Urgent pre-Bank Holiday message to members in Openreach on Contractual Overtime (COT)

Telecoms & Financial Services, Openreach

Friday 28th August 2020

CWU dismay at known attempts by some Openreach managers to lean on Service Delivery (SD) engineers to sign away their legal right not to be forced to work for more than 48 hours a week has prompted the union to issue another message to members ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend.

In a letter which is currently being disseminated to members via a number of branch and regional communication channels, CWU Openreach national team chair Julia Upton explains: “With regards to the forthcoming Bank Holiday, it is the union’s position that any overtime commitment given during a period of COT, including volunteering to work on a Bank Holiday, should be counted towards your COT contribution.

“This has always been the way that it has been applied in the past. But, the company has taken a different stance on this COT occasion. Much to our disgust, they are saying that volunteering for the Bank Holiday will not be counted towards your COT contribution if the company decides to turn you down.

“We have picked this up at all levels, again locally, regionally and nationally, and the business has again shown a total lack of understanding around this issue and a lack of appreciation of how their workforce, our members, feel. It remains unclear to us how any Bank Holiday overtime commitments are intended to be applied in a fair and equitable way.”

Julia concludes: “We are aware members are under extreme pressure at the moment. Please be assured that we do not support the use of COT at this time. We are committed to supporting each and every member throughout this period at all levels within the union.

If you, or any of your colleagues, have any individual circumstances meaning that you cannot fully commit to COT, please get in touch with your local branch and we can support you. Don’t struggle in silence.”


  • Read the letter in full here