BT workers to get £1,500 pay rise after agreement reached following strikes

The union representing BT workers has reached an agreement with the company to permanently increase pay.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU), whose executive negotiated the deal, is urging its BT members to accept the proposal, which is now being put before members to vote on.

BT workers, including those taking 999 calls, engineers and call centre workers, had begun strikes in the summer seeking pay increases as inflation and the cost of living crisis hit workers.

Under the agreement workers will get a pay rise of between 6% and 16% depending on their pay grade.

From 1 April, pay is to permanently increase by £3,000, the union said, with a review taking place from 1 September 2023 to further negotiate pay, grading and structuring issues.

BT said all those earning £50,000 or less would get a £1,500 pay rise from 1 January as part of their salary rather than a one-off payment. Combined with the £1,500 April increase, the total pay rise for the lowest paid workers will be more than 15% compared to the same time period last year, the former telecoms monopoly said.

Strike action was taken by some 40,000 BT workers in opposition to the company's offer of a flat-rate pay rise of £1,500 which the union had rejected and said was a real terms pay cut as struggling workers turned towards food banks.

The offer would not have been made were it not for those strikes that preceded weeks of negotiations the CWU deputy general secretary said.

"I wish to pay tribute to our members for coming out to strike in such serious numbers," Andy Kerr said.

"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.

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