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Job Fears as Openreach Shut Customer Network Solutions Team

Saturday, Mar 7th, 2020 (12:01 am) - Score 10,937
openreach logo 2017

Openreach (BT) has confirmed to ISPreview.co.uk that they intend to “shut downCustomer Network Solutions (CNS), which is a national team of regionally based experts who would step in to deal with non-standard problems (e.g. moving a distribution point or drop wire etc.). Sadly redundancies may follow.

According to a leaked announcement, seen by ISPreview.co.uk, the decision to shut down CNS has “led to the business announcing potential redundancies for the majority of the team.” Apparently, despite good sales performance, Openreach has struggled to convert this into “profitable business” using the bespoke CNS processes and instead believes that their business as usual processes in other units are capable of delivering greater value.

The union, Prospect, is understood to have challenged the decision to run a formal redundancy consultation instead of managing the situation via the normal redeployment process (the latter has worked before). In response Openreach said they had considered alternative options, but ultimately “did not feel closing down the different work streams gradually was a sensible approach given the financial impact of doing so.”

Unfortunately there is claimed to be “limited availability” of suitable alternative employment opportunities, although Prospect have said they will be doing their best to mitigate the need for any compulsory redundancies. Apparently 18 new roles have been created in other parts of Openreach, but whether these are suitable for any of the CNS team members will depend on individual circumstances and skills.

An Openreach Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk:

“Openreach is still in the middle of its biggest ever recruitment drive – hiring 6,500 engineers over the past two years to help us boost service levels and build a new full fibre broadband network.

We recently announced some proposed changes to our Customer Network Solutions (CNS) unit, as part of our ongoing efforts to simplify the business. The changes are designed to serve our customers better by moving work that’s currently carried out by CNS into Openreach’s dedicated delivery units.

These proposals impacted a number of colleagues, so we needed to follow a collective consultation process with the unions and employee representatives.

We’re working very hard to minimise the need for compulsory redundancies, by offering voluntary payments and helping people who want to stay within Openreach (or the wider BT Group) to redeploy, retrain and relocate.”

The document proposes to place a “stop sell” from 1st April 2020, which will be followed by a migration and other work until December 2020, when Openreach will have shifted everything to their “business as usual processes.”

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
4 Responses
  1. Avatar photo FibreBubble says:

    Appears to be a deliberate policy change at BT. Nobody has been made compulsory redundant before.

    https://www.cwu.org/news/strike-ballot-demanded-over-bt-compulsory-redundancy-threat/

  2. Avatar photo DTH engineer says:

    Redundancy isnt great. However sky is looking to hire 1000more engineers across the UK. So if anyone is affected hopefully they would want to apply

  3. Avatar photo A_Builder says:

    @FibreBubble

    I don’t see how that link relates to the article – other than that the position does seem to have changed on redundancies on a wider basis?

    Puzzling that the time chosen to do this is now given that OR are hiring etc

  4. Avatar photo André says:

    Sounds like they’re getting rid of a number of highly skilled people who know how to deal with non-standard issues.
    Guess who ends up paying the price? The customer.
    Woe betide anyone with one of those “strange problems”, who will now be sent from drone to drone without any resolution in sight.

    Nothing is about quality any more…

Comments are closed

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