More than 500 emergency call handlers to go on strike in row over pay
9th October 2022

More than 500 emergency call handlers to go on strike in row over pay

  • The 999-call operators were previously exempt from the CWU industrial action
  • The strike comes in amid an ‘incredibly low’ flat-rate pay rise offer of £1,500
  • BT stressed that it will not be reopening its 2022 pay review

More than 500 emergency call handlers will join BT and Openreach workers in strike action today.

The 999-call operators were previously exempt from the Communication Workers Union (CWU) industrial action because of the essential nature of their work but will now join today’s strike.

The CWU said around 40,000 of its members, including BT Group’s 999 emergency call handlers, will walk out following previous stoppages in recent months.

The action comes in response to an ‘incredibly low’ flat-rate pay rise offer of £1,500, which was rejected in light of soaring inflation. BT has said it will not be reopening its 2022 pay review. If the row is not resolved, the 999 call handlers will strike again on October 20 and 24.

The 999-call operators were previously exempt from the Communication Workers Union (CWU) industrial action because of the essential nature of their work but will now join today’s strike (file image)

Dave Ward, general secretary of the CWU, said: ‘This dispute is modern Britain in a nutshell. Lives are at risk because a company’s top brass won’t listen to workers.

‘999 operators are using food banks.They’re worried about the cost of living and are being stretched to the limit.’

A BT Group spokesman said: ‘We are profoundly disappointed that the CWU is prepared to take this reckless course of action by including 999 services in strikes. We will do whatever it takes to protect 999 services. Redeploying our people to the most important priority is a normal part of BT Group operations.’

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