Resounding ‘YES’ to BT Group pay deal


Members across BT, Openreach and EE have voted by three-to-one to accept a CWU-brokered pay deal which delivers an additional 2.5% increase this year – on top of the £1,500 flat rate increase that was paid out in January – and a further across-the-board 4% increase that will apply from April 1 next year.

The company’s final offer – thrashed out in negotiations that were initiated at the conclusion of last year’s bitter industrial dispute and are still ongoing with a view to resolving a raft of longstanding pay and grading disagreements – was ratified by 74% of those participating in a consultative ballot which closedyesterday (September 12).

Strongly recommended for acceptance by Executive members on the union’s BT Committee, the settlement means that by April next year all CWU-represented grades will have received cumulative pay increases since January 2023 of between 10% and 14%.

Taking into consideration the unagreed flat rate increase of £1,500 that management imposed in April 2022 – triggering the first large-scale industrial action in BT Group for 35 years – the deal translates into overall pay rises during the period from April 2022-2024 ranging from 13.72% to circa 23% for the lowest paid

Viewing the 2023 elements of the multi-year deal in isolation, the 2.5% that is backdated to September 1 – compounded with the £1,500 members received on January 1 – means members will have received overall rises of between 5.8% and 9.65%  over the 2023/24 pay year.

Commenting on both the 2023 and 2024 elements of the deal, CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr told CWU News: “The fact that both pay rises are fully consolidated firstly means that increased hourly rates flow through to pay-related payments such as overtime, bank holiday premiums and pension. Secondly it means next April’s rise of 4% will be compounded on top of the 2.5% rise in September.

“It’s worth nothing that the Treasury’s long-term economic forecasts are predicting  a fairly rapid decrease in inflation to between 2.5% and 3.2% in 2024.

“As such, the 2024 element of the deal has genuine potential of being a true cost of living-plus increase  – but given recent economic volatility the CWU has sought and secured a commitment from BT to re-enter negotiations should the situation change significantly.”

Thanking all those who participated in the consultative ballot, Andy concludes: “I’m glad that a sizeable majority agreed with the view of the CWU Executive that this is a fair settlement when viewed against current and projected inflation levels and provides our members with some certainty for the next year and a half.

“Talks will continue on the wider grading issue, which should result in further uplifts for some, but these discussions are taking longer than anticipated due to their complexity – so banking a good deal on pay now made strong sense.”

Telecoms & Financial Services Executive chair Karen Rose agrees: “The fully consolidated and pensionable increases of between circa 14% and 23% that all team member grades will have received in the two year period between April 2022 and April 2024 simply wouldn’t have been possible without the tremendous action that members took last year.

“There can surely be no clearer example than that of the power of collective action and the benefit of trade union membership.”