Openreach – Working Together Update

Following the publication of LTB 515/2015 on 7 August 2015 and the discussion held at the Openreach Briefing Committee, I am now writing to formally update you on the latest position regarding Working Together.

This LTB should be circulated to members in the manner usually employed by the Branch.

The attached documents set out the briefing material which has been issued and covers the following three scenarios:

  • Additional Site announcements (Bournemouth, Dartford and Sheffield) and status changes for Ashton, Brentwood and Cambridge;
  • Cross LOB moves in four locations – Canterbury, Middlesbrough, Swansea and Truro;
  • Those still unable to be mapped to a CoE and for whom the discussions are ongoing.

The NT has worked hard to persuade the company that given the principles agreed at this year’s conference Ashton, Brentwood and Cambridge should have equal status in terms of longevity and promotion opportunities and that has been achieved. We have also used the principles to gain the additional three sites in Bournemouth, Dartford and Sheffield, also with equal status.

It is important to note that individuals who have previously been mapped to a site as part of the original exercise, who work in one of the newly identified sites i.e. Bournemouth, Dartford and Sheffield, but who wish to remain there should approach their line manager and this will be accommodated. The wording in the briefing issued to line managers did not make this clear unfortunately but that is what is agreed with the CWU and was reported to Branches yesterday. Any issues relating to this point should be escalated to my office immediately.

As part of the ongoing CMCC strategy a number of cross LoB moves are being planned, both into and out of Openreach. The next phase of those are the moves in the above locations to BT Consumer. Individuals impacted will have a 1:1 to discuss the moves and possible alternatives available. In terms of grading, PPP will of course apply and attendances will be governed by the span times and days contained in the SDT agreement.

Of those still in locations where a long term solution is still being discussed, they will be updated on the position and informed that discussions with the CWU are ongoing. The NT continues to put pressure on the company to resolve some of those locations by creating and confirming additional sites. As progress is made Branches and members will be kept up to date.

Openreach also intend to open a further early leaver scheme for all those in Phase 1 of the Working Together programme. This will be on the same basis as previously with individuals having the opportunity to express an interest rather than signing up straight away. The timescales, etc. are contained in the attached slides. The NT is keen to ensure that we use that timeframe to create further additional sites and have that information in the public domain prior to individuals possibly making life changing decisions when that may not be necessary in their location at this time.

As reported, this is not the end of the process and the NT continue to press Openreach to create additional sites under the terms of the agreed principles and will keep Branches informed in the coming weeks of progress made.

Yours sincerely,

Davie Bowman
Assistant Secretary

LTB 526/15