By NBF News
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British telecoms group, BT, said it had made a new two-year pay offer to its workers in a bid to avert its first strike for more than two decades.

The deal, presented to the Communications Workers Union late on Monday, was reported on Tuesday to include a three per cent rise in 2011, in addition to the two per cent already on the table for this year, and a bonus of £250 ($388) related to performance.

The group has also agreed that no compulsory redundancies will be made before the end of 2011, according to a Press Association report.

'BT can confirm it has made a new two-year offer to the CWU,' a BT spokesman said.

'This offer is an attempt to break the current impasse with the CWU; we hope that they will consider it seriously and respond positively. Industrial action is in no-one's interests.'

The union, which represents more than 50,000 BT workers, said last week it would ballot for strike action if the company did not improve its two per cent one-year offer by noon on June 4.

The deadline passed, leading the union to put the wheels in motion for a ballot.

The CWU said its negotiating team was looking at the offer, and would make a statement later on Tuesday.

BT is also believed to have told the union it would look to bring call centre and back office jobs back from India and switch agency and contracted-out work back in-house, the Press Association said.

Shares in BT were 1.56 per cent lower at 126.4 pence by 1035 GMT, underperforming a 0.82 per cent weaker index of leading UK companies.