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