O2 retail staff land 14 per cent pay rise

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Deal agreed with union is subject to approval by O2 retail staff and is expected to be ratify later this month

O2 retail staff are to receive a 14 per cent pay rise – after a deal with the Communication Workers Union was struck late last month.

The agreement, which affects all 1,900 new and existing non-management staff working in O2’s 290 direct stores – around 1,900 employees – sees them earn a maximum of £19,800 a year, including bonuses. Staff in O2’s concession stores are unaffected.

The rise will see new starters receive a basic annual salary of £14,500 rising to £16,000 upon completion of a three-month probationary period. Staff are then able to progress to a final pay grade of £18,000 a year, subject to a number of qualifying factors which have not been disclosed. Exemptions will be put in place for those staff currently earning more than £18,000 through a combination of base pay and bonuses. The deal however does see a significant drop in quarterly bonuses available to staff. The previous pay model allowed employees to earn between 20 to 25 per cent of their annual salary on achieving specific targets.

Compromise

Sunday “premium pay” has also been abolished as part of the deal, as well as the £400 payments for staff working in “out-of-town” locations, such as retail parks. The CWU said the compromises imposed were based on reducing the reliance on “performance-led” pay, and ensure staff take home a higher guaranteed wage each month – which the union said previously was “unacceptably low”. “Not only does the deal on the table handsomely reward the vast majority of people – it also puts in a clear career path for people that simply doesn’t exist at present,” CWU assistant secretary Sally Bridge said.

Mobile News contacted a number of staff across the country, with the majority insisting they were happy with the outcome. One staffer based in a store in the South said: “I’ve been with the company long enough to understand why they have done it and I think it’s really beneficial to the majority.” Another added: “Increasing the money will help motivate the staff. The increase in the base will more than make up for the cut in the bonus.”

Final approval by CWU members will be concluded by a ballot on June 16. If agreed, the new rates will take effect from July 1.

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