TELECOMS giant BT has offered a near three-year pay deal to thousands of its staff.

The package will be recommended for acceptance by the Communication Workers Union in a ballot.

Under the agreement, more than 40,000 workers will receive a 2% increase to their base pay from April 1, 2014 along with a flat rate increase of £200 that will be fully consolidated and pensionable, and will see most employees receive an effective increase of between 2.5% and 3.2% in year one. They will then receive a 2.5% increase in both April 2015 and April 2016.

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Gavin Patterson, BT chief executive officer, said the agreement would provide "welcome certainty to the company, its employees, shareholders and customers."