POST OFFICE: FUTURE OF THE POST OFFICE, JOB SECURITY & PENSIONS – INDUSTRIAL ACTION AND POSTCARD CAMPAIGN
All reports received regarding the strike on Saturday 3rd December indicated it was successful overall. The senior managers who were dispatched to work in the Crown Office Network on the first two strike occasions did not cover the action on Saturday. This meant Crown Offices that had been kept open on previous strike days were on this occasion closed. This strike action focused primarily on the Crown network as the vast majority of our members in Supply Chain work Monday-Friday as there are no cash deliveries to Post Offices on Saturday. Also our Admin grades are generally Monday-Friday duties with the exception of the Customer Helpline based in Chesterfield and the call centre above Caernarfon Crown Office. For the third occasion running, Unite members were also called out on strike.
Further Strike Action
Given the Post Office is continuing to deploy its plans, it is necessary to escalate the industrial action. To this end, the Postal Executive has unanimously endorsed 5 further days of strike action as follows:
Monday 19th December – Crowns & Admin
Tuesday 20th December – Crowns & Admin
Thursday 22nd December – Supply Chain
Friday 23rd December – Supply Chain
Saturday 24th December – Crowns & Admin
This decision has not been taken lightly and it is disappointing that the Post Office has so far failed to respond positively to the legitimate and serious concerns of our members. Therefore, the blame for the service to the public being disrupted lies squarely at the door of the Post Office, especially as it is clear they are planning to press ahead with more franchising, closures, job cuts and the closure of the Defined Benefit pension scheme. Worryingly the Post Office has no clear strategy for growth or a future vision that includes our members; hence the crisis. We need to fight for the very future of this industry and our jobs. It is for this reason an escalation of strike action is required.
All Branches and Representatives are urged to support our Post Office members.
Negotiations with the Post Office
We need to get the Post Office into serious negotiations in order to establish a mutually agreeable way forward to resolve this dispute.
Accordingly, following the Postal Executive meeting last week, a letter was sent to Martin Kirke, HR Director, on 7th December offering to meet all day every day this week for meaningful negotiations. A response was received on 9th December accepting just one day of talks on Wednesday 14th December. Clearly, after three strike days there appears to be no sense of urgency from the Post Office to resolve the dispute and this further demonstrates why we need to escalate the action. We have written back to the HR Director to express our disappointment surrounding the tokenistic one day for negotiations and made it clear that this indicates the Post Office is not serious or committed to meaningful engagement. We have also reiterated that our negotiating team remains available on Thursday and Friday this week to continue negotiations.
It should be noted that despite the Post Office’s recent positive comments in the press and in communications to members regarding its desire to resolve the dispute, no dates for negotiation were offered by the Post Office. The only meeting we have been invited to attend with the Post Office is the Group Executive on Wednesday 22nd December, which is the day after the close of the government consultation on the Post Office Network and ELEVEN weeks since our last meeting at ACAS. This is no substitute for proper negotiations and is deliberately designed to delay meeting with us until after the Christmas pressure period is over.
Press and Media
The issues surrounding the Future of the Post Office and the BEIS consultation on the Post Office Network have gained significant media interest over the last few days with articles in the Sunday Telegraph this weekend which focused on the future of the rural Sub Post Offices and contained a quote from Dave Ward. The article can be accessed by using the following link:
There was also a piece in The Times this morning (attached), following on from the Telegraph’s story on the rural Sub Post Offices. In addition, Andy Furey was interviewed on LBC radio earlier today.
EDM 571 – Future of the Post Office
The above EDM has now gained support from 100 MPs which is a reasonable response after a slow start. Following the bankbench debate last month, we will be doing everything possible to raise the number of signatures further. Your assistance in this regard is appreciated and Branches are urged to examine the list of MPs who have signed the EDM and contact those who have yet to do so.
Postcard Campaign – Delivery to BEIS on Monday 19th December
Thank you again to Regional Secretaries, Branches and Representatives who have already returned thousands of postcards in response to the government’s consultation on the Post Office Network.
The deadline for returning postcards has been extended to Wednesday 14th December. Please make every effort to get as many postcards completed and returned to Marcia Murray in the Communications Department by this date.
On the morning of Monday 19th December, the first strike day, the postcards will be delivered in bulk to the offices of BEIS in Victoria Street, London. Further details in regards to the event on the day will be provided at the earliest opportunity.
Further developments will be reported.
Andy Furey Terry Pullinger Dave Ward
Assistant Secretary Deputy General Secretary (Postal) General Secretary
Email Attachments – Click to download
LTB 728/16 – POST OFFICE: FUTURE OF THE POST OFFICE, JOB SECURITY & PENSIONS – INDUSTRIAL ACTION AND POSTCARD CAMPAIGN