Consumer clarity on ‘conformance’ measure
BT December 20 2019
A robust CWU response to the unagreed rollout of a new productivity measure has led to BT Consumer agreeing to review the target, which tracks how much time is spent dealing with calls against company expectations.
The introduction of the so-called ‘Conformance’ measure sparked an angry response at many of the division’s contact centres last month after compliance targets of 98 and even 99 per cent were suddenly announced – with some advisers even being warned that anything less could affect their bonus payments or lead to the application of the performance management policy.
Linked to the new IEX scheduling tool, the CWU had previously been assured that ‘Conformance’ was a “background measure for team leaders” – and that the union would be properly consulted on any wider use of the measure before it was deployed further.
However, ‘Conformance’ was deployed in multiple areas without warning.
“The national team has now met with twice with BT on this and it has been accepted that the target did not take account of the agreed break arrangements or the agreed log-on/log-off process,” explains assistant secretary Nigel Cotgrove.
“In addition, it did not allow for coding problems , which have resulted in inaccurate results.
“As a result of these talks it has been agreed to review the target and also to ensure that ‘Conformance’ is only used as a background measure, and that there are no individual targets for advisors. This news will be welcomed by the many members across the UK who had raised their concerns with the union.”
Nigel emphasises that in three key areas there should be no changes applied to advisors as a result of ‘Conformance’.
“There has been no change in long-established rest break, comfort break or lunch break arrangements. There is no change to the log-on/log-off agreement, so advisors are only required to be at their workstation and ready to commence logging on at the beginning of their attendance. And finally Conformance is categorically not linked to bonus,” he concludes.
Major survey launched on BT Consumer attendance patterns
Telecoms & Financial Services, BT September 13 2019Members across BT Consumer are being urged to participate in an important new survey which signals that real progress is being been made in negotiations designed to secure meaningful improvements to the attendance patterns on offer to customer facing staff.
The information gathering exercise, which was formally launched this morning (Friday), is designed to inform ongoing negotiations in which the union is seeking to enhance the predictability of the attendance patterns on offer and to secure the provision of consecutive days off wherever possible.
Those talks, which are also intended to facilitate the introduction of team-based scheduling, represent the latest plank of the CWU’s long-running efforts to secure the improvements to attendance patterns that were originally promised by the 2015 Transformation Agreement, but which have so far proved elusive.
New impetus was given to the discussions by CWU Annual Conference in May when frustrated delegates voted unanimously in support of a T&FS Executive motion which warned that time was fast running out for the company to come up positive proposals for more predictable and less ant-social shift patterns. That company pledge had always been the flip-side of uncomfortable changes accepted by the union to help the company refocus its call centre activities using UK direct labour.
Assistant secretary Nigel Cotgrove said: “In the months that have followed the talks have made good progress – and, as part of our negotiations, BT has agreed to run an attendance pattern survey with the full support of the CWU.
“We’d like as many of our members to take part as possible – including those who have Exceptional Change of Hours (ECOH) or formal flexible working arrangements in place – because we want to sense check where we’ve got in our discussions and ensure that the example attendance patterns are in line with what people would actually want.
“This is a great opportunity for members to influence the way our talks with the company progress. As such we’ve ensured that the survey not only asks questions but also allows advisors the opportunity to comment directly on the issues that most affect them.”
The survey runs from today (September 13) to September 27, and the results will feed into the negotiations.
Nigel stresses the survey is anonymous, not binding on advisers and will not change any existing patterns. It will be team-briefed on all sites in the next few days, and the union has been assured that advisors will be able to complete the survey in work time.
He concludes: “Hopefully the results of the survey will help us secure a new national agreement on attendances – and members can rest assured that, if we reach the point where the national union is able to recommend agreement, we’ll be consulting all CWU members in Consumer before any changes are implemented.”
Let’s build on our Close the Gap victory
Telecoms & Financial Services August 23 2018