CWU lauds historic pay rise for O2 staff

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Workers union says 94 per cent of its members voted for the 2.3 per cent pay rise deal for contact centre staff

O2 customer service centre staff have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a 2.3 per cent pay rise for 2014, negotiated by the Communication Workers Union (CWU).

The deal is the first agreed with contractors Capita which took over management of 3,000 staff at O2 contact centres from the operator in July last year. The £1.2 billion contract to manage the Leeds, Glasgow, Preston Brook, Bury and Dearne Valley centres is the largest private sector contract ever awarded in the UK.

The CWU said 94 per cent of the union’s members – exact numbers were not given – voted for the pay deal, which they said was the best they could achieve.

“Negotiations with Capita were particularly tough but we managed to secure a significant improvement on the company’s initial offer of 1.7 per cent over 12 months and I am pleased that members recognised this,” said CWU assistant general secretary Sally Bridge (pictured).

The nine-month deal covers other issues including allowances and payment protection, and will be backdated to April. Negotiations for 2015 will begin in November with the review being brought forward to January.

The award is also slightly less than the 2.6 per cent deal agreed by the CWU for direct O2 employees earlier this year.

O2 and Capita have worked together for more than 21 years, going back to 1992 when Capita Customer Management (then Ventura) and O2 (then Cellnet) signed a contract to support the launch of Cellnet into the consumer mobile market.

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