Dear Colleagues

Branches and representatives will be aware that the prevailing National situation has impacted on our normal processes and caused some delay in relation to discussions with the business around the Christmas & New Year Arrangements 2017/18.

We can now inform you however that following cross departmental discussions with the business an agreement has been concluded, which was endorsed by the Postal Executive at its meeting on 5th December 2017.  A copy of the agreed arrangements document is attached for your information.

As in previous years the attached agreement provides the necessary clarification for Branches and representatives in relation to operational requirements, attendances, remuneration, pay arrangements etc.

Colleagues should however also note that while not specifically referred to in the attached agreement that an issue still exists in relation to Christmas Planning Document, XPD 8.4 Working Time Limits circulated by the business, which outlines what is an un-agreed reduction in the amount of hours that may be worked from 80 to 70 over the peak period.  For clarity there has been no discussion or consultation in respect of this change and as such the issue remains a National Point of Principle and will be subject to further discussion.

In the absence of any current resolution to the Working Time Limits the advice to Branches and representatives is that the status quo should be applied and the 2016 arrangements should continue to hold the field with issues being progressed via the IR Framework where necessary.

Please note that in recent years arrangements for Network Drivers have been concluded in a specific agreement and this has remained the case for the 2017/18 arrangements.  Branches should note that a separate Letter to Branches will be issued by the relevant department to communicate the arrangements for Network Drivers.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be directed to the relevant department:

Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: or quoting reference number: 706A.08.


Mark Baulch, Assistant Secretary, email quoting reference number: 170.

Yours sincerely

Davie Robertson                                                                   Mark Baulch
Assistant Secretary

Christmas Arrangements 2017

1          Introduction
This document summarises arrangements for Christmas 2017 and New Year 2018 based on the principles agreed for recent years.  Robust staffing arrangements will be required during the Christmas period to ensure operational needs and USO obligations are met in line with workload forecast and taking into account the aspirations of our employees.  It covers OPGs, OSGs, MGV drivers, Mail Screeners, MDECs, Processing Engineers scheduled to shift working, LAs whose conditioned hours attract assigned allowances, and Network professional drivers as detailed below.

The 2004 Christmas agreement abolished claw back of hours arising from Public, Bank Holidays and non USO days, and these arrangements remain in place for Christmas 2017/18.  As such, in 2017/18, employees will not be required to make up hours they would have worked, arising from the Bank Holidays.

For Network Professional Drivers, Bank Holiday attendance arrangements will be made in line with the terms in the National Agreement on “The Introduction of the Professional Driver”.  Details for arrangements this year are covered in the Joint Statement between Royal Mail Logistics and the CWU on Festive Bank Holiday Resourcing for Network Professional Drivers, Christmas 2017/18.

2          Enhanced Operational Arrangements Christmas 2017
The following enhancements will operate in 2017/18.  These are intended to address customer concerns, provide improved service and improve efficiency.

Extended Customer Service Point (CSP) Opening Times:

There will be extended opening times from Monday, 27th November to Saturday, 23rd December.  Units who normally open on a Sunday will close on Christmas and on New Year’s Eve, at normal year round times.

A National specification has been issued categorising each Delivery Office and the required opening times.  Some Office times will vary depending on experience of previous Christmas’ and taking into account fully, local needs and knowledge.

Sunday Opening

All offices currently open on Sunday will continue to open during December at the same times as they open year round.

With Christmas Eve falling on Sunday, we also aim to open as many other CSP as possible on Sunday, 24th December only.  These additional CSP will operate for a minimum of four hours with a core time of 11:00 to 15:00 (however a period of booking in will be required for Saturday P739) subject to local discussions.

Supplementary Parcel Delivery Services

Delivery Offices will introduce supplementary parcel deliveries.  The numbers required and operational dates should fall in line with the network enhancement plans linked to Cyber week.  Each unit will need to plan and align resource dependent upon the local traffic forecast.

These supplementary parcel delivery duties will form part of the normal local discussions covering Christmas arrangements, and will take full account of local circumstances in ensuring sufficient resource to cover the workload.

The supplementary parcel delivery will be planned and may take place between 07:00 and 10:00 and additional deliveries may also take place between 15:00 and 20:00 (and no later than 21:00).

In all circumstances, employee safety and the security of mail must be assured.  Areas/Addresses identified as high risk for example, deliveries suspended due to attacks, robberies or problem dogs etc. will be excluded from receiving this additional service.

Sunday Delivery and Re-delivery

Sunday deliveries within the M25 area will continue during December in line with the agreed Joint Statement/TOR for Sunday Services.

The increase in first time delivery and the additional number of CSP open combined with more rigorous planning, mean it is anticipated that there should be no need for Sunday deliveries or re-deliveries.  However, if any office finds it necessary due to a high number of undelivered items, arrangements will be made via local discussions; where discussions locally fail to resolve the matter, it will be referred to the appropriate Delivery Leaders and Divisional Representative for speedy resolution.

Processing Sunday, 24th December and Sunday, 31st December (Eves)

All processing units will operate on Sunday 24th and Sunday, 31st December to year round weekend workplan and clearance.  The National network will operate as normal to provide workload for the Sunday operations.  This is critical to support the joint aspiration to reduce the resource required on the resumption nights.

Sunday Collections

It is expected the requirement in previous years to collect from heavy boxes on Sundays will not be required this year.  If exceptionally local knowledge of heavy boxes or the mail centre capacity plan on the following Monday indicates Sunday collections are required then staffing will be on a voluntary basis and the arrangements agreed locally.

3          Attendance and Resourcing Arrangements
3.1       Sunday, 24th December and Sunday, 31st December are not Bank Holidays and units should plan to utilize these days in line with year round planning

3.2       Monday, 25th December and Tuesday, 26th December are Christmas Day and Boxing Day Bank Holidays.  There will be no USO collections or deliveries on these days.

3.3       Monday, 1st January 2018 is the designated New Year Bank Holiday (plus Tuesday, 2nd January in Scotland)  There will be no USO collections or deliveries on these Bank Holidays.

3.4       In line with normal Bank Holiday arrangements, people who would normally be scheduled to work on the day of the Bank Holidays for the provision of USO collection and delivery services will not be required to attend, and not be required to make up the hours.

3.5       Rest days will apply in line with normal year round arrangements.  Attendances may be varied by local agreement to take account of workload forecasts and service requirements.  Where workload requires, people can volunteer to work their normal rest day in return for a day in lieu or scheduled attendance.  Where a rest day falls on a Bank Holiday (i.e. 25th, 26th December or 1st January and 2nd January in Scotland) and it is not operationally sensible to transfer the rest day to another day in the same week, people will receive an additional day holiday (including those working ‘a week off in six’ or other variations on this theme) in the form of a day in lieu or alternatively the excess hours can be taken as normal overtime.

3.6      Local Christmas discussions/arrangements should ensure agreed staffing arrangements are in place to meet service obligations in full on Bank Holidays while maximizing opportunities to meet employee aspirations for time off (supported by traffic clearance plan Sunday, 24th December and Sunday, 31st December).  To support this, discussions will utilize the full range of resourcing options, including the realignment of conditioned hours across these weeks for night shift workers.  Staff required to attend within conditioned hours on Tuesday, 26th December or on Monday, 1st January (Tuesday, 2nd January in Scotland) will receive the Bank Holiday premium (currently £9.49) for each hour worked on the Bank Holidays.

3.7       In order to comply with the USO, Inland night shift operations should resume as required on Tuesday, 26th December and Monday, 1st January (Tuesday, 2nd January in Scotland) to meet service obligations.  Where agreed resourcing arrangements result in attendance beyond conditioned hours, staff may either elect to receive a lieu day or the appropriate overtime rate for the additional hours.

3.8       People who volunteer and attend for overtime on Bank Holidays will receive normal Bank Holiday rates (option A or B as appropriate) for the hours worked on the Bank Holiday.

3.9       Weekend duty holders (notional full timers and people who make three or less attendances each week) will have separate scheduling arrangements based on the same principles as in previous years.

3.10     Providing resourcing is secure at their parent offices, people can volunteer for duty or additional earnings opportunities at neighbouring Parcel Sort Centres.

3.11     Local flexibility agreements and the National Pay and Modernisation agreement phase 3 annexes A and B will apply and be utilised during the Christmas period.  Both parties will explore opportunities to give people time off where possible consistent with customer and operational requirements.

4          Christmas Pay Supplement
The Christmas pay supplement of £100 for full time OPG and OSGs (pro-rated for part timers) will be paid on Friday, 22nd December.  The eligibility criteria for the Christmas supplement payment will be the same as last year, based on the four December weeks (commencing Monday, 27th November).  In the unlikely event of any Industrial Action the abatement criteria will be drawn from the PBS agreement.

The separate payment of £100 (pro rata for PT employees) agreed in the National Joint Statement – New Incentive Arrangements June 2012 will also be paid on Friday, 22nd December.

5          Scheduled Attendances
Scheduled attendances can be created and agreed locally in line with national agreements.  Where warranted by workload and an economic way to secure reliable service SAs can be created for pre-scheduled overtime worked during the Christmas period.

6           Scheduled Attendance Holiday Pay
Christmas pressure SA may increase the number of SA hours worked above normal weekly averages.  To ensure the additional contribution is not lost SA holiday pay for the Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day (plus Tuesday, 2nd January in Scotland) Bank Holidays will be calculated by taking the average daily amount of SA worked by each individual in the 4 weeks prior to the Bank Holiday.

7          Local Discussions
Discussions with local CWU representatives should ensure Christmas arrangements are concluded in line with National agreements.  Details will be negotiated locally to secure reliable staffing, ensuring everyone has a fair and manageable workload, and will consider the following options:

◦ People to work their normal rest day in return for a day in lieu or scheduled attendance/overtime.

◦ Pre-scheduling hours against forecast workload.

◦ Scheduled attendance or pressure overtime.

◦ The opportunity for part timers/less than full time staff to increase their contracted hours.

◦ Use of temporary/agency staff as supplementary resource.

◦ Attendance arrangements on Sunday, 24th December and Sunday, 31st December which are not Bank Holidays or non USO days.

Local discussions/arrangements should also ensure that adequate arrangements are in place to deal with collections on delivery, where there may be larger than normal postings, to ensure that all mails (collection and delivery) meet their due service standards.

8          Pay Arrangements

The Christmas Pay Timetable is attached at Annex A

Annex A

Pay dates and payroll processes remain the same for weekly paid employees, with current week basic pay, assigned allowances and previous week’s additional hours and ad hoc adjustments paid each Friday.  Due to the impact of Bank/Public holidays on payroll operations, the following arrangements apply:

Weekly-Paid Contracted Employees

Week Commencing Monday, 27th November (pay date Friday, 1st December)

◦ Regular Pay (Basic & assigned allowances)

◦ Overtime/SA/Ad hoc allowances performed week commencing Monday, 21st November

Week Commencing Monday, 4th December (pay date Friday, 8th December)

◦ Regular Pay (Basic & assigned allowances)

◦ Overtime/SA/Ad hoc allowances performed week commencing Monday, 27th November

Week Commencing Monday, 11th December (pay date Friday, 15th December)

◦ Regular Pay (Basic & assigned allowances)

◦ Overtime/SA/Ad hoc allowances performed week commencing Monday, 4th December

Week Commencing Monday, 18th December (pay date Friday, 22rd December)

◦ Regular Pay (Basic & assigned allowances)

◦ Overtime/SA/Ad hoc allowances performed w/c 11th December

◦ Christmas Supplement 22nd December

Note: In addition to BAU process PSP will be closed for all changes from 0200 hours Thursday, 21st December and Friday, 22nd December and will re-open at 0700 hours on both mornings.

Payroll will then be locked from 1400 hours on Friday, 22nd December to process the payroll for week commencing 25th December until completed, which is anticipated to be about 1800 hours.

Week Commencing Monday, 25th December (pay date Friday, 29th December 2017)

◦ Regular Pay (Basic & assigned allowances)

◦ Overtime/SA/Ad hoc allowances performed and keyed week commencing 18th December up to 1400 hours on Friday, 22nd December

◦ All part time-to-full time or part time-to-part time reversions ending 25th December must be submitted by 1000 hours Thursday, 21st December to avoid incurring an overpayment.

Note: PSP will be closed for all changes from 0200 hours. Friday, 29th December and will re-open at 0730 hours.

Week Commencing Monday, 1st January 2018 (pay date Friday, 5th January 2018)

◦ Regular Pay (Basic & assigned allowances)

◦ Overtime/SA/Ad hoc allowances performed week commencing Monday, 25th December and any for week commencing Monday, 18th December keyed after 1400 hours on 22nd December.

Monthly-Paid Contracted Employees

Cut-off will be Sunday, 10th December
Pay date will be Friday, 22rd December

No overtime advance payment is available to weekly or monthly paid employees.

Temporary Contractual Hours Increases
A separate document applies for all part time to full time and part time variations to contracted hours XPD8.3. (Local managers should be able show this if required). All reversions must be submitted within 7 days of submitting the request to temporarily increase hours.

3.         Key Contacts

Pay Services – Telephone 0345 60 60 60 3


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