Network 15 Revision

Colleagues will be aware that we have been in discussion with the business for some time regarding a further Network review and will recall that we resisted the business’ proposals for a second Network Revision in the latter part of 2014. Instead we called for the creation of a “Heatmap” detailing the levels of operational change across the VOC Network since the previous revision in April 2014.

Following analysis of the outputs of that exercise, coupled with the commitments in the National Joint Statement on Growth, Efficiency and Incentives on efficiency revision activity, it has been agreed that a National revision is now appropriate. The revision will mirror those previously agreed for all National Network reviews since 2009 and run Nationally using Paragon. Equally it will include all VOC’s including any mini VOC’s created as a result of the recent 17t Vehicle Deployment Agreement.

Against that backdrop, attached for the information of Branches, is the agreed Joint Statement that has been reached with the business in regard to the Network 15 Review process. Would Branches please ensure that our Network representatives are made aware of this communication as soon as possible.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Terry Pullinger, Assistant Secretary, e-mail: or quoting reference number: 233.11.

Yours sincerely

Terry Pullinger

Assistant Secretary




The Agenda for Growth Agreement commits both Royal Mail and the CWU to working together to transform business operations, building on the mutual interest processes developed through the Business Transformation Agreement 2010. Throughout the period of the BT2010 Agreement both parties worked to develop and establish improved, constructive working relationships, effective interfaces and the continued development of a mutual interest culture at all levels within RM Logistics. A key indication of the effectiveness of these efforts has been the successful deployment of National Network Revisions. The National Joint Statement, ‘Growth, Efficiency and Incentives’, committed both parties to the deployment of a further National Network Revision. This agreement aims to build on the successes and refine the processes used for the Business Transformation Network revisions based on our collective experience.


Building on the successes of our previous National Network revisions, we propose using the same staged approach.

Royal Mail Logistics and the CWU agree that we have a collective interest in reaching a successful deployment of this Network revision. Both parties recognise that if a proposed target deployment date of August 2015 is to be met, that activity will have to be undertaken at pace and will require a positive and pragmatic approach which balances immediate operational housekeeping whilst not reducing future ambitions and growth opportunities.

Against that backdrop this review will have a wider reporting remit as it moves through the relative stages to ensure that all proposed change is indeed consistent with wider ambitions and growth activities as understood during the review. The following staged process for the progression of this revision activity has been agreed as follows:

It is agreed that this review will be based on the current RDC and VOC Network, including any established 17t mini VOC’s. However, any adjustment to the external customer requirements or internal business operational footprint during the review would have to be factored in and considered in respect of a robust Network operation and employee arrangements. Both parties reaffirm that the revisions will support both current workplan arrangements and our joint Ambitions & Growth agendas.

The National 17t deployment agreement articulated how the National map of our Network operations is changing with the greater use of larger vehicles, ‘O’ licence requirements and geographically efficient solutions driving more pragmatic vehicle deployments. As a result the mini VOC concept has emerged and to provide clarity any changes/proposals emerging from the review which affect a mini VOC will be considered and dealt with by the local mini VOC Representative. Equally this revision will ensure that where such solutions are either in place or required that the employees providing any 17t and above services are on the full Professional Network Driver terms and conditions.

Where any workload proposed for inclusion in the review has migrated from existing Regional Logistics/Area Distribution services Royal Mail Logistics commit to identify this to the CWU Nationally at Stage 2 of the process and equally ensure that concurrent notice of the intention to transfer the workload is given in the appropriate functions to ensure that timely discussions can take place in line with the IR Framework, ‘Future of Area Distribution’ and 17t deployment agreements.

The National Joint Statement on Growth, Efficiency and Incentives established an Employee Profit Related Scheme covering the period from April 2014 until April 2015. However both parties recognise that further discussions may consider alternative incentive arrangements going forward. The conclusion of those discussions and the deployment of any agreed outcome may not compliment the potential deployment dates of this initiative.

Against that backdrop it is agreed that the pragmatic solution is to enable a without prejudice situation, which allows for the progression and deployment of operational requirements and records the operational savings/efficiencies achieved so that accurate information will be available if required in the wider efficiency discussions.

It is also recognised that the recording and sharing of this information will enable the commencement of the process of developing a greater understanding between managers, representatives and employees of operational costs and the contribution that can be made.

The Process

The process will be conducted over 4 Stages.

Where there is a concern or issue regarding the interpretation and/or the application of this agreement then the issue should be referred to the Network Working Group (NWG) for assistance.

The role of the CWU Representatives within these processes is fully recognised, as is the requirement for appropriate release in order for them to meaningfully prepare, participate and obtain the views of their members. It is agreed that in line with the IR Framework, CWU Representatives undertaking this work will not suffer financial loss. To this end it is agreed that local managers will facilitate this release and that all reasonable requests for release will be agreed.

Management and CWU Representatives will agree locally, on a weekly basis the period of the release required.


1. Launch of a joint local data gathering exercise and collection of current state data at each VOC/mini VOC. This activity should provide a robust baseline as a reference for analysis of the Paragon outputs.

A non-binding preference exercise to be run at appropriate VOC’s/mini VOC’s as determined by the Network Working Group.

2. The NWG will carry out generic analysis of Paragon “first cut” outputs; identify high impact or problem sites. At this stage the Group will look to aid the development of local, area and national scope/solutions which may form a counter proposal for deployment. Where appropriate the group will consider the utilisation of Paragon in the formulation of such options. The NWG will then make a representation to the National Logistics Steering Group (NLSG) regarding the status of issues. An agreed National deployment date will be targeted. It is anticipated that the deployment date will allow sufficient time for local negotiations and re-signs to conclude prior to deployment in line with above.

3. Local negotiations to take place in line with existing agreements.

4. NWG to commence work on future National Network revision process and approach for recommendation to NLSG.

Stage One

Local managers, local planners and CWU Representatives will jointly collate and sign off a site specific information pack. The scope and details of the data to be gathered will be agreed with the NWG in line with Network 12. This information will be used to assist the planning process and provide a reliable reference point for the assessment of first cut plans and deployment issues.

In addition a non-binding preference exercise may be deployed where appropriate.

The expectation is that this process should be concluded over a two week period.

It is anticipated that the planning for this revision will be based on the current Network operation as defined in the data capture exercise at Stage One, and does not encompass work currently performed by Area Distribution other than work that has been agreed to transfer via separate Area Distribution discussions.

Stage Two

The NWG will review the first cut planning outputs to assess and where possible anticipate potential problem sites and look at the potential solutions. These potential solutions may not necessarily be restricted by individual unit or area boundaries but will always seek to maximise business efficiency whilst reconciling job and standard of living security. It is expected to conclude this process in two weeks where a status report/update will be advised to the NLSG. This stage will also include a ‘check in’ session with the NLSG to ensure Ambition and Growth activity is not being compromised by the suggested first cut planning.

Stage Three

Local negotiations will commence in line with this agreed revision process and the IR Framework including the use of mediation as appropriate. The NWG will support this process and be available to help conclude local/area solutions.

A traffic light process will be deployed to monitor progress and identify at the earliest opportunity potential problem sites. Implementation of the revisions at all sites will take place on the same day coordinated by the NWG.

This negotiation process should be concluded at pace within two weeks in line with the IR Framework. Re-signs will then commence at all sites to be concluded by the National implementation date. Re-signs should be conducted in line with the process contained in Annex A.

Stage Four

The NWG will review the effectiveness of the above process and assess opportunities to refine the approach for future revision activity.

The methodology for this piece of work will be based on the ACAS guide to problem solving and will allow relevant expertise to be used where the NWG agree it would be beneficial.

When a joint recommendation has been developed it will be jointly presented to the NLSG for ratification and agreement. The process will then become the agreed approach to Network revisions going forward.

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.


Euan McMurdo Terry Pullinger

Director Logistics Assistant Secretary

Royal Mail CWU


Date: 21 May 2015

Annex A

Network Revision ‘Programme of Works’ – Re-sign Process

When Stage 3 of this Joint Statement has been achieved arrangements should be made where necessary to commence a re-sign of duties.

Where agreed duty structures at any site have resulted in a surplus being declared and people’s processes at such sites have identified transferees or where a transfer to another VOC has been agreed then these individuals should be included in re-signs at the receiving office, even if this is in advance of their substantive move.

Where the re-sign process can be completed in full prior to the national implementation date, all individuals will take up their new duty/rotation from that date.

Contingency Arrangements

While it is anticipated that the National implementation date will allow sufficient time to conclude the re-sign process, past experience has indicated that circumstances can occur where re-signs run past the implementation date. In such circumstances the following contingency arrangements should apply.

Where due to annual leave a full re-sign cannot be completed prior to the National implementation date the following process should apply.

 Normal re-sign arrangements should progress until process stalls due to leave commitments. On the National implementation date those individuals who have successfully selected a duty/rotation as part of the re-sign will take it up.

 All remaining individuals should participate in a temporary resourcing process. This may take the form of either a best match exercise placing individuals on attendances similar to their current duties.


by individuals selecting from the remaining available duties following the implementation of the revision and thereafter on a weekly basis in seniority order until the conclusion of the full re-sign.

 The exact nature and application of the temporary resourcing process should be agreed locally.

 The re-sign process will continue as individuals return to work with subsequent successful applicants taking up their duty/rotation from the start of the next week prior to the next temporary resourcing process

The temporary resourcing process should be progressed as a joint initiative to enable re-signs to be completed in the most expedient manner and to fully assist in the temporary resourcing process.

Notwithstanding the contingencies detailed above the efforts of all parties should be focused upon completing the re-sign in advance of the new duty structures being deployed.

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