19 May 2012
Deputy General Secretary Telecoms (DGST) Andy Kerr introduced Bill Murphy, MD Next Generation Access, BT.
Bill said he wanted Britain to have the best super-fast broadband in Europe, he was clear that BT would need less people if the company did not win deals to provide super-fast broadband.
Already £2.5 billion was committed to the project, with a potential further £1 billion expected. He said the target was to have super-fast broadband in two-thirds of the UK by the end of 2014. Bill said that no other company in the world is investing as much as BT, to provide speed and affordability, and 60 communication providers are delivering services to their customers over the BT network.
Bill said BT is bidding in every part of the UK and promised continued investment and the project is creating or protecting 100ís of jobs.
Linda Woodings (Easy Midlands) proposed a motion for rotating SDO's and SWW / CSIP patterns to be staggered annually, as she said if an individual had their SDO during Christmas (or some other significant holiday period) one year they would most likely have and SDO the following Christmas, whereas their colleagues would never get and SDO in that week. Chic McGlynn (T&FSE) said in view of what Linda had said he would support. It may cause the business some effort and expense but it would ensure fairness. The motion was carried unanimously.
Birmingham Branch proposed a motion to negotiate an end to the practice of work activities being carried out outside of working hours. This was due to a DWP ruling that accidents off duty are not industrial accidents and this affects the benefits members can claim. Tom Cooper (T&FSE) supported saying for people who part at home an accident while checking a vehicle before the daysí work would not be an industrial accident, but a non-PAH member would be covered. The motion was carried unanimously.
Dave Cambell (South East Central) asked for negotiations with BT to ensure time off work for stress / bullying or due to performance management issues would be treated as incidents / accidents at work, not time off sick. Julia Upton (T&FSE) supported, she said "stress and mental health is still not taken seriously" and that the motion was a "sound and effective way we can make progress". The motion was carried unanimously.
Moosa (Birmingham) proposed a motion for a new C1 NewGrid grade for multi-skilled volume engineers. He said they should get some recognition, "they are highly skilled members, but underpaid" considering that one visit from a multi-skilled engineer can save visits from three engineers. Nigel Bailey (South East Anglia) said just two words were missing from the motion 'Network Investment' as he felt these engineers deserved recognition too. Vicki Cornelius (Birmingham Black Country and Worcester) said the motion was "the start of a slippery slope ... we read this prop as the re-opening of NewGrid". Dave Jukes (T&FSE) said he opposed and agreed that Network Investment deserved to be considered. He agreed it may need to be resolved, but linking it to one part of the company was a mistake. The motion was lost by approximately 90% majority.