BT could be faced with industrial action over pay if 12,000 employees agree to strike in a ballot next month.
Results of the ballot, which affects staff who belong to middle management union STE, are expected on 7 February. The STE - the Society of Telecom Executives - is taking issue with BT?s annual round of salary reviews due in April. It is calling for a minimum increase in line with inflation plus guaranteed progression through BT?s complex pay scales.
Some executives who joined BT in 1993 at the bottom of the scale have not progressed through the range, explained STE general secretary Simon Petch. Meanwhile, others in similar positions are paid salaries that are different by several thousands of pounds.
Last year the members narrowly missed taking industrial action after an eleventh hour meeting with BT officials. In addition to a pay review, BT agreed to publish more information concerning pay and to check salaries had included inflationary rises. ?Neither of these promises were carried out so there?s a lot of ill feeling out there,? said Petch.
A BT spokesperson said: ?I think the ballot is extremely premature. We are only in January.? She said BT has refused the STE?s offer but is meeting with the union in the next two weeks. ?We are disappointed to see a ballot now but we are talking to the union. BT recognises the contribution managers have made and hopes to recognise them with pay awards,? she said. She rejected claims that BT had not honoured its agreement with the union last year and said ?we will continue to review individual performance?.
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