News & Updates

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The Branch will be holding meetings for all BT members to brief you on the BT Pension issue. This is an extremely important issue which will affect EVERYONE who has a BT pension. BT’s proposals will mean many BT members will have a worse pension than expected. Please make every effort to attend one of the meetings.

The meetings are:

Wednesday 29th November 7pm

Gumption Business Centre
1 Glydegate, Bradford BD5 0BQ

Please note this meeting will be held on the top floor and there will be no disabled access.

Thursday 30th November 12pm, 1pm & 2pm

Park Plaza Hotel Leeds
Boar Ln, Leeds LS1 5NS

We are aware some people will wish to attend during their lunch time. Please feel free to drop in and leave at any time.

Thursday 30th November 7pm

The Spinning Wheel
Admiral St, Leeds LS11 5NG

To assist us with organisation please inform us of which meeting you will be attending.
BT has advised the CWU that it intends to review the current BT Pension Scheme (BTPS) arrangements. At the same time it has also given the CWU 12 months notice to terminate the 2008 Pension Agreement.
The 2008 Agreement was legally binding and was put in place to make the BTPS sustainable. Among other things the Agreement introduced career average benefits, raised the normal pension age to 65 and increased member contributions. The Agreement also included improvements in the BT Retirement Saving Scheme (BTRSS). Under the terms of the Agreement it can be amended by mutual agreement and can also be terminated by giving 12 months notice.
The BT announcement comes shortly after press reports suggest that the BTPS deficit in 2016 was in the region of £14 billion, up from £10 billion in 2015, and ahead of the triennial valuation which is due later this year. The valuation will determine the schedule of payments that BT has to make in order to fund the pension to ensure it meets its liabilities.
BT has stated that nothing has been ruled in or out and that if any changes are necessary it will be seeking to do this by agreement with the CWU.
Deputy General Secretary (T&FS) Andy Kerr said: "The announcement of the review by BT and serving notice on the Agreement will naturally be of great concern to all CWU members in the BT Pension Scheme and will be increased due to the speculative press coverage in the last few days. In response the CWU has stressed our absolute opposition to closure of the Scheme for existing members and we have made it clear that we will use all means up to and including industrial action to keep the scheme open for current members.
"The CWU has also confirmed that as the 2008 Agreement covers both the BTPS and BTRSS we will be seeking improvements to the BTRSS as part of the review process in line with our recent agreed Conference policy.
"There is unlikely to be any developments in the next couple of months as the Union will now be commencing negotiations with BT over its plans for the future."
Further relating to a recent Tyco European Court of Justice ruling on travelling time to and from work the CWU has recently entered into consultation with BT to understand the implications for our members who do not have a fixed or habitual place of work. The Tyco case decided that for workers with no fixed or habitual workplace, the first journey from home and the last journey from the last workplace to home count as working time under the Working Time Directive and the UK's Working Time Regulations. The decision could therefore affect members who park their company vehicle at home.

The practical consequences of the ruling are that more of our members' time will count as working time. As a consequence including the time that they travel to and from work, could impact on the overtime they can claim. We don’t anticipate that members will receive increased pay as a result of the decision however, the CWU is working to protect our members' existing working practices and that members are not denied a fair opportunity to work overtime where they wish to do so, in excess of their working time week.

BT will review its records and discuss with the CWU any issues arising from the Tyco decision. The CWU will advise members of outcome of the further negotiations.
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The National Team (NT) has continued to meet Openreach on a monthly basis to review resourcing across the Line of Business. These meetings focus on service performance, recruitment plans (future), recruitment progress (current) and redeployment issues. In addition, the NT discusses the ongoing use and requirement for 3rd party resource across each of the business units and continually presses the company to reduce its reliance on their use.
A major impact on the ongoing use of 3rd party labour will be additional recruitment in order to ensure that the principles of the agreements between us, which cover resourcing matters, are met. The current programme of recruitment within SD is going well with over 400 of the 512 planned additional resource booked on training courses. The remaining vacancies are being matched at present and further training places booked in the coming weeks.
In addition, the employment of 240 apprentices (across Openreach) is also going to plan with over 200 having accepted the offer of employment.
Openreach have also confirmed the recruitment of a further 250 people into SD. The NT has pressed the business hard to continue with the recruitment programme and is pleased with this further announcement. The discussions continue with Openreach in the other business units and the NT is working hard to secure further direct labour jobs in the business to further reduce the reliance on the 3rd party labour.
The NT recognises that we have members who are carrying out roles on behalf of 3rd parties and would hope that many of them (as they have in the past) take the opportunity to apply for a permanent role with Openreach. The NT is focussed on direct labour job creation.
Now that the CWU has been recognised by BT we are looking to recruit 2 people to act as workplace representatives for BTFS
We will provide full training and support for these roles so if you are interested in becoming a workplace representative for the CWU and providing help and support for your colleagues then please contact us at the office
Members at Airwave have voted by more than nine to one in favour of an across-the-board and fully consolidated 2 per cent pay offer.
In an electronic ballot that concluded yesterday 93 per cent of members in the relevant bargaining unit voted to accept the CWU-negotiated deal on a 72 per cent turnout."With RPI standing at 1 per cent, this is an acceptable result," said assistant secretary John East. "Given the challenges the company faces, the fact that we've achieved 2 per cent for everyone in our recognised bargaining unit, including those who are already paid above their official pay grade, is clearly a positive outcome."
In the consultative ballot which closed today (Tuesday), 94 per cent of members voted in favour of the pay increase which will come into effect for April salaries. Hundreds of workers who provide retail, supply and customer care services at sites across the UK will see the increase in their next pay packets.
Tougher punishments for the most serious speeding offences have come into force in England and Wales.

What speeding fines can I get with the new laws?

Fines are divided into three bands – A, B and C – which correspond to how serious the speeding offence is.
Drivers caught at speeds up to 10 mph over the limit are classed as band A, with band B fares relating to offences where motorists were clocked at 11-21 mph
over the limit.
The most serious category of offence is band C, which applies to drivers exceeding the speed limit by more than 21mph
A 1 - 10 mph 25 - 75% of weekly wage
B 11 - 21 mph 75 - 125% of weekly wage
C 21 mph and over 125 - 175% of weekly wage
These band C offenders face fines between 125 and 175 per cent of their weekly wage, which could see the wealthiest motorists slapped with penalties close to
the £2,500 limit.
They could still also be banned from driving for up to 56 days or get six points on their licence.
Meanwhile, band B offenders can expect fines between 75 and 125 per cent of their weekly wage, and band A offenders could be slapped with fines equalling
5-75 per cent of their weekly wage.
First time speeders can avoid the increased fines if they take a speed awareness course, although this option does not apply to repeat offenders.
Initial fines could be adjusted based on the court’s discretion based on the conditions in the case.
Some variables such as the weather conditions, timing of the offence and population density of the area could affect the total fine.
Today we launch our new ‘Our Hours’ campaign for all our members in Openreach. Removing the 60 minute personal travel time commitment is our top priority, contact your Branch and get involved.

Changes to voter registration have resulted in an estimated one million young people being left off the electoral roll and that a potential ten million people need to re-register.

Voters are now required to register individually whereas previously household registration allowed one person in the household to register all eligible voters.

You can register to vote by clicking here

Please register to vote today and don't be ignored - this is your opportunity to have a say in how you are governed over the next five years and by not registering and voting you are excluding yourself