BT Sell-off of BT Fleet Solutions Ltd
Further to LTB 484/2019 and LTB 471/2019 I am writing to provide a further update on the progress of our negotiation with BT on the sale of Fleet Solutions to Aurelius.
We are pleased to inform branches that, following intensive lobbying by the CWU, a detailed agreement has been finalised that addresses all of the four key areas in which the union was seeking guarantees from the company.
Despite our resolute opposition to the sale, and our anger that BT has pursued a course of action that has caused considerable stress and anguish to employees throughout the division, the National Team is convinced that the safeguards we have secured provide crucial reassurances on our members’ future employment and terms & conditions with Fleet Solutions.
The key areas are:
A guarantee that all current contractual terms are transferred to the new company – all contractual terms and conditions of employment for team member (NewGrid) grades will not change as a result of Fleet Solutions being sold to Aurelius. Please see attached Annex A for all employment terms and conditions which are unchanged.
Confirmation of non–contractual terms and agreement for transitional arrangements for those that are not able to transfer e.g. Broadband and BT Vision – Despite their non-contractual status, we have been able to secure an agreement that ensures most benefits will remain and you can find a list of these provided in Annex B. There are however a number of non-contractual terms which Fleet Solutions will not be able to replicate entirely and a resolution has been pressed for each benefit. One of these benefits is Broadband, BT Vision and BT Sport, as a consequence agreement has been reached on transitional arrangements for these benefits and details are attached as Annex C. There are a number of other non-contractual benefits which due to logistical reasons will need to be altered; these can be found in Annex D.
An agreement on pension arrangements for all employees whether they are members of the BTRSS or BT Hybrid Scheme. All BTRSS members will join Fleet Solutions Retirement Saving Scheme and the contribution structure will remain the same. The BT Hybrid is a bespoke scheme for BT employees and therefore Fleet Solutions employees won’t be able to join it. For the small number of employees who have already joined the Hybrid scheme an alternative arrangement has been discussed with the CWU and Fleet Solutions have communicated directly to those employees. All those employees who were eligible to join the Hybrid have also been contacted directly.
A full CWU recognition agreement with the new company which will ensure that collective bargaining rights including collective agreements will continue after the sale. Fleet Solutions had stated that they welcome an ongoing relationship with the CWU, therefore, current collective bargaining arrangements including collective agreements will continue after the sale. A full recognition agreement is agreed in principle, discussions will continue to finalise the detail. National facilities will continue until the end of the financial year with a commitment to discuss an appropriate set of arrangements going forward.
We have made huge progress in the four key areas and significant progress in transitional arrangements in non-contractual areas, the agreement provides considerable safeguards for our members in a short space of time which provides stability and continuity for our members’ future job, pay, terms and conditions and we believe puts them in the best possible position when working for the new owners.
A communication has been sent to all of our BT Fleet members advising them of the above, which is attached. Branches should provide help, support and advice to their BT Fleet members through this transitional time, and seek help from the National Team, should they have any questions in relation to the final agreement.
Andy Kerr – Deputy General Secretary (T&FS)
Brendan O’Brien – Assistant Secretary