There will be another ballot of members within weeks after the last one was tripped up in the eleventh hour following legal concerns.
For a reminder of why the union was unhappy about a 2% pay offer that was previously on the table see below.
BOX: Union gripes with BT
• BT made in excess of £1bn profit last year and exceeded forecasts by doubling its free cash flow to £1.9bn while making £1.75bn in cost savings – partly delivered through a pay freeze, 30,000 redundancies and changes to pension schemes, which CWU helped the company with.
• CWU rejected BT’s offer of 2% plus £250 and a possible additional £250 based on meeting undisclosed targets next year. BT has claimed that the total payments would be equivalent to a 5.4% pay rise. However, this would only be true for seven people in the company who earn a salary of just over £14,000 and the final £250 would not be paid – if at all – until June 2011.
• A pay deal of 5% for CWU grades would cost the company 3.6% of free cash flow.
• BT executives have received generous bonus payments, including:
• Ian Livingston CEO – basic £850,000 plus annual bonus of £1,206,000, total up by 79% on 2009. He is also set to get a 6% pay rise this year, but has pledged to take a 2% pay rise and donate the rest charity.
• Michael Rake, chairman, total of £670,000 up from £630,000 – a 6.3% rise – in 2009 for working part-time.
• Hanif Lalani, ex-finance director, total of £1,166,000, up from £805,000 in 2009, a rise of 44.8%.
• Patricia Hewitt, non-executive director who helps to decide remuneration – £128,000 up from £75,000 for just a few days a month.
• Gavin Patterson, BT Retail CEO, total of £1,133,000, up from £698,000 in 2009, a 62.3% increase.
•Tony Chanmugam, finance director, is set for a pay rise worth more than 7%.