National CWU Representatives Briefing Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Cambourne Cambridge
CWU Deputy General Secretary (Postal) Terry Pullinger called a seriesNational CWU Representatives briefings across the country to update local CWU Representatives on the 2nd phase of the Pay and Four Pillars Agreement (P&FPA) and National issues. The meeting for the CWU Anglia Region was held on Wednesday 27th February.
The CWU Vice President Jane Loftus Chaired the meeting with anagenda consisting of updates from Terry Pullinger, Mark Baulch, Davie Robertson, Carl Maden and Andy Furey, followed by Q&A’s from the floor.
Terry was frank and honest with his presentation. He openly gave his opinion on what had happened to Sue Whalley which was she was sacked by Royal Mail as a result of the P&FPA she negotiated with the CWU. In short, the agreement came in, the cost of productivity rose, the share price fell, the board of directors asked questions and Sue Whalley left the business. Worse than that, her team of Managers who helped negotiate the agreement have either, also left the business or been moved to different unaccountable roles, meaning the Royal Mail authors of the agreement are no longer available or accountable for it.
Rico Back has been appointed as the new CEO of Royal Mail. He has no experience in the letter industry. He created his own parcel company, sold it to Royal Mail, which became GLS, remained the CEO of them and that’s why he received a £6 million pay offer to become CEO of Royal Mail. Rico does not reside in this country, has been virtuallyinvisible, only met with Terry Pullinger once. Has not met with any other CWU officers. He has reorganised a Management/Director structure like the one which caused the problems and pressures which led to the CWU’s Four Pillars dispute back in 2015/17
Rico and the new Managerial structure are planning a new Royal Mail parcel strategy without consultation with the CWU. This is outside the process of our agreements. Already, it has come to light the business have been tasked with between 4% and 6% budgetary/efficiency savings. This again, is outside the process of our agreements. The CWU accept the business must change to be able to compete in the market, therefore we signed up for the P&FPA because this gives us the opportunity to work together to make those changes in a way which brings the workforce along with them. We cannot be in a position where Royal Mail attempt to make changes without our involvement because this just leads to unrest in the workplace and we’ll find ourselves back where we were three years ago.
We must continue to work to the agreement and if that creates savings then all well and good. This is the reason we jointly signed up to it. Any attempt to introduce change outside of the agreement must be challenged through the industrial relations framework.
Terry went on to say we are awaiting the announcement of Royal Mails new business plan but as they are not talking with the CWU about it cannot comment on what it might be. If it is workable alongside ouragreements, then there would not be a problem. However, at this point of time it is difficult to judge.
Mark Baulch (Outdoor)
Mark gave an update on delivery issues. One point he mentioned was the potential the company are considering removing all parcels over the size of a shoebox from core deliveries and creating a new network for LAT delivery. This would have a significant impact on, not only, our delivery duty structure, but mail centres and logistics too. The introduction of super sort centres with parcel sort machine technology which can sort up to 400 destinations would seriously affect the current workplan.
Davie Robertson (Indoor)
Davie gave a more in-depth report on the changes within Royal Mails managerial structure and expressed the complications this is causing National negotiations. He reiterated what Terry had said about the importance of sticking to the P&FPA when negotiating resourcing in the workplace. He referred to Peterborough Mail Centre and what we achieved by using the agreement to increase contractual hours for 118 members of staff, 80 of which went part-time to full-time.
He talked about the trials on the Actual Hour Data Capture (AHDC)reiterating it was the CWU who stopped the business using the software to monitor every movement a member of staff would make throughout their shift via an RFID chip placed in their identity card, to just being agreed to monitor entry and exit at the start and end of a shift. The trial is not delivering the expected results and Davie feels the business will be reluctant to invest millions of pounds into the project. Moving onto the trial on the resource schedular, again Davie said this trial was also not producing the expected results. The reason simply being Royal Mail do not appear to able to input the correct information into the programme. Davie finished off by stating we will be expecting another hour towards the shorter working week in October and wonders what the reaction from the business is going to be now the enabling trials are not going to plan.
Carl Maden (for Ray Ellis)
Carl gave an update on where we were with the review of the Attendance procedure which formed part of the P&FPA. The main part they are addressing is the contact strategy Royal Mail Managementhave been abusing and the phased return to work-rehabilitation strategy which Management clearly did not understand. He said there will be an LTB released shortly which will include a statement on short term modifications and phased return to work-rehabilitation. This LTB has now been released, it is LTB132/19. Questions were asked from the floor about the part-day sick absence and the line in the sand letters for members of staff who live with disabilities. Carl reiterated what Pete Donaghy had written to us in an email on the part-day sick absence when we raised it to the PEC as a potential problem. With the line in the sand letters, Carl advised members who receive them to put grievances in against the Manager with a view of taking it as far as an employment tribunal.
Andy gave an update on the Crown Post Offices with WH Smith and the Royal Mail Pension Administration Dept being transferred across to Capita the company who won the bid for the work and received £31 million from the Government in doing so.
Terry finished off the meeting with an inspiring rally call. Telling the reps how important they are to this union. They are the troops who make this union work. You proved that by the way you got the membership behind us and returned the 90% YES vote in the Four Pillars Campaign which earnt us the P&FPA. He said, no matter much how Royal Mail Management change we’ve got our agreements and if Royal Mail work with us on those agreements we can continue to move forward together.
Area Processing Representative
Date 1st March 2019