Processing Report November 2017
Recent Local Elections
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the processing members who supported me by voting for me to continue as the Area Processing Rep in the recent local elections. As I said in my election address, I am passionate about the union and will continue to do my best to represent members and help contribute to Eastern 5 Branch becoming a reputable branch within the union and a formidable part of the Division, trusted and respected by the other Branches and Reps. THANK YOU!
The Christmas agreement has been signed off and on display on the union board. There have been complications with the agreement this year when at first the business directors were adamant they would not pay SA rate for the pre-scheduled overtime booked during the 4 weeks of Christmas pressure. This changed to them saying they will pay the SA rate but only to staff working in mail centres.
At a CWU Divisional meeting, Processing and Distribution/Network Area Reps were asked not to sign their Christmas agreements until Delivery Offices were offered the same. The trouble with this proposal was after negotiations and threats of industrial framework disagreements if pre-scheduled overtime was not paid at SA rate, the business changed their stance and offered the SA rate the Processing and Distribution/Network Christmas agreements had already been agreed in principle.
At a further Divisional meeting, after a vote, it was agreed for mail centres to go ahead with their Christmas agreements and for the Divisional Reps to negotiate with the delivery directors SA rate for pre-scheduled overtime during the Christmas pressure period in delivery offices along the grounds of discrimination and a precedent had been set. I understand now, delivery offices will be getting SA rate for pre-scheduled overtime on days off and in the mornings but not on extended hours.
It also came to light the business released a Christmas document in September this year which stated staff would have to adhere to European Working Time Directive during the Christmas pressure period this year. Not, as in past years follow The Way Forward Agreement from the year 2000 which states the 24-hour rest period can be relaxed and staff can work beyond 70 hours in a week which has always been two weeks of 72 hours and two weeks of 80 hours.
The document the business sent out was not agreed with the CWU Nationally and therefore paragraph 1.2 of the 2017/18 Christmas agreement remains the same.
There was a typing error in the original Christmas agreement which went on display where in paragraph 3.2 it read 20th November, when it should have read the 27th. We had to make two amendments to reflect the error as we did need a paragraph in covering for week commencing 20th as casuals are being employed this week. Notices about the amendments went on display on the union board and the amended Christmas agreement is also on display.
National Industrial Dispute Update
The mediation process continued with meetings held every day last week.
What is clear is the Union’s massive ballot result and the strength of membership support has influenced the talks and changed the dynamics of the discussions.
In the face of the CWU’s successful campaign, the Union’s negotiating team are now talking to Royal Mail Group’s Senior Management who have the authority to reach settlement.
The talks have been difficult and protracted. The next couple of weeks will be crucial to determine whether a final Agreement can be reached if we are to secure our objective regarding our Four Pillars of Security and Pay to the point that we can genuinely build a bridge between our current Agreement and the next few years.
As part of the mediation process, the external Mediator is now due to provide a final summary report setting out:
• A summary of the final position of the parties.
• The external Mediator’s conclusions regarding any points of dispute.
• The Mediator’s recommended solution to the issues in dispute.
As the CWU has said from the outset of this process, no High Court Judge or third-party Mediator will resolve this dispute, ultimately it is a matter between the CWU and Royal Mail Group. Further talks are expected this week, and the Union will continue to vigorously pursue our campaign to secure members’ employment, standard of living and retirement security.
Mail Centre Issues
We have now completed the opportunity for part-time staff to increase their contractual hours on a temporary basis with the introduction of 32 x 39-hour full time duties, and 16 part-time contracts of 20 and 24 hours. We have also advertised and filled some specialist duties. We are in the process of agreeing how many specialist duties to advertise for the processing of the Spalding css which has come into the mail centre of a permanent basis. These will be advertised soon. We have been in talks with Management about having a revision after Christmas to look at making these temporary duties substantive. A lot will depend on when the implementation of the parcel sort machine will be. The terms and conditions of the temporary increase of contractual hours local agreement and relevant National agreements will come into force if the duties are made substantive.
WhatsApp Broadcast Group
My phone has recently crashed, and I lost a lot of numbers, if you were in the group but no longer receive the messages can you please resend me your number with your name and I’ll put you back in.
We have set up a CWU Eastern No5 members WhatsApp Broadcast Group where we can forward CWU Communications onto members.
A Broadcast Group is where members receive WhatsApp messages from my phone, you will not be able to see who is in the group, you will not be able to message each other either. No phone numbers are shared.
If you want to be in this group, then you will need the WhatsApp App on your phone.
Save my number Ernie Orviss 07887985430 Then send me a message me with your name requesting to be put in the group. I will forward you some of the previous messages and put you in the group, so you will receive all future messages.
Area Processing Representative
Date 24th November 2017