Postal Conference 2017 – Motion 109
TO: ALL BRANCHES WITH POSTAL MEMBERS
Reproduced below for the information of Branches and Representatives are the terms of the abovementioned Motion raised by the Greater Mersey and SW Lancs Branch.
The content of the Motion and instructions contained therein are self-explanatory.
109 CATEGORY A: This Conference notes Royal Mails recent unexpected insistence on adhering to the working time provisions of the Way Forward Agreement. Whilst some of the provisions reflect current legislation this is not the case with the Scheduled Attendance ceiling of 12 hours per week.
The Postal Executive is instructed to negotiate the removal of this ceiling so that where members are able to perform in excess of 12 hours per week they will be allowed to do so.
Greater Mersey and SW Lancs
I have also attached for the information of the Committee, a copy of a letter that has been sent to the Chief Operations Officer (COO) in response to an instruction issued to Managers by the COO in March this year. The content of the letter is self-explanatory and its terms should be used as the basis for progressing any attempt by management locally to enforce compliance via diktat as opposed to constructive/mutual interest dialogue and the IR Framework. Colleagues should also note the specific reference to the current timescale.
Further updates will be circulated in due course.
Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to the DGS(P) Department quoting reference 11002g.
Deputy General Secretary (Postal)
TP/24005/17/ac 3rd May 2017
Chief Operations Officer Royal Mail Group
100 Victoria Embankment EC4Y 0HQ
Resourcing/Working Time Directive/Scheduled Attendance
I am writing to you in light of numerous complaints and concerns that have been received regarding what I assume was a Directive from you issued with the best of intentions.
As is so often the way however the interpretation by your Operating Team and ridged lack of consultation at local level on how the Directive should be managed, taking into full account the realities and sensitivities on the ground, has caused significant concerns from an Industrial Relations stability point of view as well as from a morale point of view with people having regular earnings levels potentially affected.
The Directive I refer to is “A Message from Sue Whalley – Working Time Policy/Action required” issued on the 20th March 2017. It would appear that there have been attempts to apply that so rigidly and without due cognisance to the efforts of our members to rise to the challenge of maintaining continuity of the operation and good quality of service despite the failed resourcing strategy within Royal Mail which has bedevilled us for the last couple of years.
This is not the first time that such issues have suddenly become a matter of senior management focus as there were also incidents in 2014 and 2016 where similar declarations of getting the operation back in line with Working Time Directive agreements and Scheduled Attendance agreements.
In between these spasms of conscious it would appear that lip service has seemingly been applied managerially in the interests of short-term budget savings. Of course my overriding concern would be the one of a resourcing strategy which has clearly created this problem and sees us in a position of using managerial grades or casual employment, contrary to our agreements, to support the operational grades.
The rigid application of your Directive without ensuring that the first port of call should have been for Local Managers and Local Representatives to sit down analyse their current arrangements, was and is, a failure to put industrial and employee stability and understanding at the forefront of any activity. Against that backdrop, I hope you acknowledge that speaking to us nationally and developing an approach in advance would have been far more inclusive and non-kneejerk.
I believe this ‘Bull in a China Shop’ approach seems to be a favoured method of your Operating Team despite the fact that it is inconsistent with the spirit and intent of our agreements. Surely the initiative should have started with local joint analysis of the situation and solution developments which ensured that agreements were met or made which could enable them to be applied and introduced in a way which did not then require managerial or casual resource to deliver our products. Equally any deployment should also ensure that there was a decent understanding of the actual situations of your employees and our members on how such initiatives may affect earnings levels and work patterns which they have been allowed to build up and indeed grown to depend upon.
In respect of Scheduled Attendance and the 12 hour limit, we have previously clearly agreed that the right approach is to deal with this matter through the IR Framework and seek to find mutually acceptable solutions over what can be done. I believe that the 12 hour rule should now be seriously reconsidered by both of us to ensure that it is indeed still fit for purpose in regard to guaranteeing we can still maintain the coverage of our local obligations.
Against that backdrop, I would welcome your views regarding the above and hopefully your support that any changes relating to any Directive issued in the future should be discussed nationally in the first instance. That plans should be worked up with divisional leads and that ultimately advice issued that local management and Union Representatives should engage with each other to assess the implications of compliance within their unit and then address any issues raised in line with the Industrial Relations Framework.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to your reply. Yours sincerely,
Deputy General Secretary (Postal)