BT pay deal – “We still feel like we deserve more”

TheSocialist spoke to a worker in BT’s Customer Service contact centre after the recent 9.3% pay deal over three and half years – the equivalent to nearly 3% each year. “With inflation in August running at 4.7% and VAT set to hit 20% in January, this pay deal will not match inflation and is in effect a pay cut. We still feel like we deserve more. For someone on A1 (the lowest pay band in BT) who earns £14,197 a year before any deductions, it is getting very difficult to pay the bills. The new pay deal isn’t going to cover it. Yet BT has reported massive pre-tax profits of £1billion so far this year!

“The ink isn’t dry on the pay deal and BT management are already trying to tear up our contracts by changing the working week to 7am-11pm, Monday to Sunday. This will put a lot more pressure on staff already finding it difficult to cope. It also means the end of flexible working hours which many workers depend on to be able to take care of children. A consultative ballot delayed due to the pay talks is to resume over BT’s proposals.”

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Resignations, rotating ministers & revolting policies

It seems that open season has been declared in the Green Party, open season to grab and lust for office and privilege.

Brian Cowen must be looking sideways with disbelief at the pantomime that is unfolding, perhaps ruing the coalition partners that Bertie Ahern bequeathed to him. Having supposedly got over the biggest obstacles like Lisbon and the Budget, his government boat is now looking decidedly shaky as unsettled Greens are climbing over each other.

(Since this article was written another cabinet member, Minister for Arts Sport and Tourism Martin Cullen, has resigned over a back complaint)