BT avoids proposed industrial action

The threat of action has been averted to allow talks to continue between the Connect union and the telco over what has been described as BT's 'unacceptable pay offer'

The threat of industrial action by BT managers over pay conditions has been averted — for now — as talks continue between the telco and the trade union representing around 14,000 BT managers and professionals.

Last week, on the day BT issued its financial results, the Connect union announced its members had voted by a margin of more than four to one to take "widespread industrial action across the UK in protest against BT's unacceptable pay offer".

The proposed industrial action, which stops short of all-out strike, was due to take place this week after the Bank Holiday but Leslie Manasseh, deputy general secretary of Connect, told ZDNet.co.uk's sister site, silicon.com: "Connect has agreed to suspend industrial action in BT to allow further talks. The company now has the opportunity to table a fair offer for our members on pay, to avoid the need for industrial action."

The BT managers are angry over what they believe is an unfair pay offer and with the distribution of pay — with too many members being offered a zero percent pay rise, according to Connect, and many continuing to be paid less than the people they manage.

The union added there are also major concerns about the pay gap between male and female employees.

A BT spokesman told silicon.com the threat of industrial action was withdrawn by Connect the day after it was issued, adding that "further talks are continuing".