Royal Mail/CWU Terms of Reference – Industrial Engineer Observations Planning Values Maintenance Delivery Offices
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
LTB 232.19 – RM_CWU Terms of Reference – Industrial Engineering Observations Planning Values Maintenance Delivery OfficesTOR – Industrial Engineer Observations Planning Value Maintenance – Delivery Offices