CWU to negotiate historic Openreach staff transfer

For immediate release

24th July 2018


CWU to negotiate historic Openreach staff transfer

BT has today announced that it will commence formal consultation on the transfer of 31,000 BT staff to the new independent Openreach with its trade unions.


The transfer of staff which stems from Ofcom’s demands for a beefed-up ‘legal separation’ of Openreach from the rest of BT Group, will when complete, be one of the largest TUPE transfer of employees in UK corporate history.


The CWU, which represents 27,500 of the employees and opposed the transfer from the outset; has received categorical assurances from BT that, barring the name change of our member’s legal employer, from BT plc to Openreach Ltd, nothing else will change to our members’ terms and conditions as a result of this TUPE transfer.


It is hoped that the process will be completed by 1 October in time when Openreach will become a separate legal entity, within BT Group.


CWU, Deputy General Secretary T&FS, Andy Kerr said:


“We are confident that the process should be a relatively simple and seamless process without any detriment to our members’ terms and conditions as a result of the transfer.   Conceding, however that many Openreach employees will be understandably concerned by the development, Andy stressed: “The CWU have experience of dealing with the complexities of TUPE and throughout the consultation period, we will be making it clear to BT, that we do not expect any change in the Union’s ability to collectively represent members across the whole of BT Group; in addition, we expect TUPE negotiations to culminate in an agreement that will safeguard our members’ terms and conditions”.


“In order to successfully deliver Britain’s next-generation of digital infrastructure, Openreach must ensure decent pay, terms and conditions for Openreach employees to be able to retain and build the workforce it needs with the skills and expertise to deliver the best quality of service for customers”.




Notes to editors:

  • The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is the biggest trade union in the communications industry with 190,000 members in post, telecoms, mobile and financial services companies including Royal Mail Group, Post Office, BT Group, EE, O2 and Santander.

 For further comment please contact:

CWU Press Office: 020 8971 7267 / 07793 314249 /