Talks continue on disputed BT Facilities outsourcing as D-Day looms

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 are taking on new sense of urgency with the date of the disputed transfer now just four weeks away

With a raft of unanswered questions still hanging over key elements of the impending TUPE, the CWU is redoubling its efforts to secure the definitive answers that members are craving in a number of crucial areas.

For over 1,000 housekeepers and security guards scheduled to formally become  ISS employees on April 1, the immediate talks are focussing on two serious issues that emerged in the small-print of the TUPE matric documentation just a fortnight ago.

  • 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. (Security guards are not affected in the same way, as align straight onto the ISS fortnightly pay schedule from April 1)
  • 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.

Both issues were once again robustly presented ISS in the latest talks, which took place yesterday (Thursday).

Assistant secretary Sally Bridge explains: “Regarding the issues that the switch to fortnightly pay thrown up for housekeepers, we reiterated our grave concern regarding the current proposals and the need for an urgent solution that does not leave our members financially worse off, or in a position where any bridging loan would require exorbitant repayments.

“We’ve also made it clear to BTFS that they need to take responsibility for this too, as it is wholly unacceptable that that people who are on the Real Living Wage are being put in this situation.

“ISS and BTFS have stated they will respond next week.”

On the issue of the pay review date, Sally continued: “The CWU has stated that it would not be acceptable for our members not to receive a pay increase in 2019, and until this is resolved the proposed change of date is unacceptable to the union.

“Discussions are on-going and a further report will be provided as developments occur.”

Conference calls for those transferring to CBRE

Meanwhile, there is growing concern that, despite the union’s repeated efforts to expedite discussions with CBRE over the TUPE transfer matrix affecting around 500 BTFS engineers in CWU-represented grades, those discussions are less advanced.

A series of mass conference calls  – identical in format to the innovative phone-ins conducted a fortnight ago for housekeepers and security guards transferring to ISS – will be held next week to update those engineers about the unions strenuous efforts on their behalf.

Those conference calls for BTFS members transferring to CBRE will take place on:

  • Monday March 4 from 6pm – 7pm
  • Thursday March 7 from 1pm –2pm
  • Friday March 8 from 12- 13pm


Dial up details are as follows:

Dial in: 0800 731 7239

Participants’ code: 444 56 56#               

Please note that these calls are only for CWU members who are transferring to CBRE. in order to avoid disruption each call will be locked 5 minutes after the start time, after which you will not be able to access the call. If this happens, you will need to dial in to the other calls within the first 5 minutes.