Processing Report for Letter Section Meeting 17th April 2018 Incorporating the Cancelled
Annual General Meeting Report
Because there was not an AGM for the letter section committee this year. This report incorporates an annual report.
2017 was a year of mixed emotions and events. The year started with a member losing his appeal against dismissal and two members who made supporting statements for the appeal being investigated under the conduct code. The CWU objected to this and after a series of gate meetings and an extraordinary members meeting gained the full support of our members. It was this support that influenced the decision from local managers that there was no case to answer.
In a macabre way this put the branch in good stead with the members for the Four Pillars campaign. A lot of hard work campaigning the members for support in the four pillars in the mail centre and delivery offices was rewarded with the results of the ballots which led to the new agreement.
Since privatisation, Royal Mail have neglected resourcing issues throughout the business to the extent that both mail centres and delivery offices have been failing the USO on a regular basis and there has been a high percentage of casual and variable cost hours being put into resourcing the operation.
Part of the new agreement addresses this and moving forward we have entered negotiations with management around a processing revision activity. There will be a terms of reference (TOR) displayed on the union board shortly which will identify the main objective of the revision. This will be to resource the processing function with actual duty hours to 85 to 90% of a yet to be agreed model working week and the introduction of the first stages of the shorter working week. Substitute Area Processing Representative Luke Smith will be withdrawn to work alongside me for the foreseeable future.
Because this is a huge exercise and will take several months to complete and because the processing function is operating with a high percentage of variable cost hours and vacant and lapsed actual working duty (AWD) hours, we have entered negotiations to introduce some additional temporary full time and part time duties into the operation to firm up the resourcing. These temporary positions will be introduced under the same agreement as the current temporary duties.
The CWU are committed to negotiating a robust duty structure which will increase AWD hours by converting the current temporary hours into substantive hours,
stop diverting work out and considerably reduce the variable cost hours currently being used by the operation.
Staff from other functions and other units looking to work in the processing function will only be considered when the exercise is completed and only then if it is identified that the new duty structure will have more duties than the processing staff in post. All allocations throughout the exercise will be processed on a seniority basis under the MTFS agreement.
Parcel Sort Machine
The installation of the parcel sort machines throughout the country was put on hold after the installation of the Chelmsford, Hemel Hempstead and Greenford mail centres had theirs fitted. This was because it has been identified at the Swindon mail centre trial the machines are not performing as expected. The reasons for this is the bar coding is not as advanced as anticipated, York’s are not emptying into the machine properly leaving parcels in the York’s for rejection, certain size and shape parcels cannot manoeuvre through the machine to be processed, creating rejects for manual sortation.
There is still no confirmation about, if, the current parcel sort machine project will continue.
The business will be changing the way they record traffic coming into the mail centre. Currently we are using the mist system where traffic is recorded at WLA points throughout the building. They are changing to a PDA manual recording at the primary sort point only. The business has invested in a computer programme which apparently will use this input and create a more realistic recording of traffic from the primary right through to the delivery offices. That said, both systems will run together for about a year whilst data is collated to confirm accuracy and assumptions before changing to the PDA system.
There has been 106 members of staff across all four shifts trained on the manual recording with the PDA’s. We have been informed that all staff will have to undergo training on this during the trial period because it will be a core skill requirement similar to the parcel bar code scanners.
Processing Week Start Change
At the start of the new financial year the processing function start of the week changed from what was a Sunday to Saturday to a Monday to Sunday.
The reason for this is the processing function needs to fall in line with the PSP system which is Monday to Sunday, all the other functions within the MC and the other mail centres in the region are all on Monday to Sunday weeks.
Staff who hold processing scheduled attendances on a Sunday will be written to by the book room to explain how the change will affect them. SA length and start and finish times will not be affected only the week numbers.
Staff who have booked annual leave based on a Sunday to Saturday week will have their leave and SA’s honoured for the year should their holiday arrangements be affected by the change. You will need to speak to the book room as soon as you identify there is a problem.
We started a new trial on the nationally agreed gravity rollers for the processing of standard packets. We assumed management had followed the previous process of notifying the national joint working group for the introduction of new equipment of the trial to process a different stream of traffic and changing the previously agreed staffing arrangement. It turned out this was not the case and after reports from the shift reps and staff working in the area were reported back to the national working group, the trial was suspended until a proper TOR has been nationally agreed. The TOR’s have been drawn up and should be presented to the CWU Postal Executive Committee on Tuesday 17th April for endorsement. Some people may think this is trivial approach to the introduction of new equipment but I need to make you aware the joint national working group for the introduction of new equipment was formed because of the abuse on the introduction of new equipment and working practises by management and staff involved in the world class mail debacle, Royal Mail invested million of pounds into which has now been discarded and replaced with the CWU/Royal Mail nationally agreed continuous improvement scheme.
Spalding CSS work
We have now taken the Spalding CSS work into the mail centre on a permanent basis. Two additional duties were advertised and have been allocated on a seniority and MTFS basis.
2017 Christmas long term sick raffle
This year’s raffle for the long-term sick was a success raising over £1000 to be divided out amongst them. There were 52 prizes donated for the raffle by union reps, managers and members of staff. A big thanks to all the Reps who helped organise the event and sell raffle tickets and a big thank you to all of you who supported us by buying tickets and donating prizes.
WhatsApp Broadcast Group
We have set up a CWU Eastern No5 members WhatsApp Broadcast Group where we can forward CWU Communications onto members through WhatsApp. This has proven to be a good form of communication with a very positive response from the membership and has certainly helped forward information on national issues alongside websites and Facebook.
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 07887985430 as Ernie Orviss.
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 12th April 2018