Postal workers' national strikes, 2007

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Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 17 2007 12:56

There's an easy answer to that! wink

fwiw 6642 is me suggesting they set up a fighting fund for the liverpool wildcats.

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 17 2007 14:05
17 October 2007
Royal Mail Dispute

Further negotiations took place last week between the CWU and Royal Mail’s Chief Executive Adam Crozier. Following those negotiations proposed terms to settle the dispute were presented to the Postal Executive over the last two days.

The TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has now invited both parties for a further meeting so that the CWU can clarify the remaining outstanding issues. In light of these developments it was also agreed to suspend the current round of industrial action.

This meeting has been scheduled to take place tomorrow (Thursday

Either some more offices go unofficial, or this will be be a slow drip bleed to death.

Joined: 11-02-07
Oct 17 2007 20:18
ftony wrote:
yo catch, those of us who aren't registered can't read those posts...
Royal Mail Chat wrote:
JH - got a few guys on here and they are all more than welcome. Thanks for the support you give us as a group and as individuals as well.

Royal Mail Chat

Joined: 26-05-04
Oct 18 2007 08:58

ok then. wasn't sure if i was being a bit of a coloniser by joining forums for a job i don't do...

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 18 2007 09:05

It's for all royal workers AND CUSTOMERS.

If small businessmen and ebay addicts can sign up to slag them off, so can you.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Joined: 14-03-06
Oct 18 2007 09:06

.. to not slag them off, natch

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 18 2007 09:15

I noticed it when I read it back, but left it in for hilarity to ensue.

Joined: 11-02-07
Oct 18 2007 09:23
ftony wrote:
ok then. wasn't sure if i was being a bit of a coloniser by joining forums for a job i don't do...

I haven't really posted anything on it for that reason - I wouldn't want to start telling people how to run their dispute when it isn't me having to find the money to pay bills or meet the mortgage payments. It's certainly worth registering and having a look at the forums though.

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 18 2007 09:45

Well I've been jumping in all over the place, making it very clear I'm not a postie, but also not holding back from giving my opinion for that reason. Having said that I've been spending an unhealthy amount of time on there so that's not all I do.

We're all facing these attacks and a fair number on there are quite aware that they're in the front line of it at the moment and the outcome of their dispute will have a knock-on effect on the rest of the UK. I think it's also worth making it obvious that there are actually people who support the strikes who aren't the usual trot suspects (who are also on there cut and pasting articles from SWP and PR all over the place and trying to 'build rank and file movements to reclaim the unions and break with the labour party' etc.).

If you go on just to lecture people, then yes this would be shit - and since the posters on there aren't stupid they'll call you a wanker. But if you're not prepared to talk to workers involved in the middle of one of the most important disputes of the past 10-15 years on a public forum designed for precisely that reason then I'm not sure what the point is to be honest.

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 18 2007 10:06

SW leak - Jane Loftus has seen the deal, being SWP and PEC member, so could have leaked this on Monday.

The deal discussed by the union’s postal executive on Monday and Tuesday would sweep away crucial rights, steal our pensions, clear the way for more bullying, and give managers even more power to order us about. It is a threat to us all and to the public service. Crucially it is silent on key issues like what happens over disciplinaries and mail centre closures.

Does this really measure up to the sacrifice we’ve made? Does it match the fighting spirit of the strikes, or the courage of those who have stood on picket lines – officially and unofficially?

It doesn’t, and we should reject it. Some of the proposed deal’s main points are:


Pension age to rise to 65. Present scheme members could still retire at 60, but would have to accept “actuarial reductions” in their pensions amounting to thousands of pounds. The present scheme would be closed to new members from next year, leading to a two-tier workforce. Because the new scheme would be vastly inferior, it would
lead to fewer workers joining it, and therefore demands for more cuts in the future.

The deal says we’d be consulted on all these changes, but the union is required to say it supports them in principle.


Royal Mail wants trials of flexible working in every area. And bosses are demanding we accept variation of hours by 30 minutes a day on a ‘swings and roundabouts’ basis. That means you can be asked to do 30 minutes extra today, and you won't get overtime. Instead you will get 30 minutes back (when traffic is light) some time in the future.

Workers can also be asked to go to ‘nearby offices’, and to do ‘other work outside their normal duties’. A delivery worker could be asked to do processing, or a driver to do deliveries. Even more changes will come if we accept this.

Start times

Delivery start time will be between 6am and 6.30am. That will affect other functions (some changes are already happening by executive action). As the flexibility scheme beds in, we’d be required to cover for each other’s holidays
and sickness. Hidden away in the deal is the abolition of most of the local agreements that have been won in the past.


Don’t believe the hype about a rise of 6.9 percent. The rise offered is 5.4 percent over two years – almost exactly 2.5 percent a year.

The £175 one-off payment on top is money from the ESOS scheme – money we’ve already earned, and that scheme will now be closed. The 1.5 percent on top of the 5.4 percent is triggered only when full flexibility has been totally

There is nothing, which guarantees no sackings. There is nothing on mail centre closures. Those who back this deal are giving up despite the members’ fury at these changes, and despite a clear willingness to keep fighting – look at the evidence of the unofficial strikes. Kick out this deal and restart the action.

What is going on?

On Tuesday the majority of the postal executive voted to call for amendments to the deal. Some voted to reject the deal even if the amendments were passed – and they were right to do so. Dave Ward will go back to Royal Mail and ask for changes. The postal executive will then vote again on the deal. They should throw it out. The real problem is that the Labour government is backing management all the way. Labour has billions for wars and the rich, but cuts for public services and those who work in them. Let’s organise alongside other unions to beat Brown.

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 18 2007 10:27

Joined: 11-02-07
Oct 18 2007 10:43
Mike Harman wrote:
Well I've been jumping in all over the place, making it very clear I'm not a postie, but also not holding back from giving my opinion for that reason.

Yes, I think your contributions are useful - I wasn't intending to criticise.

Mike Harman wrote:
We're all facing these attacks and a fair number on there are quite aware that they're in the front line of it at the moment and the outcome of their dispute will have a knock-on effect on the rest of the UK. I think it's also worth making it obvious that there are actually people who support the strikes who aren't the usual trot suspects (who are also on there cut and pasting articles from SWP and PR all over the place and trying to 'build rank and file movements to reclaim the unions and break with the labour party' etc.).

If you go on just to lecture people, then yes this would be shit - and since the posters on there aren't stupid they'll call you a wanker.

Agreed. I didn't mean to tell people not to post on Royal Mail Chat - just to think before they do it. I could probably have phrased my post better.

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 18 2007 10:59

Sorry I didn't think this was aimed at me specifically and didn't take it at all personally! I just didn't think you had a good reason for not posting. The way I see it every man and his dog is telling them how to run their dispute at the moment (media, managers, government, cwu full-timers (or those who might as well be), trot groups) so it's at times like this that an angle which tries to encourage people to take control of their own struggles is needed most - since there's plenty on there quite keen to actually take that step it's more about supporting that tendency and showing that it can be 'normal' (rather than crazy, 'undisciplined' etc.) than pushing it abstractly (which'd be no better than the rank and filist/new workers party knee jerks on there).

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 18 2007 11:10

Liverpool voted to go back to work:

Had this come earlier in the week I would've been worried, but given we could be looking at tomorrow or Monday for a proper announcement, it'd seem sensible for them to get a break and save energy/cash for later rather than just allow themselves to be burned out completely. Shame they were left almost on their own though.

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 18 2007 13:45

Talks with Royal Mail will resume tomorrow

CWU have presented RM with ammended document. Royal Mail are fuming about the ammendments and have taken document back to operational managers to look over today!!

Brendan Barber of the TUC is unavailable this afternoon which is why talks will now be tomorrow!

No agreement as yet

Looks like another Friday on the steps of the TUC!!

More to follow as I get it .........

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 18 2007 17:02

Emergency PEC (postal executive committee) meeting 5pm today. edit: summoned to TUC HQ - could mean they're going to be browbeaten into accepting it without any amendments - they put a load of amendments in (I'm sure it'd be shit with them anyway), and RM said "no amendments, Friday's deal stands" - which means we yet might see a no vote, but political pressure tonight could mean all kinds of things.

There's a fuck loads of rumours on RMC now - the main one is that Royal Mail are setting up scab sorting and delivery offices in industrial estates all over the UK staffed by managers and agency staff to prepare a parallel mail service during a long dispute. There's also more executive action (i.e. measures introduced that aren't agreed by the union) coming through Monday, and a possible 'efficiency review' planned in a month.

So this might not be a slow death, it may actually just be getting started.


Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 18 2007 17:18
Royal Mail are setting up alternative mail handling depots all over the country. Romford, Dagenham, Dartford, New Southgate, Swindon, 2 in Glasgow, others, but I don't know the locations.

Branches all over the country are requesting strikes/ballots over Royal Mail taking executive action on duty times or content.

Royal Mail are not gearing up for a settlement they are preparing for constant strikes and are creating an alternative network staffed by managers and agency staff, fitted out by Romec.

Brown rang Hayes on Tuesday morning to tell him to push the deal through the PEC.

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 20 2007 15:02

OK . Deal has been voted on by PEC - 9 for 5 against. All of it on the condition that executive action is withdrawn (which may or may not include late starts and all the rest that's been pushed through since August, who knows?)

ust exchanged txts with my local rep. he said there are 14 on pec. the 5 voting against are in fact 3 who didn't think it was even worth considering and 2 who are going to campaign against the agreement. the pec are adamant that it will only be carried if all ea is withdrawn including later starts and in his opinion rm will never back down on that bit. he says pec meeting again on monday with the likely outcome rolliing strikes announced for the week after. i think that if 5 on the pec are so strongly against the deal it must be pretty awful

Ed's picture
Joined: 1-10-03
Oct 20 2007 16:16

Sussex students pass motion in support of posties, in response to use of students as scabs by Royal Mail. More on that here.

Catch, I'd be interested in hearing your opinions on this. Seems an amalgamation of discussions about orientation towards politicos, union motions and students. The big three-way!

wraeth's picture
Joined: 18-05-07
Oct 21 2007 14:17
wraeth wrote:
Smacks of Brown quietly getting hold of B Barber and quietly telling him to sort it. *sniffs at faint smell of wee in air*
Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 21 2007 20:43

and it starts:

wraeth's picture
Joined: 18-05-07
Oct 21 2007 23:31

Good for them.

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 22 2007 09:49
22 October 2007
Postal Strike Latest

Following further discussion over the weekend, the union’s executive are meeting at 12 noon today (Monday). We’ll provide a detailed statement following this meeting.

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 22 2007 09:51
wraeth wrote:
Good for them.

Good for them, maybe. I feel sorry for any actual postal workers who turn up to it though.

Joined: 11-02-07
Oct 22 2007 09:55
Mike Harman wrote:
wraeth wrote:
Good for them.

Good for them, maybe. I feel sorry for any actual postal workers who turn up to it though.

New thread to discuss the rank and file meeting here.

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 22 2007 13:19
22 October 2007

The CWU’s Postal Executive has today (Monday) ratified the national agreement between Royal Mail and the CWU and a national joint statement.

The agreement settles all areas of the dispute and will be subject to an individual members ballot.

Full details of the agreement will be available from the web later today.

Billy Hayes has unilaterally pulled all the local delivery strikes for next weekend before an agreement has been reached. Why take that pressure point off. Who is pulling his strings.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Joined: 14-03-06
Oct 22 2007 13:53
BBC News wrote:
"This is a good deal for customers and the taxpayer," said Business Secretary John Hutton.

"It will ensure the Royal Mail can continue to modernise and provide services customers want in a competitive market."

so, basically Royal Mail have got everything they wanted. what a surprise. interesting what happens next (wildcats etc)...

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 22 2007 14:24

Some resignation to it being voted in on RMC, although no-one's seen what's in it yet, so if it's really bad we could see wildcats. Also interesting if the local strikes have been called off what effect that might have. Far too much on RMC about getting rid of leadership/democratising union for 'next time' which is basically conceding defeat to RM. Difficult to call as usual.

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Oct 22 2007 16:38

agreement in full. Not read yet. I'm about to go offline for a couple of hours, but if anyone could copy and paste into a news article with like a two sentence introduction that'd be dandy.


Dear Colleague


The Postal Executive has endorsed a National Agreement with Royal Mail covering all the key areas in our dispute.

The Postal Executive also endorsed a Joint Statement entitled ‘Restoring Good Industrial/Employee Relations’.

The agreement will be placed before the membership via an individual members’ ballot. Details of the ballot timetable are currently being finalised and will be sent out in due course.

The Postal Executive has also agreed a Joint Statement on the Pension Consultation. Pensions has been decoupled from the Pay and Modernisation Agreement and given that it is a group-wide issue, will now be subject to a separate National Briefing and separate communications. Details of the Pensions Briefing will be sent out in due course.

Please find attached to this LTB the following documentation:-

 A document explaining the considerable gains achieved from the outset of the dispute.
 The Pay and Modernisation Agreement.
 The National Joint Statement ‘Restoring Good Industrial/Employee Relations.
 Details of the National Briefing.

Any enquiries on the above should be addressed to the DGS (P) department quoting reference no 60000.

Yours sincerely

Dave Ward Billy Hayes
Deputy General Secretary (P) General Secretary



It is important that CWU Branches and all Representatives consider the proposed agreement by comparison with where we started and Royal Mail’s previous proposals.

We must also recognise that the agreement gives the Union the opportunity to be at the centre of dealing with change at national and local level.

The agreement reflects the best possible negotiated settlement, taking into account the real challenges facing CWU members and the company.

Detailed below is a list of the considerable gains achieved through the dispute.


• From a starting point of no basic pay increase and just a lump sum - eventually followed by a 2.5% pay offer - we now have a 6.9% basic pay increase over 2 years (with 5.4% from October 07).

• A lump sum covering April to September of £175 (funded from the ESOS pot).

• We have decoupled any link between pay and pension reform. Pensions will now be dealt with separately as a group-wide issue and members will be balloted separately following the conclusion of the legal consultation process.

• LA’s were originally told they would not be included in the pay settlement – they will now receive the full pay offer.

• Network drivers will now receive a 2.7% increase from April 08.

• Although ESOS is closed – it will now continue accruing monies from the projects already in the scheme.

• Early shift allowance in delivery will be permanently retained.

In addition, those who had already moved to later start times as long ago as May 05 and were in receipt of MTSF payments will now retain those payments permanently.

We have also secured the option of these monies being part of a new pay package.

• Monthly pay will now be subject to further discussion in the Joint Working Group.

• Although we have not been able to move Royal Mail on the 50-50 Productivity Scheme - £400 of ColleagueShare dividend payments previously linked to achievement of unit budget - will now be payable following the successful implementation of local office plans.

• We have negotiated a further opportunity to radically overhaul and improve the whole pay and reward structure by April 08 and it will be our intention to further increase basic pay.


• Following Royal Mail’s implementation of start times we have now successfully negotiated that Saturday start times and the overall length of attendance will revert back to the previous situation.

All offices will now have the opportunity to review those changes locally.


• A Deployment Framework Agreement has been achieved on the basis of default duties; this will give our Representatives the opportunity to be fully involved.


• Royal Mail’s original position on this was the cessation of all night shifts. This has now been considerably watered down and will be dealt with through our IR procedures. Health, safety and security aspects are now covered.


• Royal Mail have now committed to agreeing with the Union a generic Deployment Framework by the end of January 2008. This specifically covers the trialling and implementation of all technology/automation.


This section has been completely redrafted and should be considered against Royal Mail’s previous proposal which was sent to every member. Unacceptable elements of Royal Mail’s proposal has been removed and replaced with a commonsense approach to new ways of working/flexibility.

The Union is now totally involved throughout the process. Implementation requires local agreements in accordance with our IR Procedures.

There are also numerous safeguards throughout the draft. These safeguards make it clear individual circumstances should always be taken into account. Furthermore, there is a clear statement that this is not about people not knowing what job they are on, or their start and finish times, from one day to the next.

• On the key issue of ‘covering for one another’ Royal Mail has now agreed this will be dealt with through a separate trial. Change will happen, we have the opportunity to input our ideas and shape that change in a way that benefits our members.

• The agreed objectives give local offices the chance to address earnings issues and ensure flexibility measures are introduced as a two-way process.

• Longs and shorts have now been confirmed as a structural change to align attendance patterns to the traffic profile. The actual attendance patterns are subject to local agreement utilising IR Procedures.

• Royal Mail has committed to introduce innovative duty pattern. This is an opportunity for the Union to develop 4 day weeks and 9 day fortnights etc.

• From Royal Mail’s original proposal for 2 hours flexibility on an individual’s start and finish time we have now agreed that this would be limited to 30 minutes. This is on the basis that individuals ‘may be asked and is not in any shape or form compulsory’. It really is about all people working with a bit of give and take and only where there are genuine operational difficulties. Again, the implementation of this is subject to local agreement.

• Working in nearby offices is now subject to local agreement with the Union. There are many offices around the country who have successfully concluded agreements that deal with this situation. This includes the ability to utilise reserves and volunteers. Working in nearby offices will be the exception rather than the norm and should only apply where there are surplus staff or genuine operational needs.


• Royal Mail has now committed, through separate Joint Working Groups, to continue to consult with the Union on all major change issues. The intention is to reach appropriate national agreements by the end of April 08.


• Previously Royal Mail has resisted any Union input into ColleagueShare. Now this agreement influences aspects of the scheme and gives us a platform to move the debate forward. The criteria of the dividend payments in years 2 and 3 will now be subject to joint review. This is in addition to the change that has been made to the year 1 £400 payment. We should continue to pursue our overall concerns around ColleagueShare as part of the debate on how employees will be rewarded in the future.


• MTSF will now be jointly reviewed, not as Royal Mail were originally insisting that the agreement should be removed.

• Door 2 Door will now be subject to separate discussions.


In order for Royal Mail to thrive as a business and to ensure that it remains able to compete effectively it is recognised that change is going to have to happen at a scale and at a pace never experienced before. Both Royal Mail and CWU are jointly committed to working together to deliver that change by agreement, continuing to protect jobs (in line with our commitments in MTSF) and provide high quality terms and conditions for all employees. Both parties recognise that a fresh start is needed and are committed to moving away from the adversarial relationships that persist in too many parts of the business. This needs to be replaced by respect for different viewpoints and a determination to work together to find common sense solutions that are mutually beneficial. This agreement lays the basis for changing how we work to ensure a successful future for the business, its employees and how the business and CWU will work together.

The agreement covers the following grades:

• OPG’s
• OSG’s
• Engineers (excluding HWDC)
• Mail Screeners
• International
• LAs
• Professional drivers (area distribution drivers)
• Professional drivers (network – see section 6)

The agreement is in four sections, the first outlining the elements relating to employee pay, benefits and job security; secondly outlining the phased approach to delivering change and flexibility, thirdly the efficiency agreement, fourthly the Network 2007 Deployment Agreement.


1.1 A non-consolidated lump sum of £175 per FT employee pro-rata for PT employees (covering the April to September period). This is funded by the ESOS pot. (Area based and Network drivers will not be eligible for the lump sum.)

1.2 October 1st 2007: A pay increase of 5.4% for all grades (except network drivers) on basic pay (including London pay ranges), weekday overtime and Scottish Distant Islands Allowance only.

1.3 Early shift allowances in delivery retained as grandfather rights (for those in receipt since April 2007), including those in receipt of equivalent MTSF payments for changes made since May 2005. We will agree how this money, and equivalent MTSF payments for early shifts, may be used going forward as part of the pay restructuring process in Joint Working Group 2 – if no satisfactory solution is found then grandfather rights will be retained. The early shift payment is ceased in delivery on agreement to pay restructuring.

1.4 To support modernisation phase one and two:

• 50:50 productivity scheme as set out in the appendix of this offer
• £400 of the potential ColleagueShares dividend payment will be made in April 2008 to offices which have completed their deployment of the agreed unit plan in Phase 2 of the modernisation process.
• The remaining potential dividend payment from ColleagueShares scheme over this year and next, split as follows:
o £400 for achievement of Group profit in 2007/08
o £200 for achievement of the local target for 2008/09.
o £200 for achievement of Group profit in 2008/09

1.5 April 2008: A 1.5% increase for all grades on basic pay (including London pay ranges), weekday overtime and Scottish Distant Islands Allowance only.

This payment will be made locally when the flexibility defined as phase 3 in section two of this agreement has been implemented.

1.6 ESOS will be closed immediately and the pot has been exhausted (subject to the ongoing joint audit) but will continue to accrue monies from the automation projects and closure plans already in the scheme at 10 October 2007.

1.7 The next pay review will be April 2009.


Change is to be shaped and implemented in four phases.

Phase 1 – Immediate Operational Changes

Start times and Network 2007
Royal Mail has introduced later start times for operational reasons. CWU note these changes. Given that there has been little or no opportunity for discussion about these changes at local level, both Royal Mail and CWU are committed to resolve any outstanding issues. Royal Mail and CWU will urgently review these arrangements at local level in line with the following:

• Henceforth the normal start times will be between 0600 and 0630

• Changes in start times should take account, as far as possible, of individual circumstances

• Saturday start times and the overall length of attendance on a Saturday will remain as before unless agreed otherwise locally

• Saturday attendances will be reviewed in the Joint Working Group (2) as part of the introduction of a new delivery model

Network 2007 will be implemented on 22 October in line with the deployment framework set out in section 6.

Nightshifts in delivery units
Increasing levels of automation has created an opportunity to make better use of indoor time in delivery. The majority of night shifts will cease by March 2008. This will be undertaken in line with normal IR procedures. Exceptions are likely to be required by City Centre units and those with a high proportion of firms deliveries. Account will, of course, be taken of individuals’ circumstances and health, safety and security issues.

Weekend working
Weekend and bank holiday work in mail centres will be focussed on time critical products (1C and Express Products). The CWU note that ROYAL MAIL will cease Sunday collections from 21st October. The impact on employees of this change will be the subject of urgent local consultation.

Phase 2 - Enabling local flexibility
In order to become a competitive and responsive business, while upholding high standards of employment, Royal Mail needs to be able to use its resources effectively, efficiently and to adapt at pace. All offices will jointly draw up an agreed plan to be implemented by the end of January 2008 to enable local flexibility.

The plan will meet the following agreed objectives:

• To provide the best possible customer service.
• To continue to offer reasonable local earnings levels.
• To improve efficiency and company profitability.
• To create a more flexible working environment where the aspirations of employees and the company can be more easily met.
• To improve the local relationship between Royal Mail and CWU.
• To actively encourage the participation of employees in supporting change.
• Effective workload alignment
• To reduce the use of agency and casual staff.

The two key strands in this modernisation package are:

• New technology – As the new £1.2 billion investment equipment is rolled out; Royal Mail is committed to providing a comprehensive training programme to ensure a safe and effective operation and improve the working environment which will provide opportunities for new ways of working. In conjunction with this, CWU and employees will be fully involved in trial activities. There will need to be a generic deployment framework agreed by Royal Mail and CWU by the end of January 2008 to deal with the trialling and implementation of all new technology and automation.

• New ways of working – Employees will be treated fairly, with respect, and will be expected to be flexible. The opportunity to perform more flexible attendance patterns will be introduced to improve alignment to workload, increase efficiency and provide a better work-life balance for employees.

The following enablers have been agreed nationally and will be deployed in each unit, to meet the above objectives. Discussion and agreement between Royal Mail and CWU representatives will take place to ensure safe, fair and sensible implementation of these taking into account local circumstances and the application where relevant of the MTSF agreement. This will be achieved in line with our agreed IR procedures, weekly resourcing meetings and the fresh approach described in the introduction to this agreement. There will be provision for review of the agreed local plans on a regular basis.

It is all about managers, reps and employees working together sensibly with a bit of give and take, applying equally to all. This is not about employees not knowing what job they are on, or when they start and finish from one day to the next. Nor is it about anyone refusing reasonable requests. Account should of course always be taken of individual circumstances.

• Longs and shorts – a structural change where the normal work pattern may be rebalanced across the week to reflect the traffic profile. For example individuals could be scheduled to work 7 hours on a Tuesday and 9 hours on a Friday. Total weekly contractual hours would not change.

• Variation of hours – Where necessary, for example when traffic volumes are unexpectedly high or resourcing issues arise, individuals may be asked and may themselves request to vary their duty times by up to 30 minutes on a swings and roundabouts basis. Again, individual circumstances will be taken into account and total weekly contractual hours would not change.

• Use of new technology – full cooperation and support for trials and subsequent deployment of new technology will take place, for example: iLSMs, walk sequencing, RDC automation, D2D automation, telemetry in area fleets, handhelds, collection handshake and materials handling. There will also be early deployment of flats automation, semi automated packet sorting and delivery method improvements.

• Efficient Summer staffing – each unit will utilise the opportunity offered by reduced traffic volumes to re-arrange responsibilities during the summer period. This will offer employees additional opportunities for leave during the same period.

• Working in nearby offices – Areas will identify and agree with the CWU locally a approach (which could include the use of volunteers and reserves) to working in nearby offices within employees’ contracted hours which will include travel times and appropriate travel and subsistence arrangements.

• Innovative Duty Structures: Units will take the opportunity to review existing duty structures and identify innovative approaches to meet the above objectives.

• Doing other work within your office: On occasions staff may be asked to undertake other work outside their normal duties. Employees would be appropriately trained, properly equipped and safe ways of working will always be in place.

Phase 3 – Transforming the way we work

Both parties are committed to introducing new ways of working throughout the business by April 2008. In order to achieve this there will be a trial in four offices per AGM area covering the following:
- New arrangements to cover for one another and develop sensible options to absorb absences, and increased workload, where time exists within normal hours
- To ensure all paid work hours are utilised
- To creates a working environment where employees, CWU reps and managers feel valued and motivated.
This flexibility could also facilitate arrangements for employees to make their own arrangements to cover and swap duties (subject to approval from their manager) – within contracted hours, providing quality of service is not adversely affected and there are no additional costs to the business.
Local ideas will be generated, agreed and deployed through trials by early January 2008. The trials will be nationally evaluated to identify the widest range of options for national roll out.
Local offices will be entitled to the 1.5% pay increase from 7 April 2008 subject to deployment of these new arrangements. Any offices where deployment is deferred will receive the additional 1.5% from the date of deployment

5. PHASE 4
To assist development of a fourth Phase of Royal Mail modernisation, consultation and negotiation will now take place in the following working groups. The intention is for these joint working groups to develop national agreements, where appropriate, by no later than the end of April 2008, to be deployed as soon as possible thereafter.

Joint Working Group 1 – Relationships. will consider how to improve industrial relations within Royal Mail, including arrangements for negotiation, consultation and decision-making, the management of change, personnel procedures and practices covering issues like attendance, conduct and performance management.

Joint Working Group 2 – New Reward Framework will examine pay simplification possibilities (within the existing pay bill), a new pay and reward package, different pay models, reviewing on what the local element of the ColleagueShare dividend for years 2 and 3 will be based and MTSF. The Group will also consider how to implement monthly pay. It will also review annualised hours or banked hours, flexible working, and possible changes to attendance patterns that could both benefit the business and employees and is in line with the company’s family-friendly policy. The group will decide whether it needs to operate sub groups for any element of this.

Joint Working Group 3 – Future working. This group will look at the business’ future mail centre / delivery / network strategies and have an opportunity to input to them.. It will develop proposals on how the business will best capture the benefits of new technology, whilst continuing to consider the implications for job security, and job design and the new delivery model. It will also look at the strategies needed to grow and develop the business in a changing, competitive environment



With effect from the 1st of January 2008, legislation will limit all 7.5 ton vehicles to a maximum of 56 MPH. This alone will slow down connections in parts of the ‘Network’ and thus change the current ‘workplan’ in regards to it being fit for purpose.

Against that backdrop and the joint commitment in the ‘RTD Agreement’, that Network and Distribution functions need to be reliable, economic, efficient, flexible, transparent and on time every time, the business has conducted a total redesign of the ‘Network’, which has at its heart a £20 million per annum investment in a new ‘Air Network’.

The impact of this redesign affects the number of 7.5 tons road services required, the introduction of more double deck trailers, revised hub operations and later/heavier arrival patterns at Mail Centres and Delivery Offices etc.

Because of the recent difficulties between Royal Mail and the CWU, the revised ‘Network’ proposals and implementation plans are at a very advanced state with no agreement in place.

The revised ‘Air Network’ slots drive the necessity for change from the 22nd October 2007. In the interest of resolution to the national dispute and in recognition of immovable deadlines generated by air slots and legislation and a mature reflection of Royal Mail and CWU aims and objectives, the following emergency approach has been agreed.


• The full assumed impact of the redesigned Network on a site by site basis will be shared with the CWU at national level with immediate effect.

• All negotiations will be conducted in line with the National RTD Professional Drivers Agreement (PDA) between Royal Mail and the CWU.

• Immediate local negotiations will commence in regard to the current proposals and wherever possible the agreed final duties will be introduced on 22 October 2007.

• Where local agreement cannot be reached in time, a default set of duties will be introduced pending final local agreement.

• Any problems identified regarding the above should be identified with immediate affect and solution sought inline with the processes defined in line with the IR Framework.

• The current preference exercise dates will be extended until 17 October and to allow duty selection in line with usual local arrangements. Royal Mail will attempt to accommodate the wishes of anyone who has not expressed a preference, but their chances of receiving their preferred option may be reduced.

• The process as defined above will apply to both network and Area distribution.

• Final proposals will attempt to retain existing VOC resourcing profiles and where possible this will also apply to any ‘default’ proposals.

• A National Joint Working Party will be set up to review the effectiveness of this change and any potential improvements. This process will be supplemented by local joint reviews. The reviews are not intended to result in wholesale change, but to give both parties the opportunity to refine and improve affected duties.

• The nature of these changes are such that the MTSF Agreement will apply.

Network drivers basic pay will be increased by 2.7% from 7 April 2008, flowing through to weekday additional hours.

£400 of the potential Colleague Shares dividend payment will be made in April 2008 to VOCs provided we have co-operation on full deployment of the Network 2007 changes through the process above.


Royal Mail and CWU recognise that the scale of the recent dispute has the potential to damage relationships between managers, reps and employees.

Everyone wants to put the dispute behind us and we are all committed to restoring good industrial and employee relations at all levels.

All of us are committed to treating everybody and each other with respect.

The following process will urgently be deployed and overseen by GM’s and CWU Divisional Representatives.

1. All relevant managers/CWU interfaces will meet to calm situations down and find sensible solutions to any local issues.

Everybody should work together to bring about a fresh start in the sprit of the proposed national agreement.

2. All managerial executive action notified to take place on and from 24 October 2007 will be returned to stage 3 of the IR Framework and any disagreements previously at Stage 3 will be returned to Stage 2 for resolution. All parties will work together in a positive way to resolve outstanding issues within the spirit of the national agreement and to facilitate this any CWU representatives who have had their facility time suspended will have it restored.

3. Any revisions introduced during week commencing 22 October will be reviewed in line with the IR procedures and will still qualify for the 50:50 productivity scheme as long as they are within the terms of the national agreement and that there is full co-operation between all parties.

4. The CWU will withdraw all current and proposed industrial action relating to the national dispute.

5. Any Network 07 changes affecting processing will be dealt with in line with the National Deployment Framework and reviewed via normal IR Procedures.


A National Briefing will be held on Thursday 25th October at Friends House, Euston Road, London NW1, commencing at 11.00 hrs (tea and coffee served from 10.30 a.m.

Those entitled to attend this Briefing will be:-

• CWU Regional Secretaries
• Divisional Representatives
• Technical Services Representatives
• All Royal Mail Area Reps (Delivery, Processing and Distribution)
• Area Admin Representatives
• 1 Branch Representative

The travel and subsistence arrangements for this National Briefing will be in line with the advice and guidance issued to branches in LTB506/04.

Steven.'s picture
Joined: 27-06-06
Oct 22 2007 17:14

One thing that looks significant to me in there at least is the pay rise of 6.9% over 2 years - this is way over the govt's 2.5% public sector pay cap, which they'd previously said they wouldn't budge from. It's tricky to work out exactly what's what, but that would be good for public servants/local govt workers in dispute over pay now...

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