Processing Representatives Meeting ReportMonday 8th May 2017
Present: Ernie Orviss (EO), Dave Westbrook (DW) Luke Smith (LS) Ian Cole (IC) Patricia Shadwell (PS), Alan Killingworth (AK), Ben Fearon (BF) and Jez Oliver Smith (JOS) Su Redshaw (MCM) Alasdair Redmond (PCM)
CWU Four Pillars of Security Campaign
We discussed the upcoming CWU Four Pillars campaign and the best way to get the message across to all members how important it is for the membership to support the CWU throughout this campaign as they did throughout the Agenda for Growth campaign. The fact the membership showed solidarity in strength throughout that campaign enabled the Postal Executive to negotiate the Agenda for Growth agreement where the union was successful in securing an agreement which protected our terms and conditions whist promoting growth and efficiency throughout the business. The CWU are looking for the same support from the members during this campaign, even more so because of the introduction of the new trade union legislation relating to industrial action ballots introduced by the Tory government. Emergency Motion E5 (copied below in red) which is the first motion in CWU history to be heard at conference supported by the CWU Headquarters Postal Executive committee and all nine CWU Divisions was carried unanimously at Postal Conference has triggered off the campaign.
E5 Composite Motion”IN CAMERA” if carried motions fall
FOUR PILLARS OF SECURITY
Conference condemns Royal Mail’s announcement on Thursday 13 April 2017 to close the Defined Benefit Pension Scheme from 31 March 2018.
Conference recognises that Royal Mail’s decision – along with their proposals – is a clear signal that they intend to attack our terms and conditions to maximise profit for the shareholder.
Conference also recognises the CWU’s Four Pillars of Security campaign has now exposed the company’s true strategic direction and priorities in respect of its people, its lack of growth, investment and ambition and their psychological acceptance of what constitutes success as reported by the National Postal Officers at the National Briefing held on 28th March 2017.
Conference agrees that the morality and mutual interest commitments and the spirit and intent of our Agenda for Growth Agreement are being broken in the interests of the conventional wisdom of privatisation based on short termism, cutting costs, maximising profits and delivering greater returns to shareholders.
According to Royal Mail, the promise of privatisation in 2013 was to deliver a modern innovative and growing business which would protect our members’ jobs, standard of living and pension security. However, the reality is greater pressure on staff, attacks on the CWU and our members’ jobs and conditions and growing concerns about the application of our national agreements reflected in recent proposals tabled by Royal Mail to reduce members’ pay and conditions, unpick our existing agreements and introduce a two-tier workforce across all grades.
The CWU recognises the serious challenges of automation, digitalisation, unfair competition and the insecure employment models of the ‘gig economy’ faced by our members. However, we believe the managerial response is defeatist, shrinks in the shadow of the challenge, will decrease the company’s reach, fail to defend our core products and directly threaten full time employment, the future of the USO and the livelihood of our members.
In uncertain times, the CWU believe that confidence and security are of the utmost importance and that the Four Pillars of Security campaign provides the appropriate foundation for refocusing the mutual interest culture and redesigning the business to deliver long term growth. In contrast to Royal Mail’s defeatist policy of managed decline, the CWU position has set out a positive, optimistic alternative which genuinely reflects the company’s heritage and the commitments detailed in our current agreements.
Conference therefore rejects Royal Mail’s proposals to:
• remove RRIS, TPM, reserved rights and legacy payments;
• attack new starters terms and conditions;
• move to monthly pay;
• reduce sick leave entitlements/procedure or reduce MTSF; and
• remove area reps from the IR framework.
Conference therefore reaffirms its support for the negotiating policies agreed at the Policy Forum held in March 2016, the union’s Four Pillars of Security campaign and the points above.
Furthermore, Conference calls on the company to:
• adopt a vision that honours our heritage and recognises that Royal Mail is no ordinary employer and has a responsibility to maintain and enhance its role as the only provider with total connectivity to the social, industrial and commercial life of the UK,
• redesign our operations to grow and enhance Royal Mail’s ambition to be the UK’s best most reliable, secure and trusted delivery and logistics company;
• jointly defend the retention of the nation’s six-day Universal Service Obligation (USO) to every address in the UK with equality of provision and service at a uniform tariff and no substantial change to current collection and delivery specifications;
• maintain and extend the legal guarantees in Agenda for Growth Agreement;
• agree a flight path to achieve 35 hours gross working week and an agreed pay rise above inflation;
• recognise and respect the CWU;
• maintain industry-leading employment standards; and
• create a more human workplace with a vocational sense of purpose and a work environment their own children would be proud to work in;
In the event the business fails to reach an agreement with the CWU or positively respond to the union’s Four Pillars of Security agenda by August 2017, the Postal Executive are instructed to consider all means available to the union to progress our claim up to, and not excluding a national industrial action ballot in accordance with CWU national rules.
Conference further agrees that should Royal Mail attempt to introduce any of their policies which they have proposed within the negotiations by executive action the CWU executive is instructed to activate an immediate ballot of CWU members for strike action.
Conference recognises that the pension issue, alongside the wider Royal Mail proposals and the CWU’s Four Pillars represents the biggest set of negotiations in recent history.
To this end, the PEC will continue to organise the widest possible membership campaign to galvanise membership support to the union’s strategy including use of the petition, this will be aimed at ensuring that Divisions, Regions and Branches arrange visits to every workplace in the UK to prepare and maximise support for the CWU via any proposed industrial action.
South Central Divisional Committee
Scotland/Northern Ireland Division
NW/NW Divisional Committee
Anglia Divisional Committee
London Divisional Committee
South Wales/South West Division
South East Division
North East Division
Midlands Divisional Committee
There will be planned member’s meetings with Area Reps, Divisional Reps and Postal Executive Committee members addressing the membership and regular literature distribution in the form of notices and handouts. A CWU Divisional conference call is planned for this week along with a Divisional meeting in London on Thursday 11th May to discuss the campaign.
Royal Mail have already started their campaign via Royal Mail TV and literature postings with spurious propaganda in an attempt to justify their proposals.
Mail Centre Manager
Su Redshaw (MCM) and Alasdair Redmond (PCM) joined the meeting where we discussed the current processing TM1 duty structure, vacancies and variable cost used to resource the operation. It was agreed the Royal Mail Processing Shift Managers and CWU Shift Representatives will sit together over the next few weeks and negotiate some innovative duties along with prioritising current scheduled attendance and duty vacancies on their shifts to be advertised for picking in a mini fit up. This will give part time staff the opportunity to increase their contractual hours and reduce the reliance on overtime to resource the operation.
Customer Traffic Update
We were told the last collection from Bertie Books to be processed at the mail centre will be Saturday 13th May. They are switching to DSA. The loss of this traffic will be counteracted by the increasing volumes of Amazon work we are currently experiencing.
We discussed the possible effects the upcoming Network 17 review and the T48, 2c workload advancement may have on the operation. this will be taken into the consideration when the shift managers and reps meet to negotiate duties.
Now a privatised company, Royal Mail’s budget driven resourcing with the onus on savings and efficiency and although we are only at the start of May we discussed Christmas 2017. Understandably, unlike previous years the business will need to have a rough idea of the amount of overtime OPG’s will want to perform over the Christmas pressure period before placing an order for casuals. Therefore, there will be a preference exercise for staff for Christmas overtime at the end of June early July instead of September/October this year.
Area Processing Representative
Eastern No5 Branch
9th May 2017