CWU members back O2 pay deal

Union members at O2 have voted four to one to accept a deal that represents a 5.25-percent pay rise over two years for call centre, retail and engineering staff
Written by David Meyer, Contributor on

Communication Workers Union members voted four to one on Thursday to accept a pay deal at O2, following seven months of negotiations between the union and the mobile operator.

The pay deal, which represents a 5.25-percent rise over two years, is valid from April this year and will be paid in August salaries, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said in a statement on Thursday. The union represents more than 3,000 call centre, retail and engineering employees at O2.

"This is a strong result for a good pay deal," CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr said in a Thursday statement. "The majority of staff in O2 can now look forward to decent pay rises for this year and 2011.

"This two-year deal provides stability for both the company and our members at a time of economic uncertainty. We're really pleased with ballot result and now look forward to working with the company on other work issues," Kerr added.

A two-percent offer from O2 was rejected by the union in March and again in June — in the latter case by nine votes to one. In addition to wanting a more significant rise, CWU members also wanted improvements to O2's system of giving pay increases to accompany promotions within the company.

In July, the CWU and BT averted a strike at that company, where around 60,000 employees are members of the union. That pay deal, which amounted to a 9.3-percent increase over three years, followed the first national strike ballot at BT since 1987.

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