OPENREACH Ltd – Field Transformation SD UK Operations – In Strictest Confidenceand embargoed until 11 a.m. on 18 October 2022

OPENREACH Ltd – Field Transformation SD UK Operations – In Strictest Confidence
and embargoed until 11 a.m. on 18 October 2022

The Openreach National Team (NT) has recently met with the company to discuss the Patch
Lead Structure within SD UK Operations, as 1845 engineers have moved to other parts of
Openreach YTD to help support the increased fibre build and delivery.

This LTB is an update to No. 279/2019.

The NT took this opportunity to express the constant feedback we receive of Patch Leads not
being able to do their role as they are ‘always on the tools’. The company are beginning to
listen to the feedback from the CWU and their employees; they have realised the Patch Leads
are on the tools approximately 30% of the time when the model should be 20%.
SD UK Operations are changing their Patch Lead model going forward;

The current model is:

3 Patch Leads
20% on tools
2 Senior Engineers
48:1 Patch Manager Ratio

Future model is:

2 Patch Leads
6 fixed week tool time
2 Senior Engineers
35:1 Patch Manager Ratio

The meaning behind the 6 fixed week tool means the Patch Leads will pick up work from the
team workstack and will spend time ‘on the tools’ wherever possible for up to 6 weeks per
year. This will not be formally scheduled but will happen during peak periods to help the team
succeed and meet customer appointments when required. There will also be no changes to
Patch Lead attendance patterns as part of this change.

We have been given the commitment that 35:1 Patch Manager Ratio is the upper ceiling ratio
and they can only see this going one way, which is down. There is a potential for a surplus of
Patch Leads as a result of the new model. However, there is the option for Patch Leads to
move into the FTTP Patch Lead role if there is a vacancy, as the FTTP teams are growing and
some SD UK Ops Patch Leads have done so already. The NT expressed the concern of people
moves back and forth from other business units and the pressure this puts on the Patch
Leads. The company are now looking at a pool of Patch Leads who are UK Operations
covering Patch Lead (engineering) and remain on their current patch lead role title, grade and
terms and conditions, but won’t have a specific team or part of a team assigned to them. Day
to day they will carry out normal UK Operations engineering duties and be expected to cover
and carry out additional patch lead duties where necessary. They would remain as an
experienced and multiskilled engineer in their team, support the PM and PLs daily, lead on
complex work where necessary, and remain a role model for others. There are also roles
within Chief Engineers COW and Chief Engineer Supervisor if a Patch Lead would like a change
to their current role.

The company are refreshing the training and handbooks which will be worked through with the
CWU as there are a lot of new Patch Leads and new Patch Managers.

We will have review periods built in as we go forward, and in the meantime I would ask
branches to keep in contact with their local Patch Leads with regards to the changes proposed
and feedback any issues that may arise.

Any enquiries regarding this LTB should be sent to Davie Bowman’s office in the first instance.

Yours sincerely,

Fiona Curtis on behalf of
Assistant Secretary

18.10.22 – LTB 410 – OPENREACH Ltd – Field Transformation SD UK Operations – In Strictest Confidence and embargoed until 11 a.m. on 18 October 2022

LTB 410.2022 – ATTACHMENT 1

LTB 410.2022 – ATTACHMENT 2

LTB 410.2022 – ATTACHMENT 2A

LTB 410.2022 – ATTACHMENT 2B

LTB 410.2022 – ATTACHMENT 2C

LTB 410.2022 – ATTACHMENT 2D

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