GOVERNMENT PENSION CHANGES – APRIL 2015
Branches will be aware that the government have legislated for a number of changes related to pensions being introduced as from April 2015. These changes applied to certain types of pension arrangements and are designed to provide a greater level of choice, access and flexibility in how the pensions are paid.
Attached, for your information and circulation to representatives is a Reps Brief, which has been prepared in conjunction with our Actuarial Advisors, First Actuarial.
Any enquiries on the above should be addressed to the Deputy General Secretary (Postal).
Yours sincerely Dave Ward Deputy General Secretary (P)
Election of STUC Equality Conference (s) Delegations – 2015
The NEC has agreed the 2015 election arrangements for the National delegations listed above. Accordingly please find enclosed the regulations and nomination forms for these elections.
The details of the STUC Equality conferences are as follows:
2/3 November, Dundee
STUC Black Worker’s
To Be Confirmed
STUC Disabled Workers
21/22 November, Glasgow
16/17 May, Glasgow
The Timetable for the elections is as follows:
NOMINATIONS OPEN:27 MARCH 2015
NOMINATIONS CLOSE:10 APRIL 2015 (14:00)
DESPATCH BALLOT PAPERS:14 APRIL 2015
BALLOT CLOSES:28 APRIL 2015(14:00)
Senior Deputy General Secretary
To: Branches with POSTAL Members
Sunday Services – Delivery and Enquiry Offices
Branches and Representatives will be aware of the national trial currently taking place regarding the above, and as reported at the recent Unit Reps briefings we are involved in ongoing discussionsregarding the trial.
However we have agreed to an extension of the current trial so that it will now run until 28th June 2015 to allow more time for the discussions to take place and reach an acceptable way forward.
All existing terms and conditions agreed for the trial will continue during the extension.
RE: Future of Romec
Further to LTB 078/2015 we attach a joint statement on the work of the independently chaired Royal Mail/CWU/Unite review to date and the next steps. As the statement indicates, the end of the six week period originally agreed for the review the parties had agreed to a second phase of discussions, with no predetermined date for conclusion. This will enable a further and more detailed joint analysis of the options. The objective remains to reach an agreed conclusion.
The talks to date have been frank and open and there seems to be a genuine willingness to explore the CWU proposal of Royal Mail self delivery of Facilities Management engineering and cleaning services through a wholly Royal Mail owned subsidiary company. Whilst our members in Romec are anxious for the uncertainty about the future of the company to be resolved, clearly we must take the opportunity of further detailed discussions to secure the best outcome for our Romec members.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Branches and Representatives for their expressions of solidarity and support for Romec members – please ensure your Romec members are aware of the content of the joint statement and the ongoing commitment of the union to secure a solution which safeguards their interests.
Any enquiries should be addressed to Ray Ellis’s department, quoting reference PTC/RE/dj/335. Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or Bob Gibson’s Office, quoting reference 120. Email address: email@example.com or Mstewart@cwu.org
Ray Ellis, Bob Gibson CWU Assistant Secretary CWU Assistant Secretary
To: All Branches
SPYING ON CWU MEMBERS
Following revelations earlier this month that CWU members were among those spied on by the police involved in blacklisting, an EDM has been tabled in parliament on the issue calling for an inquiry. We are encouraging branches and members to ask their MPs to sign this EDM before parliament rises.
Early Day Motion (EDM) 899 is entitled ‘Covert surveillance of trade unions’ and was laid down by Labour MP John McDonnell on 20 March. It calls for the remit of the judge-led inquiry into the abuse of women by under-cover police officers to be extended to include “the involvement of state agencies in the operation of blacklisting and the covert surveillance of lawful trade union activities”.
The motion reads:
‘That this House is deeply concerned by the revelations of Peter Francis, former member of the Metropolitan Police Force’s Special Demonstrations Squad, in relation to the unit’s covert state surveillance of trade unions and their members, including Unison, the Fire Brigades Union, the Communication Workers Union, National Union of Teachers, and the construction workers union UCATT, together with the family of Stephen Lawrence, anti-racist groups, civil society organisations and political campaigners; welcomes the judge-led inquiry into the abuse of women by undercover police officers; calls for the remit of that inquiry to include the involvement of state agencies in the operation of blacklisting and the covert surveillance of lawful trade union activities; further welcomes the offer of Mr Francis to provide further evidence; and calls on the Home Secretary to offer whistleblowers immunity from prosecution under the Official Secrets Act in order to encourage people to come forward and disclose essential information in the public interest without fear of criminal charges being brought against them.’
We welcome the EDM because we believe it is important that these latest revelations of state snooping on trade unionists aren’t swept under the carpet. In order to get to the bottom of these allegations we need an independent, open inquiry. There isn’t long until parliament rises so we’re asking our branches and members to contact their MPs this week to ask them to sign EDM 899. Whilst this is a short window of opportunity it all helps to raise the profile of this shadowy issue.
Ex-undercover police officer turned whistleblower, Peter Francis, admitted to spying on CWU members – among other trade unionists – in a statement read out at the book launch of ‘Blacklisted’ on 12 March.
We are currently considering how to find out more details on this revelation. Being a trade unionist is not a crime and for the state to spy on our members is a disgrace considering we live in a democracy. Once we have investigated the extent of these claims we will determine next steps we will though support any members who think they may have been victims of blacklisting.
Any enquiries regarding this Letter to Branches should be addressed to the Senior Deputy General Secretary Department on telephone number 020 8971 7237, or email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Deputy General Secretary
All Postal Branches
Ipswich Mail Centre
At recent National and Area CWU Representative Briefings it has been reported that the issue of the future of Ipswich Mail Centre was to be the subject of the first external mediation process as detailed in the ‘Agenda for Growth, Stability and Long Term Success Agreement’.
Much interest was expressed in knowing the outcome of the process and we are pleased to announce that an agreement was reached with the external mediator’s assistance but without him having to make recommendations because of a lack of consensus.
The agreement reached (attached) is both progressive and very current, and is we believe a credit to both the Industrial Stability and Growth Agenda commitments made by Royal Mail and the CWU. Clearly the opportunity has been created to genuinely assess a totally Inward Mail Centre operation and tangibly move forward some growth ideas, and hopefully it will give our members in Ipswich some clarity and purpose for future operations in Ipswich.
We would like to place on record the department’s thanks to Karl Mackie CBE the external mediator for his assistance and the invaluable knowledge and hard work of Barry Jennings, Divisional Representativeand Nick Loube, Area Processing Representative, in developing the opportunity that the agreement affords.
Joint Statement on Ipswich Mail Centre
This Joint Statement has been produced to inform all interested parties that a unique agreement has been reached on the future of Ipswich Mail Centre which enables a degree of immediate operational clarity whilst also embracing tangible joint growth agenda activity.
This is an historic moment in our joint aspiration to develop a genuine mutual interest culture as it presented the first challenge for our agreed external mediation process.
Having been through the full engagement process as detailed in the ‘Refining the Future Processing Footprint’ and the mediation stages of the ‘National Joint Statement – Growth, Efficiency and Incentives’ Agreement, both parties are pleased to report that an enabling Agreement has been reached.
The attached Agreement is progressive and representative of our immediate challenges to reconcile efficient operations, provide excellent quality of service and develop new products and services to sustain revenue growth and employment security. It is our joint aspiration that this agreed way forward will enable activity in Ipswich to inform national thinking going forward.
Whilst this joint statement offers an early viewing of the agreement, we can also report that joint communications are under way with the local Ipswich team to explain the Agreement in more detail and also move at pace on the agreed commitments.
Both parties agree that this Agreement is in line with the ‘Agenda for Growth’ principles and the target of a mutual interest culture.
Ian Jones Terry Pullinger
Chief of Staff – RMG OperationsAssistant Secretary
23rd March 2015
Agreement between Royal Mail Group and the CWU Regarding the future of mail processing at Ipswich Mail Centre
Ipswich Mail Centre became the subject of consultation on the future of the mail processing facility back in November 2012. That process was paused whilst discussions took place on formulating the ‘Agenda for Growth Agreement’ and reconvened when the ‘Refining the Future Processing Footprint Agreement’ was concluded in December 2013.
Since that time, we have jointly considered the future of mail processing at Ipswich in the spirit of the new agreements and with the aspiration of developing a mutual interest solution. This agreed way forward – which follows externally mediated negotiations – has been accepted as the pragmatic direction of travel. It provides the framework for moving forward with certain aspects of the respective proposals from Royal Mail Group (RMG) and the CWU immediately. Moreover, it allows the headroom to use the Ipswich facility to test and evaluate suitable growth opportunities for more radical and diversified products and services, whilst also evaluating our existing or revised operational pipeline models against the changing market environment. Any trials will be subject to Ipswich Mail Centre being deemed by both parties to be a suitable location for such activity.
The ‘Refining the Future Processing Footprint Agreement’ recognised that there will always be the need to respond to market conditions, new products and services, and technological advances. It also carried the understanding that the processing footprint would invest in both new and current estate assets.
This consultation has coincided with serious growth agenda activity which has seen both RMG and the CWU come forward with product and work plan design potential. Equally, competition and customer demands, in respect of both the processing and delivery windows, are driving a re-focus on our operation and the product offering.
All of the above has been factored into the consideration of the future usage of the Ipswich site for mail processing activity, recognising the need for flexibility to respond to exceptionally rapid change in the UK postal market.
The Immediate Solution
Against this backdrop, and in the interest of developing a staged approach to the future of mail processing at the Ipswich site, the following mutual interest approach has been agreed:
Both parties agree that this continuing proof of concept development approach is a sincere and genuine process which is supported by the ‘Agenda for Growth’ principles and the target mutual interest culture.
Any questions of interpretation, implementation, or application of this agreed way forward shall be referred to the signatories of this agreement for resolution via the IR Framework and the new industrial stability process.
Ian Jones Terry Pullinger
23rd March 2015
20th March 2015
To: All Branches with Postal Members
ROYAL MAIL GROUP PAY – APRIL 2015
All postal Branches, Representatives and members will be aware the third year pay increase is due in April 2015. In our agreement this was specified at 2.8%, although there was the potential for either party to trigger a review of this if inflation over the period January 2015 to March 2015 was either 0.5% higher or lower than 2.8%. In January inflation stood at 1.1%.
This week a meeting took place with the Chief Executive and it became clear the company was considering triggering the review clause. We explained that whilst we recognised they could trigger a review, it was crucial they took into account the overall situation, particularly the efforts of CWU members in continuing to embrace change and improve efficiency, often in difficult circumstances. The company stated they would consult their Board and reflect on the situation.
I have now received a letter from the Chief Executive confirming that the company will pay the 2.8% in full. This will also flow through to overtime, Scheduled Attendance and allowances, including London Weighting.
Given the uncertainty over the review clause, the company has advised there will be a short delay in the programming of their payroll systems and the pay increase will be implemented mid April, backdated to the first week in April.
I am sure CWU members will recognise this represents a good outcome and that in recent years whilst many workers have suffered pay freezes, we have continued to deliver on pay.
Please ensure the content of this LTB is circulated to workplaces. Any enquiries on the above LTB should be addressed to the DGS (P) Department.
Deputy General Secretary (P)
February 2015 Income/Expenditure
Balances correct at close of business 28th February 2015
|Other Income||£39.72||Computer Software||£11.99|
|+ Opening Balance||£37,903.58||Postage||£7.15|
|Death Grant Benefit||£1,953.00|
|Travel & Subs||£1,660.09|
We have recorded a surplus of £7,200.81 for February. This is almost entirely due to the Death Grant Benefit payments paid back to us by CWU HQ which totalled over £5,000 (see Rebate Breakdown sheet). As you can see, this was more than our entire expenditure for February.
Travel & Subsistence was slightly higher than last month due to the travel costs in sending your Reps to the CWU National Briefing in London.
The venue hire costs were for the AGM at Peterborough Bowls Club (£50.00). The remaining £117.00 was the cost of the Branch agreeing to sponsor the hire of the John Clare Theatre at Peterborough Central Library for the recent showing of the documentary ‘Still The Enemy Within’.
Our other expenses were for our monthly payment to the Benevolent Fund, seminar attendance costs and accommodation for the forthcoming National Pensioners Convention.
February Rebate Breakdown
|Rebate – New||15 New Members||£106.20|
|Rebate – Current||1,844 Members||£6,829.61|
|Rebate – Retired||277 Members||£364.35|
|Death Grant Returns||7 Returns||£5,150.00|
|Other||Youth Conf. Accomm||£90.00|
|CWU HQ Deduction||Postage||£8.14|
|CWU HQ Deduction||Defence Fund||£73.00|
|CWU HQ Deduction||Regional Committee||£73.00|
|CWU HQ Deduction||Women’s Committee||£18.25|
|CWU HQ Deduction||Learning Committee||£18.25|