Terry Pullinger video and the latest CWU Podcast

A couple of good comms here to be shared with the members:

1. A detailed video update from DGSP Terry Pullinger

Our latest podcast with former national officer Bob Gibson.

Here you go mate https://soundcloud.com/the-cwu/the-u-word-special-how-to-be-a-cwu-rep-with-bob-gibson

Please share both as widely as possible

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European Elections

European Elections

 

Dear Colleagues,

Further to LTB 225/19, please find attached the latest communication from Royal Mail for the forthcoming arrangements for the delivery of European Election material which should be carried out in line with the relevant National agreement which is attached for your reference

Branches will realise of course that this information has been received late from the company as the political landscape is certainly changeable to say the least.

Any enquires should be directed to the Outdoor Department, reference 535.09, email address: outdoorsecretary@cwu.org.

Yours sincerely,

 

Mark Baulch              

CWU Assistant Secretary

LTB 239.19 – European ElectionsEuropean Elections Statement 2019Delivery of Election Material National Agreement LTB 209.14



CWU POLITICAL VIDEO / LOCAL ELECTIONS 2nd MAY 2019

 CWU POLITICAL VIDEO / LOCAL ELECTIONS 2nd MAY 2019 

The purpose of this LTB is make branches aware of a political video that has been produced by the CWU Communications department and has been put online yesterday. The video is on our Twitter and Facebook profiles and can be seen via the following links:

The video underlines the pressure we know our members and people across the country are under after nine years of austerity and Tory-led government and encourages people to vote Labour. While this is a general message we want to promote, we have timed it to coincide with the local elections being held in parts of England on 2nd May.

The video features a CWU member and is a powerful message about the state of the country. It demonstrates again how the CWU is leading the way online in the trade union movement and doing more to engage and talk to our members politically. We would urge branches to share it widely on their own social media channels.

Finally, we have a number of members who are standing for Labour in the forthcoming local elections and we would urge branches and members to get involved and support them in campaigning. More generally, for all branches and members in parts of England where local elections are taking place, we would ask you to support local Labour campaign activities and encourage members to go out and vote Labour.

Any further enquiries regarding this LTB should be addressed to the General Secretary’s Office at gsoffice@cwu.org quoting the reference LTB 242/19.

Yours sincerely

 

Dave Ward

General Secretary

19LTB242 – CWU POLITICAL VIDEO – LOCAL ELECTIONS 2ND MAY 2019

 

CWU Conference 2019 – Postal Standing Order Report No.3 

CWU Conference 2019 – Postal Standing Order Report No.3 

Please find attached the following:

Branches are reminded that credentials and voting cards and any further Standing Orders Reports will be available to pick up from the registration desk in the Windsor Hall Foyer in the Bournemouth International Centre from 3.30 pm – 5.30 pm on Saturday 27th April 2019.

Branches are also reminded that speakers cards need to be completed and returned prior to conference to enable the information to be input onto the system.

Any enquiries regarding this Letter to Branches should be addressed to Chris Tapper or sent to ctapper@cwu.org

Yours sincerely

 

Tony Kearns

Senior Deputy General Secretary

19LTB241

SOR NO.3 2019

WAC Problematic Gambling Intro

WAC Problematic Gambling Intro

The Equality & Education Department are writing to update Branches on the work done as a result of Motion 9, which was passed at Women’s Conference 2017. The WAC has created a pack about Problematic Gambling to raise awareness of the issue across CWU members, Reps and Officers. This is available on request from our department.

The pack consists of:

  1. Introductory overview
  2. Power Point Slide Pack
  3. 2 Posters that can be printed locally signposting help available via Gamcare.

The posters are attached with this LTB.

Please use this information as you see fit at Reps briefings, Officers meetings, Branch meetings and within workplaces to let our members know that help is available to them if needed.

Our thanks goes in particular to the NW Women’s Regional Committee for their excellent work in helping to create this, specifically Clare Drummond and Karen Kendrick.

Any queries on this LTB should be directed to Fevzi Hussein, Policy Assistant fhussein@cwu.org in the first instance.

Yours sincerely,

 

Trish Lavelle
Assistant Secretary – Equality & Education

 

19LTB240 – WAC Problematic Gambling Intro

WAC Problematic Gambling Poster 1

WAC Problematic Gambling Poster 2

REDESIGN – NEW SUPPORT PACKAGE FOR CWU REPRESENTATIVES

REDESIGN – NEW SUPPORT PACKAGE FOR CWU REPRESENTATIVES

Branches will be aware that one of the key objectives of Redesign, as agreed by General Conference, is to develop and introduce a new support package for all CWU representatives.

The purpose of this LTB is to explain more about why we think this initiative is important to our future, set out the scope of what it is we are looking to include in a new support package and highlight the process the NEC has agreed to help bring this policy to fruition.

Background

For many years the CWU has prided itself on being the strongest UK work based union, with a unique connection to members, underpinned by a culture of strong representation in the workplace.

However, what has become increasingly clear is that to maintain and enhance our model of trade unionism, we must respond to the growing pressures that representatives now face. We see this from the pace of change, the scale and complexity of today’s individual and collective representational issues and also the increasing levels of stress, wellbeing and mental health issues that are now prevalent throughout society.

It is against this background that we believe it’s important for our future that the union finds a way to offer improved and more consistent support to all existing and new representatives of the CWU. In effect, the concept of a new support package can best be summarised by saying that if you are or become a CWU representative, this is the level of support you will receive and this is what we expect in return, effectively creating a contract between the union, our Branches and all our representatives.

The package should be seen as a vehicle to raise both the standard of how our Branches consistently support their representatives and the overall standard of representation within the union. The thinking behind this initiative is very much connected to the 14 Measures of Success and should also be viewed as supporting CWU succession planning and as a pathway to building a greater and wider understanding on the values of our movement.

The Scope of the Package

The scope of the package we are looking at is really a combination of pulling together the best of our existing support mechanisms e.g. training, mentoring etc., alongside new initiatives like access to confidential and professional wellbeing services. In this regard, the package can be as broad and innovative as we want, within the parameters of an affordable investment. We will also look to tap into the expertise and ideas that exist in Branches and we want to place on record our thanks to Darren Glebocki and the Nottingham District Amal Branch, who we know have already undertaken some excellent work in developing this approach.

Whilst the detailed package will evolve through the Working Group that has been agreed by the NEC, the broad areas we are exploring are as follows:-

  • Creating a one stop reference document for all Branches, outlining the level of support we will consistently provide to representatives and the values of CWU and the wider trade union movement.
  • Providing a platform for Branches to jointly own the project and the package, enabling them to promote this locally to their representatives.
  • Providing a level of access (if required) for all CWU representatives to confidential and professional wellbeing services.
  • Looking at the potential for the union and its Branches to provide a consistent standard of equipment to our representatives.

National Joint Working Group

The NEC has agreed to set up a National Joint Working Group to develop this project and we are looking for 4 Branch Secretaries (2 Postal, 2 T&FS) to join this group. If your Branch is interested in becoming a member of this National Group, please write to the GS Office, (gsoffice@cwu.org) quoting the above LTB as a reference, by Monday 29th April. We would also like you to submit a short note explaining your reasons for wanting to join the group.

The group will also scope the level of investment required to put in place this type of package and look at ways of working in partnership with Branches to contribute to this.  Furthermore, the group will establish pilot activity to enable the package to evolve in the light of working experience.

Summary

Developing and introducing a new support package for CWU representatives, particularly those on the frontline, is an ambitious project which needs to be seen in the wider context of the challenges our representatives face in today’s world of work and the overall objectives of Redesign. It really does go to the heart of the difficult choices we face on what our priorities should be in the future, including the tradeoffs in other parts of Redesign that will be required to ultimately make this type of investment affordable and worthwhile.

Any enquiries on the above LTB should be addressed to gsoffice@cwu.org

Yours sincerely

 

Dave Ward
General Secretary

19LTB238 – Redesign a new support package for CWU reps



CWU Conference 2019 – Special Rules Revision – Standing Order Reports

CWU Conference 2019 – Special Rules Revision – Standing Order Reports

Please find attached the following:

  • Special Rules Revision SOC Report Supplementary No.1

Branches are reminded that credentials and voting cards and any further Standing Orders Reports will be available to pick up from the registration desk in the Windsor Hall Foyer in the Bournemouth International Centre from 3.30 pm – 5.30 pm on Saturday 27th April 2019.

Branches are also reminded that speakers cards need to be completed and returned prior to conference to enable the information to be input onto the system.

Any enquiries regarding this Letter to Branches should be addressed to Chris Tapper or sent to ctapper@cwu.org

Yours sincerely

 

Tony Kearns
Senior Deputy General Secretary

19LTB236.doc

Special Rules Revision Conference 2019 – SOR1



Royal Mail/CWU Terms of Reference – Industrial Engineer Observations Planning Values Maintenance Delivery Offices

Royal Mail/CWU Terms of Reference – Industrial Engineer Observations Planning Values Maintenance Delivery Offices

Dear Colleagues,

Branches will be aware that the Outdoor Department has continued to hold talks with Royal Mail around Industrial Engineer activities and in particular around Annual Planning Values Maintenance within Delivery Offices.

The Department has, over the past number of years, agreed Terms of Reference documents covering particular or specific Industrial Engineer activity both in relation to the indoor and outdoor elements. Most notably they are the ‘Full Outdoor Route Production Study and Future Planning Value Maintenance’ (born out of the Royal Mail/CWU National Joint Statement regarding the ‘ACAS External Mediation Delivery to Neighbour Resolution (contained within LTB 143/17) and some previous annual validation exercises on indoor planning values which date back to 2014 and 2015.

However, to date we have not had in place a generic or complete TOR covering this particular and ongoing activity by the company whilst also detailing the CWU trained IE’s involvement.

As such, the attached TOR has been agreed to cover the general points concerning Industrial Engineer’s (IE’s) visits to Delivery Offices in line with the ongoing and annual Planning Values Maintenance exercises and studies which Royal Mail undertake.

The TOR also confirms that:

The purpose of these annual Planning Value Maintenance exercises and studies is to carry out checks on the national planning values which are used for product costing, pricing and efficiency purposes and used by Royal Mail in respect to its reports on costings/efficiency to Ofcom the regulator.

The general delivery maintenance activity will be undertaken on an annual basis, with a 12 month rolling programme of observations and study work which will be discussed and communicated on an ongoing basis with the CWU at national level at the regular (quarterly) meetings between the Royal Mail Industrial Engineering Department and the CWU Outdoor Department, including the CWU IE Trained Representatives. This is set out in the December 2018 ‘Terms of Reference between Royal Mail and the CWU for Joint Working in relation to Work Measurement and Planning Values Development within Deliveries’ (contained within LTB 041/19).

The Royal Mail Industrial Engineering management will advise the Outdoor Department on a monthly/ad-hoc basis of all such planned IE’s visits to Delivery Offices, noting that this may be subject to alteration.

Prior to the Industrial Engineers visiting a Delivery Office, the local DOM and CWU Representative will receive advance notice. Equally, all employees will be briefed to make them aware of the visit and the purpose and advised that they are not being monitored as individuals, as the observations and studies are focused on identifying what the workload is for different tasks/activities and keeping these up to date.

All activity observations will be made on compliant processes and, the Industrial Engineer(s) will be issued with a checklist of common non-compliances that might save time, which needs to be included in the time allowed to do the job to the required method and standards. Employees should follow the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Safe System of Work (SSOW) and that is what will be observed and accounted for.

The IE’s studies and observations are not about checking the performance of individuals against standards or assessing the performance of units against standards or other units. Their activity is about assessing how long each task takes, and identifying the specific data that is used within the values.

The local CWU Representatives will be invited to observe Industrial Engineer(s) carrying out their work and to also ask questions about the activity. Adequate and relevant release will be provided for this.

The CWU IE Trained Representative(s) will, whenever possible, also support and be included in such Delivery Office visits.

All information/data and possible impact on current planning values will be shared with the CWU at national level at the regular (quarterly) meetings between the Royal Mail Industrial Engineering Department and the CWU Outdoor Department, including the CWU IE Trained Representatives.

Additionally, separate national level discussions will be held in the case of revised or new values resulting from these annual Planning Value Maintenance exercises and studies in order to understand possible impact on current performance and on the use and application of these revised or new planning values. Equally, both parties will continue to undertake joint reviews of current values and how they are devised at the national level regular (quarterly) meetings between the Royal Mail Industrial Engineering Department, the CWU Outdoor Department and the CWU IE Trained Representatives, to confirm and further build confidence in planning values.

The Terms of Reference only cover the particular subject matter of annual Planning Values Maintenance exercises and studies for Delivery Offices and the delivery operation. Any further planning value activities or studies will need to be subject to further National discussions and where relevant a separate Joint National Terms of Reference.

Whilst this Terms of Reference (in the main) mirrors previously agreed TORs covering similar annual validation exercises, it is hoped that the establishment of a generic and agreed standard document and the approach outlined will offer ongoing clarification to Branches and Local Representatives around this activity.

Any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 230.03, email address: outdoorsecretary@cwu.org.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baulch

LTB 232.19 – RM_CWU Terms of Reference – Industrial Engineering Observations Planning Values Maintenance Delivery OfficesTOR – Industrial Engineer Observations Planning Value Maintenance – Delivery Offices



POST OFFICE: HORIZON TRIAL – BATES & OTHERS VS POST OFFICE LTD

POST OFFICE: HORIZON TRIAL – BATES & OTHERS VS POST OFFICE LTD

Background

Branches may be aware of a Group Litigation Action against the Post Office by 557 Postmasters who have been sacked, financially ruined and in some cases imprisoned for what they believe are errors with the Horizon computer system. The Post Office contends there is nothing wrong with the system and that the shortfalls in balancing were caused by and the fault of the Postmaster.

This matter goes back over a period of over 10 years and has finally been brought to trial after the Justice for SubPostmasters Alliance (JFSA) spent many years campaigning for justice. In January 2016 Alan Bates from the JFSA secured the financial funding (through Therium Group, a specialist litigation funder) to take the Post Office to the High Court. Litigation specialists such as Therium cover the costs of a case in return for a proportion of any damages awarded. There will be four trials on this issue in total taking place over a period of around 15 months from November 2018 to Spring 2020.

The Common Issues Trial – Judge Rules Against the Post Office

The “Common Issues” trial (the first of the four trials) concerning the legal construction of the contract between the Post Office and Postmasters took place last November/December. On 15th March 2019, the Honourable Mr Justice Fraser in ruling in favour of the claimants stated that the Post Office showed “oppressive behaviour” in response to claimants dismissed for accounting errors they blamed on the Horizon system. 

The judge also heavily criticised the Post Office’s unhealthy relationship with the National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP), the representative body recognised by the Post Office (the NFSP is a Trade Association rather than a Trade Union). The judge noted:

“… in my judgment… the NFSP is not remotely independent of the Post Office, nor does it appear to put its members’ interests above its own separate commercial interests…The Post Office effectively controls the NFSP”

It was very revealing that the judge also questioned the legitimacy and probity of and the reasons for the financial arrangement agreed between the Post Office and the NFSP: 

“…the NFSP put its own members’ interests well below its own, and I also find that the NFSP is not fully independent.”

The judge also questioned the attitude of the Post Office in the way it conducted itself throughout the trial. Additionally, he also heavily criticised two of the Post Office’s main witnesses. In particular he stated the following:

“The Post Office has appeared determined to make this litigation, and therefore resolution of this intractable dispute, as difficult and expensive as it can.”

“There are two specific matters in which I find that she did not give me frank evidence, and sought to obfuscate matters, and mislead me.”

Post Office Application for Recusal of the Judge – Mr Justice Fraser

Following the Judge’s ruling against the Post Office and in favour of the claimants, on 21st March, the Post Office made an application for the sitting Judge to be recused (remove himself from the trial) which would have meant trial two (which began on 11th March) starting afresh with a new judge, which in turn would create further delays to the entire legal process. The Post Office cited “apparent bias” as the reason for the request for recusal. 

The recusal hearing took place on 3rd April and the 77 page judgment was handed down on 9th April. Mr Justice Fraser, the Judge presiding over the Horizon court case made the decision NOT to recuse himself from the second trial and indeed the third and fourth trials. The Post Office’s QC asked the Judge for permission to appeal which was not granted. Therefore the Post Office has subsequently gone directly to the Court of Appeal to ask for permission to appeal. 

If the Post Office is not successful in their appeal application, the costs are likely to be substantial, especially as they hired a “super QC” in their attempts to get the judge to recuse himself. This is a further set-back for the Post Office. If they continue to seek leave to appeal it would indicate significant desperation. However, tactically in our view they are trying to elongate the legal process and in turn increase costs for the claimants with the aim of making it prohibitive.

Parliamentary Briefing

A parliamentary briefing has been prepared in conjunction with the General Secretary’s Department and is being sent to all MPs to bring this matter to their urgent attention.

The briefing paper (attached to this LTB for your information) notes that the CWU is recommending to MPs the following:

  •  An investigation should be made into the appropriateness of using a Public Authority Grant to fund the NFSP. 

 

  •  The Government must publish where the money is coming from to fund the POL legal costs and how potential liabilities, that could total hundreds of millions, will be met. 
  •  POL’s right to prosecute without CPS scrutiny needs to be assessed with a view to revocation, and the POL Chair’s conflict of interest needs to be determined and acted upon as appropriate. 
  •  An overhaul of POL governance is needed and a review of whether the Government has fully exercised its oversight functions, or whether those powers need to be significantly strengthened. 

Further Details on the Horizon Trials

Finally, a useful website has been set up by the journalist Nick Wallis who has been following the case closely and he provides a concise and clear summary of the events so far. The link to the website is as follows (note parts of the website are free and some sections you have to subscribe to):

https://www.postofficetrial.com/2018/07/about-me.html

Further developments will be reported.

Yours sincerely

Andy Furey
Assistant Secretary

19LTB234 – Post Office – Horizon Trial – Bates & Others vs Post Office Ltd

Attachment 1 – PB Horizon(MPs)

 

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