Business

BT announces plan for pay rise of up to 16 per cent for all but highest paid staff

BT last year announced a multi-million pound upgrade of its Belfast headquarters at Lanyon Place.

BT has announced plans for a pay rise to all but its highest paid staff in a move aimed at resolving a long-running dispute which has led to strikes.

Discussions with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and Prospect have led to both unions recommending agreement.

The company said it will give a £1,500 pay rise for all UK workers who currently earn £50,000 or less from January 1.

The increase covers all frontline staff and half of managers in the UK.

Combined with an increase made in April, the total pay rise for the lowest paid will be over 15% since this time last year.

BT Group chief executive Philip Jansen said: "This award is based on the principles we have followed throughout this difficult period.

"It gets help to as many of our colleagues as possible, favours our lower paid colleagues, and gives people the security of a built-in, pensionable increase to their pay.

"Crucially, it has been worked on in conjunction with the CWU. As I've said throughout, whatever our differences, our unions are vital partners. We will now build on this collaboration.

"We have agreed with both our union partners that we will all lean into the opportunities and challenges the future will bring, specifically our transformation plans and the delivery of the £3 billion cost savings.

"Ultimately, we all want BT Group to be successful so that we can do the best by our people and customers for years to come."

Workers will be balloted on the offer, which the CWU said represented a pay rise ranging from 6% to 16% for workers of different grades.

CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr said: "I wish to pay tribute to our members for coming out to strike in such serious numbers.

"Their determination has moved BT into a position where they could no longer ignore the case for a consolidated pay rise - without such unity, the company would have offered a cost-of-living bung at the very best.

"Our members have every reason to be proud, and I hope that they have their say in the forthcoming electronic consultative ballot."

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: "This pay deal would not have happened without the strike action taken by thousands of BT Group workers across this summer.

"The bravery these workers displayed caught the sympathy of the country, and shocked the company out of its complacency.

"Our members should be proud of their stand, and I hope they will let their voices be heard in the forthcoming ballot."

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