Strategic Involvement (SI) Meeting
A report of this weeks SI meeting is on display on the union board and the Together for Growth board outside the Operation Support room. To give a more in depth report on some of the subjects discussed that would be of interest to our members there was a lengthy discussion around special leave in particular the recent issues that have been highlighted by reps. The responsibility of the authorisation process of special leave was changed from the book room manager to the shift managers. Now the process is going back to how it was with the book room manager dealing with special leave requests. The special leave requests granted by shift managers in April which were brought to our attention will now stand as they were. Ongoing and any future special leave applications including doctors and hospital appointments should be taken on there own merits and managed more efficiently in line with the special leave policy document, which means more detail of circumstances will be required with the application forms. All special leave ‘A’ requests will need to be authorised by the MCM.
On safety again it was noted that some employees do not follow the safe systems of work (SSOW) when handling Yorks. Managers should challenge any employee not following the SSOW for the handling of Yorks.
Processing Duty Structure
The closing date for the return of the preference exercise forms the CWU asked for the members of staff whose current duties have been proposed to be changed by the business in the duty review was Wednesday. We are now gathering the data to form part of our counter duty proposals to present back to the business.
Processing is now responsible for the funding of the distribution hall work which includes the loading and unloading of trailers and housekeeping. It is important that the duty structure includes the appropriate hours at the right times needed for the hall to support the processing operation.
It is hoped that the counter proposals will be ready by the end of next week for the business to look at in preparation for the processing reps meeting scheduled for the 6th July.
The plan is for negotiations to go well around the proposals and the set to be agreed by the middle of July, meaning resourcing against the set can commence in preparation for implementation for the middle of August just in time for the autumn pressure period.
It will always be the policy of the CWU to negotiate and agree a duty set that has the minimum amount of disruption to our members whilst ensuring a robust duty structure that will secure the future of the mail centre.
Reconciling GP, fit to work OHS advice
It was brought to our attention that the business has produced a new policy document: Reconciling GP, fit to work OHS advice.
Management have interpreted the advice given in the policy to mean that an OHS consultant can phone a member of staff on sick leave covered by a GP’s sick note, if they think they should be fit for work and override a GP’s diagnosis. A cutting from the policy highlighted in red below clearly contradicts the cutting taken from the Joint RM/CWU National Attendance Procedure Agreement highlighted in maroon below.
Where the manager receives a report from the Fit for Work service and the advice differs from that provided by OHS, the OHS report and advice should take precedence; because this is the preferred route for obtaining occupational health advice for Royal Mail Group and OHS provide tailored advice for Royal Mail Group due to their knowledge of the business.
What happens when Occupational Health Service and the GP differ on fitness to attend work?
On occasion, the GP opinion regarding fitness to work may differ from that of the Occupational Health Service. In the vast majority of instances this can be resolved by the employee talking further with their GP, who may not be aware of the opportunity to modify the employee’s role. If this does not resolve the situation the Occupational Health practitioner should contact the GP to ensure that such opportunities can be explored. If this does not resolve the issue for further advice, please contact the HR Advice Centre.
The branch made CWU HQ aware of this and asked the question if the new policy document supersedes the attendance procedure. The response was NO! and CWU HQ has written to the business asking them to withdraw their policy and to adhere to the National Attendance Procedure Guidelines.
Local management have been made aware of this.
Para: To be noted.
Annual Leave Caps
Rumours have been going around saying the Production Control Manager has put a cap on all leave requests through the summer. This is not the case. Each shift’s annual leave cap is divided into the work areas, however there is obviously only a certain amount of total staff allowed off in any one week per shift.
The CWU negotiated in 2.3 of the 2015/16 annual leave agreement all staff to be guaranteed their first two weeks choice and leave caps will be imposed after that. In some weeks, in order to guarantee the first two weeks choice it meant going over the leave caps in certain work areas and reaching the shift ceiling cap of staff allowed off. It may be the case that certain work area caps have not been breached but overall the shift cap has. These weeks are predominately the most popular weeks i.e. school holidays. This is why it is important for staff to return their annual leave requests at the initial process and prioritise their first two weeks choice.
Para: To be noted.
Area Processing Representative
Date 18th June 2015