BT managers carried out a one-day strike today as part of a campaign of industrial action over pay. Managers had already been working to rule for the past few days and their union did not rule out additional strike action.
The staff are members of the Society of Telecom Executives (STE), which represents 12,000 BT middle managers and executives.
The dispute focuses on BT?s annual round of salary reviews due on 1 April. The STE is calling for a minimum increase in line with inflation plus guaranteed progression through BT?s long pay range. BT is offering a 4.5 per cent increase to the pay bill, plus a sum set aside for bonuses. However, the STE said BT refused to guarantee individuals a minimum increase equivalent to the retail price index.
An STE spokesperson said: ?No one knows what pay rise to expect as this pay bill increase will be distributed at BT?s discretion and on a secret basis. But thousands face a further cut in their standard of living as BT seeks to drive down pay levels to a so-called market rate.?
The STE said strike action will affect the provision of new lines and fault clearance. Since it began cutting staff a few years ago BT managers who oversee engineering work have had to work up to a 70-hour week, continued the spokesperson.
A BT spokesperson said the action ?has had no real impact on customers". He said that only a minority of STE members stayed away from work - around 2,600 out of the 3,500 who voted to strike. The STE declined to comment on numbers. ?The strike has not been noticeable, there was not even a picket line at BT?s headquarters,? continued the BT spokesperson.
No talks are in the pipeline to resolve the issue and BT said it would keep to its original proposal.
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