BT Supply Chain – Transformation & Outsourcing to third-party

TO ALL BRANCHES WITH SUPPLY CHAIN MEMBERS

Dear Colleague

BT Supply Chain – Transformation & Outsourcing to third-party This morning BT has announced that following a strategic review it intends to make some major changes to their Supply Chain business as part of it’s transformation and modernization programme.

The company has stated that as Supply Chain is critical to the success of BT, its market position, and meeting FTTP and 5G rollout targets, it made sense to pair with the expertise and scale of a leading third-party logistics business to make their logistics operations stronger, simpler and future ready.

The CWU has received formal notification of a number of proposals as follows:

Proposal to outsource all core warehousing and transport operations, service desk & related support functions to third-party supplier GXO on 1 May 2022.

These proposals will result in 288 employees within our bargaining unit being placed ‘in scope’ of transfer from BT to GXO. This transfer process is governed by the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, commonly known as TUPE.

 To retain Engineering Services within BT, comprising all activities directly related to “FinalMile”/FSL services with those employees remaining with BT.

To re-organise the retained Supply Chain to manage/oversee the remaining in-house units and manage the outsourced contracts with a proposed start date of 1st May 2022. It is proposed that the retained organisation will consist of a mix of existing, new and combined roles.

The CWU has robustly expressed our opposition to the proposed outsourcing and are outraged at the company’s intention to outsource work to a third party. We firmly believe that BT have sought to outsource work which is clearly seen as non-core business, rather than make ongoing investment and keep work in-house. We are also concerned that such major change comes with significant risk in a highly competitive sector.

In addition to our concerns over the outsourcing proposition we are also keen to understand what change the new model will have upon the retained organisation and what if any impact there will be, as a consequence of further and yet unknown transformation plans. Meetings have been sought with BT to further discuss ongoing transformation plans.

The CWU National Team has had an initial meeting with both BT and GXO to discuss the formal collective consultation on the terms of transfer for all CWU grades currently working in BT Supply Chain, who are due to transfer from 1st May 2022. We have robustly represented our concerns with regard to job security and potential redundancies as a consequence of the TUPE and will continue to meet with GXO to discuss these concerns separately.

Under the TUPE Regulations the CWU will be representing all BT Supply Chain employees that are in scope of transfer. Formal collective consultation meetings will commence shortly to agree the terms of transfer. At those meetings we will discuss the standard contractual and non-contractual terms and conditions, as well as benefits that will transfer from 1st May 2022.

We are pleased to advise that assurances have been given that full recognition will be given to the CWU following the TUPE.

We appreciate that members will feel extremely unsettled and anxious regarding the announcement made by the company today. We can assure you that we will continue to seek assurances with regard to job security and gain further clarification as to any potential or further impact that these changes may bring.

The CWU National Team has received confirmation that for the large majority of employees who are in scope of TUPE they will remain in the same role and same location after the transfer as they are today. Whilst this is indeed good news, we will continue to seek clarification around any intended change to work locations as a consequence of the TUPE, and seek to ensure that jobs are not threatened as a consequence.

We have already represented the need for jobs within BT Group to be made available for those who do not want to transfer to GXO and we will continue to progress those discussions and update branches and members accordingly.

Members will be aware that the CWU has been in ongoing discussions with BT with regard to the Driving Allowance which was introduced without consultation in September 2021. The CWU National Team made representation at the time regarding the urgent need for a grading review, of which commitment was given from BT that it would be carried out. These discussions are not yet complete and we have represented extremely strongly to BT that we believe it would be disingenuous for this not to be resolved prior to TUPE.

Whilst collective TUPE consultation will now commence, 1:1 consultation meetings will also be held with those members in scope. We advise all members to contact their CWU Representatives for any representation and support they may require.

A full national members meeting (via zoom) will be held at 1830 on Thursday 10th February, with full detail and invites sent to member’s email addresses. This will give members the chance to meet the CWU National Team including Andy Kerr ( Deputy General Secretary Telecoms) ask questions and be updated on key issues from today’s announcement. We would advise all members to attend.

We will continue to hold further meetings and issue briefings as negotiations progress and advise all members to contact us with any concerns they may have.

Yours sincerely

Tracey Fussey
Assistant Secretary

061.2022

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