CWU Launch Major Agency Campaign – Close The Gap!

Writing in her letter to Branches, T&FS Assistant Secretary Sally Bridge, announces a major new campaign aimed at exposing the low pay rates and improving the terms and conditions of Manpower agency workers employed by BT.

Pic: Sally BridgeBelow is her letter to Branches (LTB492/17) in full:

At this year’s T&FS conference Motion 61 was carried that instructed the TFSE to mount a campaign to eradicate the low pay rates of our Manpower members working on the BT contract and to ensure at the very minimum that they are paid the Real Living Wage. The motion further requires a report back to branches by September 2017.

Since then representation has been made to Manpower whereby they stated that they are not in a position to apply a blanket increase to align to the Real Living Wage.

A separate meeting was held with BT on the 26th July where they were clear that it was Manpower that set their own pay rates for their employees and denied having any control or overall authority on this matter.

Manpower Branch Forum

On the 24th August a Manpower Branch Forum was held where all key branches with Manpower members were in attendance and a full report was given on the representation made so far of our intention to seek authority from the T&FS to mount a campaign on behalf of our Manpower members to eradicate low pay.

Pic: Mersey Branch rep Danielle CulshawIt was the view of the branches that the pay rates of our Manpower members were not acceptable and that a campaign was now required.

There was a real enthusiasm from the representatives to get behind the campaign and to encourage our Manpower members to become directly involved. Most encouragingly there were a number of Manpower members who attended the forum who are directly affected by low pay and are now keen to participate and become active.

Campaign Details

I am therefore pleased to report that at the T&FS meeting held on the 7th September they have now agreed a campaign action plan as follows:

1. Name - The name of the campaign will be Close the Gap!

2. Aims & Objectives of the Campaign:

* To ensure that at the very minimum our Manpower members working on the BT account are paid the Real Living Wage.

* To eradicate Pay Between Assignment (PBA) contracts on the BT account.


Close the Gap! Launch video from The CWU

* Expose the low pay rates of our Manpower members as a consequence of PBA contracts and to secure amendments to the UK Agency Worker Regulations 2010 (AWR) to close current loopholes that enable hirers and employment agencies to use PBA contracts and exploit agency workers.

* Continue to pressurise the hirer (BT) and employment agency (Manpower) on the issue of low pay as a consequence of the use of PBA contracts.

* For branches to engage in national and local campaigning and to encourage Manpower members to become active.

A letter has been sent to all Manpower members at their home addresses explaining the aims and objectives of the campaign. A copy of the letter can be downloaded by clicking on the pic below.

Pic: Close The Gap letter to members - click the pic to download a copy.Campaign Pack

A campaign pack is in the process of being prepared, the purpose is to communicate key themes and aims to raise awareness of the issues and to provide key facts and figures for local campaigning and media, as well as to get the wider membership involved.

Communication Channels

All channels will be utilised including:

* The Voice – an article is to be prepared for the next issue regarding the launch of the campaign on the CWU website.

* CWU website – a dedicated Close the Gap! page in the campaigns section of the website

* Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat

* Video – A launch video is already on the CWU website and on social media. You can watch the video by clicking on the image below:

* A dedicated email address to field any direct enquiries from members has been set up: agencycampaign@cwu.org

Leaflets and posters are in the process of being prepared.

Branches Need to Get Involved

This campaign will take some time to build and to ensure that the branches, Manpower members and wider membership are on board with the aims and objectives and the messages of the Campaign.

It will be our intention to update you regularly and details of when the campaign pack will be available will be sent to you shortly, along with information relating to campaigning activity.

Source: CWU LTB492/17


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