Bubble bursts for computer staff

AT least 800 Btexact Technology contract workers are to take 12.5 per cent pay cuts from next month as a direct result of the "bursting technology bubble".

AT least 800 Btexact Technology contract workers are to take 12.5 per cent pay cuts from next month as a direct result of the "bursting technology bubble".

A spokesman for the Martlesham Heath-based telecoms giant said the company had "taken steps" in order to retain their position in the industry.

The pay cuts come in to effect from April 1 and coincide with the company acquiring all its contractual staff from one agency.

Up until now, BT has staffed its departments with workers from seven separate agencies but from next month they will be provided from just one, Hays IT of Martlesham Heath.


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Rumours that the pay cuts were as a direct result of agency streamlining have been denied although the BT spokesman confirmed Hays IT had been awarded the single agency contract.

"Employing our contractors through a single agency will offer much greater efficiencies in terms of costs and significantly cuts down the number of different people that we have to deal with currently."

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The spokesman confirmed cuts would be made, and said: "We will be reducing the rates at which we pay our contractors and have taken these steps in order to retain our position as a competitive IT supplier.

"IT contractor rates of pay have reduced significantly over the last few years and obviously it does not make good business sense to pay rates that were inflated by the recent technology bubble in the difficult market conditions that we are currently experiencing," he added.

Mike Beresford, the national account manager for Btexact at Hays IT, said he was thrilled to move his company's relationship with BT on further and said there had been several options for BT to choose from in order to save money.

"The options included cutting back on staff numbers, this has not happened this time and although the majority of contractual staff will be taking a 12.5 per cent reduction in pay, those on lower wages would not be affected."

Hays IT has supplied BT with staff for 20 years and up until now has contracted around 400 employees, a figure that will increase to between 800 and 1,000 from April 1, Mr Beresford added.

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