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Communication Workers Union  Meridian Branch

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BT – ANNUAL LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS


Last year it came to our attention that there is no single place where individual annual leave entitlements are held in BT.  Therefore, there is no prompt from the Company when an individual’s annual leave entitlement increases in line with service. ..... More>

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Communication Workers Union Humanitarian Aid (CWUHA) is the union's national charity. It is supported by Royal Mail and BT as well as thousands of volunteers and donors who take part in a wide range of fundraising efforts to help vulnerable children in the UK, Ireland, Eastern Europe and beyond in war torn countries, orphanages or other places of need.


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Fact Finding Interviews and the Discipline Procedure


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 01 August 2016



Dear Colleague

 

Openreach – Service Delivery Field & NOTV Attendance (Saturdays)

 

Openreach have approached the CWU in order to begin discussions on possible changes to the number of Saturday’s members work in a 12 month period. The changes are principally being sought as a result of changes to care level offerings now offered by the major communication providers (CPs). Those changes differ geographically dependent on the customer base in that locality.

 

These discussions will take place in each Region and will be led by the appropriate Single Point of Contact (SPOC) and supported by Branches with members in that geography. These discussions are governed by the Flexible Attendance Patterns Framework (SDT Agreement) specifically the paragraph reproduced below;

 

`Saturday Working - Where business requirements dictate team members will be required to work Saturdays as part of their normal scheduled working week. The number of Saturdays rostered in any year will not exceed 12, but where there is a genuine business rationale, and following meaningful negotiation and agreement with the appropriate CWU Branch(es), this may rise to a maximum of 18 in any year, using the governance as defined in section 4.2.’

 

The specific requirement for change, and therefore the level of change, will be discussed with your local CWU Branch Officers and members should contact the Branch Office for the latest information.


The meetings with the South East GM are currently still on-going and NO agreement has been reached at this stage. Your work/life balance is being fully considered in our negotiations and you will be informed when further details are available, including any proposed changes.

 

Yours sincerely,


Anne Nickolson

Meridian Branch Chair


The Firefighters 100 Lottery

CWU and its members have been asked to support the ‘Firefighters 100 Lottery’ which has recently been launched to help five key good causes. We are advised that at least 50p from every lottery ticket purchased will go towards these there defined causes:-

See Below>


***Ofcom Digital Communications Review***

Ofcom has issued a further interim statement today about the Digital Communications Review (DCR). They have announced that they are pressing ahead with their proposals for the ‘separate legal incorporation’ of Openreach.

See Below>


***Serious Safety Warning***

The Dangers of ‘Swing-Arm Barrier Gates’ after One Member is Seriously Injured and One Member Killed in separate accidents.

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Pensions - Royal Mail’s Three Card Trick

Further to recent articles in the press concerning Royal Mail’s intention to close the Royal Mail Pension Plan from April 2018, this pamphlet is designed to alert CWU members to the implications of the closure of the Pension Plan and highlight the implications of the closure of the RMPP.

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CWU Rejects Royal Mail Pension Closure

Responding to press reports that Royal Mail plans to close its defined benefit pension scheme from 2018, the Communication Workers Union (which represents the majority of its 140,00 strong workforce) has said it will fight the plans.

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Defending The Royal Mail Pension Plan

Further to LTB 390/16 and in response to recent press reports referring to future closure of the Royal Mail Pension Plan (RMPP) the CWU are issuing this LTB to restate the Union’s policy and underline our determination to defend members’ pensions in Royal Mail and the Post Office.

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Developing Our Vision Policy

LTB from Terry Pullinger with an attached letter to Sue Whalley detailing the CWU’s response to Royal Mail’s lack of communication to Royal Mail’s future business plans.

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The Relaunch The Newly Designed Flagship CWU Publication

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Labour Leadership Elections

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Latest News - Click the More> links for more info below!  ***Ofcom Digital Communications Review***

Ofcom Digital Communications Review   29th November 2016  

Ofcom has issued a further interim statement today about the Digital Communications Review (DCR). They have announced that they are pressing ahead with their proposals for the ‘separate legal incorporation’ of Openreach. This is not new – this is what Ofcom proposed back in July when they published their interim findings. In that July report, they proposed that Openreach should become a wholly owned subsidiary of BT, with its own Articles of Association, and that is essentially what they are still proposing. The issues for our members – particularly our members in Openreach – are what would this mean in practice, how would it be done and what would the implications be, particularly for pensions, job security and terms and conditions of employment?

The union, together with Prospect, has expressed a series of concerns and made a series of points to Ofcom about this, in the evidence we submitted to Ofcom in response to their July statement. You can read that evidence here (CWU / Prospect Submission).  From this evidence, you will see clearly what our concerns are.  In summary, we have said the following:


The transfer of assets from BT to Openreach (eg: ducts, buildings, exchange equipment etc) would be impossible in engineering terms and could therefore only be done in a wholly arbitrary way. It would be endlessly complex and expensive to accomplish and would do nothing for customer service or in itself add a penny to the amount BT could invest in the network. In fact it could reduce the amount available because it would in itself be a very expensive thing to do.  A transfer of assets would, in a legal sense, also make it very hard for us to avoid a TUPE of Openreach’s employees to the new subsidiary -Openreach, which would give us great cause for concern – see below.


Separate legal incorporation could well be problematic.  A key issue would be, who exactly would be making decisions and who would the CEO of Openreach actually be accountable to?  But, for the unions, this is perhaps not the most significant issue of all in Ofcom’s proposals. Note that BT has tacitly accepted separate legal incorporation, and has today announced the appointment of a new independent Chair of an Openreach Board.  In itself, this aspect of Ofcom’s proposals is not that significant to us and to our members.


A key issue for us is where everyone in Openreach has to TUPE transfer to Openreach.  If, for example, this resulted in our members in Openreach no longer being able to be active members of the BTPS this would be ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE to both CWU and Prospect.  But in fact Ofcom do seem to understand the deep significance of this to our members, and say they are seeking to ensure that there is a framework to enable membership of the BTPS to continue.  We would also be concerned about job security and terms and conditions of employment in the context of any TUPE – and we have been very clear with Ofcom (and with BT) about this. Our very strong preference would be to ensure that any massive TUPE is avoided, and again we have been very clear with Ofcom about that.

Any proposals from Ofcom which undermined the BT Pension Scheme Covenant (the ability of BT to stand behind the BTPS as the scheme’s sponsor) would be unacceptable to us, and would also be an own goal for Ofcom, as it would result in the BTPS deficit becoming in our view substantially larger, and that would in itself potentially massively undermine investment in the network. You will see from our evidence that we have pressed Ofcom very hard on this. The BTPS Trustee has also submitted evidence on this and has made exactly the same point.


Contrary to some of the headlines that the press has published today, this process is not at an end. In process terms, what Ofcom has actually said is that it is taking a twin track approach:

On the one hand, it hopes to reach an agreement with BT about the nature of this separate legal incorporation of BT (this is not a change from its position in July, when it was saying exactly this)


On the other hand, it is also preparing for a situation where no agreement is reached, in which case it would need to issue a ‘Notice’ to the European Commission effectively asking for the EU’s agreement to its proposals. Should no agreement be reached, the issue goes to the European Commission, which would then need to embark on its own consultations – where one of the bodies it would formally consult would be the trade unions, as that requirement is written into the European legislation. This is not new either. This was exactly what Ofcom was saying in July.


We and Prospect will continue to make representations to Ofcom, and continue to remain in close contact with BT over this issue. Whilst this issue is now moving to a conclusion, it has not reached that point just yet. When it does, we will of course communicate further.

Yours sincerely




Andy Kerr
Deputy General Secretary (T&FS)   



Dear Colleague,


The General Secretary has received the attached letter from Matt Wrack, General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union and as requested we are bringing this to the attention of CWU Branches.


You will see that the FBU General Secretary asks the CWU and its members to support the ‘Firefighters 100 Lottery’ which has recently been launched to help five key good causes. We are advised that at least 50p from every lottery ticket purchased will go towards these defined causes:-


· Support the families of firefighters killed or seriously injured in the line of duty.
 

· Honour the bravery and sacrifice of those firefighters killed in the line of duty.

· Promote the lessons to be learnt from firefighter deaths and serious injuries.

· Support research into the physical and mental health and well-being of    firefighters and the ‘all hazards’ nature of the modern fire and rescue service.

· Support humanitarian assistance, including internationally, for those affected    by fire or disaster.


We hope that branches can give consideration to this initiative from the FBU and share this information with colleagues.


Further information on this can be found at www.firefighters100lottery.co.uk


Regards


General Secretary’s Office

General Secretary’s Office |

Communication Workers Union

Headquarters 150 The Broadway | Wimbledon | SW19 1RX

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