We can’t tolerate a return to the bad old days of pay imposition, EE members toldTelecoms & Financial Services, EE June 1 2022
The dire consequences that would flow from not making a stand on the imposition of an “insulting and totally inadequate” BT Group-wide pay rise will be graphically presented to members in EE in a special Facebook Live session directly after the Jubilee bank holiday weekend.
On Monday June 6 at 8pm the union’s EE National Officer, Stephen Albon, will front the first of a series of online mass meetingsexplaining the crucial importance of members in different parts of BT Group delivering a resounding ‘Yes’ vote in the forthcoming industrial action ballot.
Monday’s broadcast for EE members follows on from last week’s announcement that, amid a tidal wave of employee fury over the imposition of a real-term pay cut, voting papers will be despatched to 40,000 members in BT, Openreach and EE on Wednesday June 15.
Stressing the importance of every single member in EE tuning in to Monday’s Facebook Live, Stephen said: “We’ve already had lots of questions coming in from members, and on Monday we’re going to be answering them all.
“Above everything, we want to explain to a predominantly young contact centre membership who do not have previous experience of industrial action ballots what exactly is happening, why they have nothing to fear from voting ‘yes’ – and, conversely, why there would be much to fear if we don’t forcefully challenge this insulting and totally inadequate imposed pay settlement.”
Stephen continues: “The simple fact is that the imposed rise represents a real-term pay cut for all our members in a deepening cost of living crisis that is set to get a whole load worse.
“Even those who are actually receiving the whole £1,500 flat rate rise are effectively down nearly £100 per month – or £1,200 a year – on account of the fact that the average household is £2,640 worse off on account of soaring energy costs, food price inflation and NI contribution increases.
“The situation is markedly worse, however, for significant numbers of the lowest paid employees in EE and BT Consumer who were in receipt of uplift to £20,000 earlier this year, because of management’s callous decision to deduct that increase from the £1,500 imposed settlement.
“Counting the uplift as part of the pay rise also makes a complete mockery of BT Group’s much vaunted claim that the lowest paid staff have received a 7.89% pay rise – especially when you consider those earlier uplifts were only introduced because management had recognised they had a staff retention crisis and couldn’t recruit on anything less!”
But equally important, Stephen insists, is sending a clear message to management that members in EE won’t accept a return to the ‘management by imposition’ that preceded the hard won union recognition agreement.
“More than anyone else in BT Group, our members in EE understand what imposition of pay means – because they had 10 years of it prior to the negotiations that led to the 2020 pay offer that members duly ratified,” he stresses.
“That was the first negotiated cost of living increase many of our EE members had ever seen – and clearly the company didn’t like it because they’ve now gone back to trying to impose pay.
“We simply can’t accept that a highly profitable company that is planning to pay out £761 million to shareholders this year cannot afford to pay its employees a decent cost of living rise – and that’s why members in EE need to vote ‘yes’ en-masse in the forthcoming industrial action ballot.