Royal Mail Delivery Production Plan (DPP)
Over recent weeks, the Outdoor Department has received a number of enquiries regarding a Royal Mail process called Delivery Production Plan which gives a forecast of the workload requirement for the coming weeks.
The Department and Union nationally had not been informed or involved in any discussions regarding this process, which as a result meant the matter was raised at the highest level within the company regarding how this had been allowed to happen. As a result, urgent meetings were arranged with Royal Mail to establish the status of this management programme.
Royal Mail informed us that the Delivery Production Plan is not introducing anything new that they haven’t already been doing for the past couple of years or more. The main difference is that the Production Plan has pulled together many disparate pieces of information and systems that Delivery Office managers have formerly had to interact with. This information then produces a forecast workload based on WIPWH and WIPGH. The development of Production Plan pulled these data sources into one programme which is part of Royal Mail’s ongoing campaign to streamline and simplify the workload of Delivery Office Managers and assist the weekly resourcing meetings with the CWU. It is important to note that this programme was finalised and deployed before the Pay & Four Pillars National Agreement was concluded.
It is evident that DPP is a financial budget driven plan that establishes weighted items and workload figures that managers have to aim to achieve on a weekly basis.
Although the union made it clear to Royal Mail that we do not agree with this approach and that all National Agreements on Revision and Resourcing in Weekly Resource Meetings (WRMs) hold the field, we recognise Royal Mail continues to use weighted items as the business efficiency measure with the Regulator. This creates this parallel resourcing approach that our representatives continue to face problems with in WRM’s when managers use budget based WIPWH forecasts that are not consistent with our agreed processes.
This issue was the subject of much debate in recent Pay & Four Pillars negotiations which has resulted in the words contained within section 10.2 Efficiency & Productivity (see below):
We already have a number of agreed industrially engineered performance standards, but the business efficiency measure ‘Weighted Items Per Gross Hour’ (WIPGH) is unagreed yet a highly influential measure from both Royal Mail’s and the regulators’ perspective. Both parties agree that it is imperative that any efficiency measure is jointly agreed and understood.
To this end a joint working group will be established involving operational and work study expertise from both management and the CWU, involving all functions to fully review all the efficiency measures currently being used and produce recommendations over a three month period at the start of this agreement. These recommendations will be taken forward into further National joint discussions in order to jointly agree the efficiency and productivity measures. Acknowledging throughout these discussions that whilst the business will seek to influence the view of Ofcom on its measures of efficiency, it will need to use and follow the measures to ensure alignment with the Regulator, however current national agreements will hold the field for changing arrangements and resourcing between RMG and the CWU.
Subject to endorsement/ratification of the Agreement, the Department will be immediately looking to establish the joint working group to ensure the terms of the agreement are fulfilled.
In the interim, we have made it absolutely crystal clear to Royal Mail that all current National Agreements, Joint Statements etc on determining hours within revision activity and weekly forecasting hold the field and there is no agreement with the CWU on Delivery Production Plan.
Royal Mail accepts this and maintains that the DPP only aims to assist managers in weekly resourcing meetings. They have provided a statement to this affect which is contained within their user guide which representatives should refer managers to if local managers try to impose the outputs based on weighted items and the overall outputs that DPP produces.
Production Plan represents a simplification and integration of existing tools and systems which will free up time for the DOM to focus on other areas. Production Plan is a management driven process and does not change or alter any of the existing commitments we have to conduct an effective weekly resourcing meeting with the local CWU unit rep in line with current national agreements on revisions and resourcing.
Whilst Production Plan aims to give the unit manager a clearer understanding of what potential forecast workload can be considered in resource meetings, especially on the outdoor element where no current agreement exists with the CWU, this does not alter but is intended to support the commitment we have to fully engage and consult with the local CWU rep on resourcing decisions for the following weeks. The standard agreed weekly resourcing meeting agenda should still form the basis for the regular weekly meetings and Production Plan does not replace the Auto IWT in establishing forecast indoor workload.
Production Plan can only act as a guide to help the manager in weekly resourcing meetings towards securing an agreed outcome with their CWU Rep for the following week.
As per the current processes regarding Resource Meetings, where differences continue to exist in agreeing the outputs for the resourcing requirements for the following weeks, the IR Framework should be used. In addition we would ask Branches to provide reports to their Divisional Representatives as well as the Department when the above takes place. Further updates regarding the on going discussions in respect of the future Efficiency & Productivity will be reported as they develop.
Any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 230.03, email address: email@example.com.
CWU (Acting) Assistant Secretary