RM/CWU Terms of Reference – Postbox Strategy 2 and Enhanced Mail Preparation (PBS2 & EMP)
As a result, discussions have been taking place with Royal Mail on a cross departmental basis in respect of all the elements within the agreement and the attached terms of reference have now been concluded and endorsed by the Postal Executive, in order to progress the activity linked to the Postbox Strategy and Enhanced Mail Preparation programmes. For clarity further discussions will continue relating to the future Collection initiatives paragraph and the introduction of the one hour reduction to the working week for the agreed October implementation date in line with the National agreement.
Discussions to date, have taken place against the background of falling levels of stamped letters in terms of postings through postboxes, which has seen a circa 24% decline since the initial PBS agreement in 2014. Therefore in order to deal with this factor ‘Post Box Strategy 2’ is a balanced proposition to maintain cost effective daily collections from all 115.3k existing postboxes, comprising:
Extending the straight-line distance from low usage postboxes to alternative postboxes with 16:00 or later final collections from the current 0.5 mile to 1.0 mile. This will enable up to a further c.22k low usage postboxes to move to collection on delivery. (This will leave over 40k postboxes on dedicated collection routes with 16:00 or later final collections).
Reviewing POL relief collections against posted volumes and ensuring thresholds are adhered to alongside consideration of Health & Safety and Mails Integrity.
Continuing the installation of new postboxes in rural and new build areas not currently served by an existing postbox within 1⁄2 mile to improve access and make it easier and more convenient for customers in these areas to post their letters.
Retaining the facility for customers in remote areas to hand their letters to their delivery postmen/women.
Trial opportunities for new parcel collection points.
All other collection arrangements, as agreed under Collections Best Practice and
Postbox Strategy, will remain unchanged.
Branches and Representatives will be aware that during the “Four Pillars” National Talks the Postal Executive adopted that Collections matters should be referred to the Pipeline/Future Design Strand. This became negotiating policy and following the ratification of the 2018 Guiding Principles Agreement, Branches and Representatives will be aware that issues associated with Collections were contained within Section 16.2.3.
In relation to existing agreements the table below identifies the associated impact of the proposal:
Changes under PBS2
Low Volume (under 50 items move to Collection on Delivery) on Monday to Saturday
Relief collections under 100 items in box removed
POL number of daily visits reviewed
No Change (Volumes threshold reviewed under Horizon data)
Final Pillar Box collection within 1/2 mile radius
Changed to 1 mile. Of the 21k boxes being proposed to move to COD, 6k of these are based on the 1⁄2 mile to 1 mile change.
Both parties have agreed that as Collections is an operation which impacts across all functions, it is essential that all information is shared and that all relevant functions (managers and CWU representatives) are involved and working together to deploy any changes in a joined up and coordinated way. Therefore cross-functional working groups will be established to ensure that each function is represented and fully involved in the planning and deployment process.
In addition the cross functional working groups will also ensure that consideration is given to other programmes/initiatives, i.e. PAD Revisions, Network Reviews and Delivery Revisions, to ensure that any changes to Collections are considered and aligned to other functional activity as part of the wider discussions/review on those programmes, including the introduction of the SWW.
The deployment of PBS2 & EMP will be completed in 4 phases over a two year period, commencing June 2018 and we have agreed that once an office has completed the revision activity for their respective unit, there will be no further full revision activity for a period of 12 months. It is however accepted there may be a requirement for BAU activity and this will be through the normal processes.
In relation to the agreed approach we have confirmed there will be an exceptions process to challenge postboxes which are believed to be incorrect in terms of the volumes and distance criteria. In addition we have also agreed that in regards to the Saturday operation this will be subject to a more detailed review/analysis to understand any impact on the duty structures, ensure the impact on people can be dealt with and that the mails collected on delivery are able to connect into the pipeline and the network services, and meet the Mail Centre despatch/specification. Where all the above is unable to be achieved without any reasonable adjustments then the postboxes concerned will remain on the existing dedicated collection duty.
We have also agreed there will be further discussions relating to the review of current arrangements to enhance efficient resourcing to workload and achieving the 1 hour reduction in the working week, plus reviewing the CHO units, EMP/UTR endstate and new products and services, which will be reviewed and subject to further TOR/Agreement by October 2018.
Both departments fully understand that these changes will be a challenging issue for our Branches and Representatives. However, it should be noted that we have committed Royal Mail within the agreement to deliver these programmes on all counts with the necessary safeguards along with flexibility in the planning and application, whilst fully taking into consideration any potential changes to attendance patterns/duty structures. As such both programmes will be progressed around a common sense and pragmatic approach and we are confident that the words provided in the agreement will enable our representatives to be fully involved in the deployment activity.
A Briefing of Divisional, Area Distribution and Area Delivery Representatives will be taking place tomorrow Wednesday 20th June at which the TOR will be formally launched before discussions commence in the first phase of units, to ensure all CWU Branches and Senior Officials have been briefed on the agreed terms of reference.
Mail Centre Area Distribution Collections: Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com quoting reference number: 721.03
Mark Baulch Davie Robertson
CWU Assistant Secretary CWU Assistant Secretary