British Telecom has agreed an unprecedented 39-month pay deal with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) to see off the threat of its first strike in over 20 years.
The deal, agreed Friday, will see staff receive a total raise of 9.3% over the next three years and ends a two-month stand-off that saw the union ballot members over strike action after rejecting the telco’s initial pay deals.
Increases for 2010 will be back-dated to January 1, and the 2013 increase is subject to review based on the telco’s financial performance up to November 2012.
Union members will vote on whether to accept the deal in the coming weeks.
The CWU got back round the negotiating table last week, after being forced to scrap its strike ballot following advice the vote would likely have been ruled illegal due to procedural errors.
It called for a strike after rejecting an initial 2% pay offer for 2010, and a revised 5% deal over two years.
Andy Kerr, deputy secretary of the CWU, said the aborted vote played a key part in re-opening negotiations with BT, and that the union was “delighted” the dispute had been ended without strike action.
“This deal is among the highest pay settlements in the country this year,” he noted.
BT’s chief executive Ian Livingstone said the deal was a win-win for all parties. “BT will benefit from a long period of certainty, whilst our employees will have financial stability during uncertain economic times,” he said.