Roster pattern changes

Dear Members

Just a quick update on the roster pattern changes:

The back ground:

  • The CWU NW Branches have recently been in discussion with BT Openreach NW regarding attendance patterns for those people who have moved onto field activities, over the years, but have never been approached about Saturday attendances.
  • The Branches agreed that these people were now in scope and could be approached; that a preference exercise should take place.
  • We were given assurances that first choice preference would be granted, that all P&D cases would be upheld and any new P&D cases dealt with as expected.
  • We were also assured that annual leave would be honoured: in particular the instances where it may not have needed to be booked due to attendance patterns but the changes may mean it does. (Hope that makes sense)
  • In the meantime, the Branches are still pushing for the data which supports a blanket of 12 Saturdays per year, we are of the belief that 10 may suffice.
  • Late attendances were only discussed for those who were being approached, that they should be made aware they exist with each pattern

What happened:-

It appears last Friday a ‘button’ was pushed and instead of picking up the people in scope, as outlined above, something went right across the attendance patterns of the North West.

We believed this was a genuine mistake and expected those affected patterns, not listed above, would be reversed. Today we do not believe that the intention is to reverse the changes.

Discussions have taken place and as a result, (please do not shoot the messenger here), those concerned feel they have remedied most issues raised and would like us to provide them with ‘evidence’ of the issues we feel our members have. They state they have had 25 people contact them so the assumption is that no one else has any issue with the loss of a long weekend, moving the late attendances or the change of your roster pattern.

Your Branch Officers oppose these changes; these are wholesale attendance pattern changes which have never been discussed: consultation on this scale has not taken place and these wholesale changes have not been agreed by the CWU.

Our Branch position is clear and steadfast.

BRANCH POSITION:BVG35 ATTENDANCE PATTERN CHANGES

Service Delivery Transformation - This was a contentious issue at the time it was introduced, and has remained so ever since.
Members accepted changes to their terms and conditions in good faith: an agreement was reached and both sides should abide by it.
The recent changes to your attendance patterns:-

  • No consultation has taken place
  • The changes are not agreed
  • We view it as a breach of the SDT agreement
  • We want the changes reverting
  • If the changes are not reversed we will have no option but to take a more formal approach of action.

Your managers may tell you that 6 weeks’ notice is all that is needed: the bit they miss out is that consultation with the CWU has to take place first, this has not happened.

We will not stand by and allow agreements to be broken: or else what’s the point of having them?

Our position is clear, REVERT THE CHANGES ABIDE BY THE AGREEMENT


 

SDT agreement
Now lets hear that its not been broken!

4. Process/Governance for Changing Attendance Arrangements

4.1 Initial Implementation

Meaningful and timely negotiations with the CWU, that work towards reaching agreement in implementing this framework agreement, will commence at the earliest opportunity. These negotiations will take place between Regional Director (or nominated lead General Manager) and the appropriate Branch(es) or for Service and Central Operations negotiations will be at national level with appropriate CWU Branch representation.

Individual notice periods will be issued followingagreement with the CWU and will not be less than 6 weeks. The end to end process timescale for achieving this initial implementation will be no longer than 10 weeks and individual notice periods will not be less than 6 weeks from the date of implementation of the attendance changes. In the initial allocation a preference exercise will be undertaken where team members will get the opportunity to state their preference as to the start and finish times and the preferred number of scheduled days they attend i.e. a team member currently working a 4 day week will continue to work this pattern, unless they volunteer and appropriate consideration will be given. Similarlyin a preference exercise every effort will be made to allocate a pattern which contains rest days off to those team members who previously worked a pattern that contained rest days off (e.g. nine day fortnight or via the Flexible Working Hours Agreement ) without compromising the needs of the business and our customers’ requirements.

All team members, subject to the customer and business requirements of their business unit or workstream, will be expected to work a number Saturdays within their scheduled attendance arrangements. Where a team member for health, welfare, personal or domestic reasons can not work a Saturday and/or evening attendance, the issue will be resolved in accordance with the processes set out in section 2 of this agreement.

Within the initial implementation end to end process 10 week timescale the following steps will be taken: At the outset the information shared with the CWU will cover:the operational/business need for the change by workstreamthe changes requiredto start and finish times, daysand the number of proposed Saturdays together with the preferences being offered. All preferences will be bound by the Attendance Arrangements contained in Section 3.the range of skills required.booked team member annual leave the scope of the preference exercise.The preference exercise will be completed.Outputs of the preference exercise will be shared with the CWU and team members allocated their first preference where possible. Where it has not been possible for operational reasons for team members to have been given their first preference, Openreach and the CWU will discuss and seek to reach agreement on utilising team members’ other less preferred options to ensure customer and operational demands are met.


4.2 Ongoing Changes to Attendance Patterns

Once the initial allocation process has been completed all team members will be on the Flexible Attendance Patterns Framework.Where it can be demonstrated that attendance patterns in a business unit, geography or workstream will require minor changes, Openreach will provide the information set out in 4.1 above to the CWU at the earliest opportunity, and in the first instance volunteers will be sought. Where there are insufficient volunteers Openreach and the CWU will discuss and seek to reach agreement on the changes necessary to fulfil the required business need, without the need to conduct a preference exercise.
In the above circumstances for ongoing changes, it is unlikely that team members will be expected to change the current number of days they attend, i.e. a team member currently working a 4 day week will continue to work this, unless they volunteer and appropriate consideration will be given. Similarly every effort will be made to allocate a pattern which contains rest days off to those team members who previously worked a pattern that contained rest days off, without compromising the needs of the business and our customers’ requirements.

The end to end process timescale for these changes will not normally exceed 6 weeks and individual notice periods will not be less than 4 weeks.
Exceptionally where the business need does require a significant change to start times or the number of scheduled days, Saturdays and evening attendances a preference exercisemay be conducted in line with the steps set out in section 4.1and the individual notice periods will not be less than 6 weeks. Openreach and the CWU recognise the need to manage necessary attendance pattern changes in a timely manner and commit to seek to reach agreement to deliver necessary changes with the overriding aim being to minimise the level of disruption for individual team members whilst ensuring business requirements are met.

Angela Teeling
CWU Merseyside & SW Lancs
Branch Secretary