cleaning staff when they leave the employment of BTFS on April 1, the CWU has moved swiftly to challenge two serious issues relating to pay that have emerged in the small-print of the TUPE matrix documentation.

  •  One concerns the completely unforeseen bombshell that technicalities surrounding pay dates in ISS’s planned move from monthly to fortnightly pay will mean that housekeepers will have to wait nearly a month after their last pay cheque from BTFS to receive just two weeks money.
  • The other concerns a proposed shift to the annual pay review date which could potentially mean that all those transferring to ISS receive no pay award whatsoever in 2019 – despite earlier assurances secured by the union that Real Living Wage pay rates will be maintained for the duration of the five year contract.

This week the CWU held a series of innovative ‘phone-ins’ for members to update them about what the union is doing on their behalf.

Assistant secretary Sally Bridge explains: “By the time of our third mass-conference call yesterday (Thursday) lunchtime the full extent of the detriment that the move to fortnightly pay will cause our housekeeping members was really starting to hit home, and the anger of those on the call was palpable.”

Precise details of how housekeepers are impacted can be viewed in Letter to Branches No.103/2019 

Sally continues: “These changes have been robustly challenged by the CWU as the pay schedule for housekeepers is simply not acceptable.

“It’s important to stress that Security Officers are not affected in the same way, as their current cut-off date is March 14, and they will therefore be paid on April 14 for their hours from March 15-31, meaning that they align straight onto the ISS schedule for hours from April 1.

“For housekeepers, however, the impact of having to wait four weeks for just two weeks pay will clearly be devastating to many.

“The situation needs resolving and resolving fast to prevent our relationship with ISS starting off on a negative footing.  As such, this is our first big test.”