O2 has staved off industrial action after upping its pay offer to retail staff following months of ‘tough’ negotiations.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said the 2.87% offer had been accepted in light of O2 facing ‘major business challenges’ requiring ‘significant change’ at the company.
O2’s latest offer follows accusations from staff last month that the operator had been dragging its feet over a pay settlement and threats of industrial action from the CWU.
The CWU is urging its members to accept O2’s latest offer, which is worth 2.87% and will be paid in two instalments for 2012.
The union said the offer is a marked improvement on the previous two-year offer of 2.75% for 2012 and 2.5% for 2013, which 90% of CWU members rejected in a ballot held in April. CWU members will vote on the new one-year offer by electronic ballot on 2 July.
The ballot results will be unveiled on 12 July. If accepted, staff will see wages rise by 2.75% in July, back-paid to April and a further 0.25% increase in October 2012.
Andy Kerr, deputy general secretary of the CWU, said: ‘It’s been a tough six months of negotiations but we’re now pleased to have an improved, fully consolidated one-year pay offer to recommend to our members in O2.
‘This takes on board both our members’ concerns and also the business challenges facing Telefónica O2.’
He added: ‘Both parties recognise that the pay discussions this year have been difficult in part due to the backdrop of the business circumstances. CWU is wholeheartedly urging members to vote yes for this improved pay deal.’
Sally Bridge, assistant secretary of the CWU and lead O2 negotiator, said: ‘After difficult negotiations I’m delighted that we’re now in a position to recommend a fully consolidated pay offer to our members in O2.’
Bridge said the CWU had managed to convince the operator to move from ‘an unacceptably low’ pay offer to the current deal.
She added that the one-year deal was ‘exactly’ what members had been asking for.
Bridge said: ‘We’ve managed to move the company from an unacceptably low pay offer spread over two years to a much better one-year deal, which is exactly what our members have told us they wanted. ‘Economic conditions are still very tough so we’re especially pleased to have managed to work with O2 to reach an agreeable solution.’
Editor: Carol Millett