BT strike ballot to go ahead despite new offer


The Communications Workers Union (CWU) has decided to go ahead with its BT strike ballot, after considering a new offer from the telecoms giant.

The union said it was disappointed with the fresh BT proposals, which were sent over to the union last night, just days after the ballot was confirmed.

The rejected new deal comprises of a two per cent wage increase with extra payments of 250, subject to performance.

Andy Kerr, CWU deputy general secretary, accused BT of leaking its offer to the media, raising trust issues for the union with the telecoms firm.

"We're very disappointed that BT's revised offer remains materially unchanged for this year in terms of pay," Kerr said.

"We will meet BT to discuss whether an improved offer exists but we will continue to press ahead with plans to ballot our members on industrial action in the absence of any real progress on pay," he added.

A BT spokesman told IT PRO: "BT's door has always been open to the CWU and we have written to them again today confirming this is the case. Our revised offer contains many new elements that would benefit their members and so we are disappointed by their initial response."

"Not only have we tabled an improved offer for 2010 and a new one for 2011, we have also offered new guarantees on job security and were prepared to go the extra mile to try and settle this," he added.

BT had missed an initial deadline to improve its one-year two per cent pay rise offer last Friday, leading the union to start balloting its 50,000 members on strike action.

The CWU said it was going to provide a timetable for the ballot this week and it appears this will now go ahead as planned.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.