CWU Four Pillars of Security- Update on National Talks 

1. A pensions solution for all


2. A shorter working week from 39 hours to 35 for a full-time job


3. An extension to the legally binding agreements


4. A Re-design Pipeline



Terry Pullinger opened the meeting expressing his pleasure at the large turnout.


Terry also spoke of Dave Ward’s current I’ll health and recorded best wishes form this meeting


It’s still early days in terms of current talks. It was asked that those presents don’t come out of the briefing despondent. The attitude of management in the negotiations has been quite short of imagination.


It is of great concern that management nationally have been moving away from the legally binding agreement. This has been reported back to the department via divisional reps


The CWU is being proactive in taking issues to the employer.


The company have almost admitted defeat on growth. They don’t believe they can grow the current market share.


Talks so far


After privatisation, most common things that are challenged are terms and conditions, and pensions,


Business are looking to maximise reducing costs. The growth agenda planned during the privatisation hasn’t come to fruition


RM say they have no cash. This union has the power to change the direction the business is having to go in these talks. We need to fight to secure our employment and the growth of the business.


RM want to take us backwards to allow them to cut costs. Pensions is our current biggest issue. CWU position is that that you can’t cut your way to success you need to grow your way to success. The business is looking for a race to the bottom against our competitors.


RM have invested a large amount of money into the ‘The Big Conversation’. They say they have reached 70 thousand staff and their proposals have come out of that feedback.


No excuses from anyone not to delivery on the aims and objectives of CWU and getting this over to members.




RM are after a 2-year fix for the Pensions Solution, however the CWU are looking for a long-term solution to the pensions issue.


Company cannot afford the current DB pension scheme. CWU have made a proposal for a new pension scheme. CWU have tracked back over the last 21 years to look at pensions and investments linked to pensions. RM were not expecting any kind of proposals from CWU on a new pensions scheme. The proposals are a scheme in between a DB and DC scheme.


Natural that people will be cynical over the proposals, as it’s never been done before. RM took the proposals negatively and talks broke down to

Last Thursday and RM removed themselves from talks however John millage phones Thursday evening out of the blue wanting to reopen talk on Friday morning.


Terry believes we are in a strong position and wouldn’t want to see objection in this briefing as this could affect the current strong position we are in.


The proposals include guarantee of minimum lump sum, as well as a good pension in retirement.


RM have been paying 17.1%. 400 million pound they have paid in want to cut the that.


Everything is down to costs. We are in a strong position with the counter proposals


Daily speculation on talks from the press, which is affecting the share price. Every time press get and incline that the pension issue has been resolved share price goes up.




Shorter working week.


Business now accept we need to focus on the world of digital world we now work in.


Employer in first three days, said no one wants a shorter week. But they did I understand the logic of why it had been brought to the table.


Traditional pay claim has also been submitted above inflation by the CWU.


Response has been that all this has got to be self-funded, there is no money available.


The business is also looking at removing Area Reps and any pay protection for CWU Reps.


RM wanted to be at the brief and they were told no.


If the CWU want to negotiate a shorter working week, the business want all that’s included in their wish list. That being;

• Improve efficiency by 2-3%

• New structure for new starters

• Removal of legacy payments

• Monthly pay

• Renegotiate MTSF

• Revie of TPM and RRIS

• Simplification of agreements

• New process for trials

• More effective way of dealing with attendance warnings and dismissals

• Realign the IR Framework


The shorter working week would also be phased in for an hour in the first year, an hour in the second year, and 2 hours in the third year but this would be dependent on trials.



RM are the second biggest employer in UK.


Proposals are devoid of imagination, cost cutting, and are negative from business.


Simplification – Aim to simplify the current agreements into one compendium document.


Trials – Aim to conclude trials in 90 days. No legal or safe trails should be refused. Looking to introduce trials without tor, trials with no negotiations. If they work they’ll implement. Specifically designed to remove union activity


IR Framework – looking to move to two their framework of divisional and national level. Removal of area reps structure. Remove union leave for IR reps


Compliance for agreements – CWU agree to with this, and Ray Ellis spoke about the current issues with the business using Manpower Plan for recruitment.


PAD revisions, controversial issues over the duty selection, as MTSF needs to be used.


RRIS (Recruitment and Retention Incentive Scheme) payments – they want them reviewed every two years.


TPM – they want to remove this payment


MTSF – key national agreement, a knowledge that it had facilitated change. RM want to read negotiate. Pay and allowance, buy down, VR and travel are all items they wish to negotiate. Clearly driven by reducing costs.


Attendance – first day of talks, Carl Madden due to discuss the application of attendance review. Proposed Changes reported on attached slide.


RM not interested in mitigation in attendance reviews. Very few people get dismissed under the attendance procedure. They want RM manager specific to deal to attendance reviews to try and deal with increasing staff reduction through the attendance procedure. RM want to take an aggressive stance on attendance where all reviews will be given even if covered by equality act up to and including review 2s.



RM did not want this information sharing at today’s briefing.


The business has 3 priorities,


• Priority of customer,

• Employees priority

• Cost and efficiency


RM view of the pipeline, they have taken a view that it is not possible for them to grow, they have effectively given up, and are now hell bent on cost cutting not growth.


Friday last week, CWU pushed RM for their views on the pipeline. They have no view. It is believed that they ARE in effect making it up as they go along.


Looking to sequence later, having a knock-on effect of attendance patterns.


RM see door to door as a way forward, but have no way of automating it.


They have no plan for shift patterns.


No salient discussion for RM’s view of the pipeline.



Traffic decline is seeing the average pence per item for cost from the business increase. In 2007 it was 0.7p per item, and RM predict that in 2027 that average price per tied to deliver it will increase to 0.22p per item.


The type of people leading the negotiations from RM are from a consultancy background.


Radical idea of what they are call heavy n light model. Talks about what makes up USO and what products we are obliged to deliver each day. Call rate is on average 68% on delivery points. No details, no slides from RM. RM are looking at not delivering all products 6 days a week and some days only delivering first class (streaming as we know it) which will water down the USO.


Of the 70 thousand people involved in the big conversation, people don’t like lapsing, unfair work load, and not being able to take annual leave, all issues created by the business by not abiding by the national agreements.



Hillary Salt FIA – assisted in producing the counter Pension proposal


RM pension is mostly but wholly invested in gilts and bonds. Due to the rate of return on gilts falling to just under 2% today from just over 4% in 2008, RM find themselves in a position of struggling to fulfil their obligation.


RM are saying they are not making changes to save money.


CWU counter proposals been named as WinRS, Wage IN Retirement Scheme.


This scheme would be open to all, not just current DB scheme members. This would include new joiners.



I’ve attached numerous slides that go with this report. The Red slides are from the CWU and the Blue slides are an overview of the counter proposals for the pensions.



This is just an outline of a very informative briefing, to give you an idea of what we are up against with the business.


We need you on board, backing the CWU position. If we stand together and show strength and support. Please see your local rep and sign the petition to say you support the 4 Pillars and the objective of the CWU.






Amanda HillRichard LineSteve ClarkeSimon Peach

Branch SecretaryAHSO Area DistributionArea Delivery

Pictures of slides from the briefing








2 thoughts on “CWU Four Pillars of Security- Update on National Talks 

Add yours

  1. Employees are always criticised for being negative or responding in a negative manner ,yet here we seem to see that everything Royal Mail suggest is completely Negative !! It won’t just affect the workers ! If it goes really badly ,the ‘Bosses’ will have nothing to ‘boss’ and will lose their Gravy train !!!

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