Coronavirus – Royal Mail Group – Managers Update Communication and Q & A

Coronavirus – Royal Mail Group – Managers Update Communication and Q & A:

For the information of Postal Branches and Reps, Royal Mail Group have this afternoon released the attached e-mail to all managers along with contact details to a new database recording staff on ‘self-quarantine’ and a Q&A document of which a copy is attached for your information also.

The e-mail also once again reiterates the current UK situation, the importance of good hygiene message and where to obtain further information.

Previous LTBS on Coronavirus 033/20, 043/20, 054/20, 063/20, 071/20, 080/20, 093/20 and 094/20.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

20LTB096 Coronavirus – Royal Mail Group – Managers Update Communication and Q & A

coronavirus qa for colleagues_2

Managers Update 28 February 2020

POST OFFICE: HORIZON SCANDAL – PRIME MINISTER RESPONDS POSITIVELY TO A CALL FOR AN INDEPENDENT INQUIRY

POST OFFICE: HORIZON SCANDAL – PRIME MINISTER RESPONDS POSITIVELY TO A CALL FOR AN INDEPENDENT INQUIRY

Further to LTB 719/19 dated 23rd December 2019. Branches will be aware that following the Judge’s decision to rule in favour of the Postmaster claimants last December, the Union has been calling for a public inquiry to ensure scrutiny and accountability of the actions of the Post Office and the National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP). The Union stated in December: 

“In view of the seriousness of this matter, the Union is now calling for a public inquiry into the whole Horizon debacle. In this regard, we will be writing to the Minister for Postal Affairs to outline our grave concerns in relation to the appalling treatment of Postmasters by Post Office management and will call for a comprehensive investigation in the form of a public inquiry.

This inquiry should also investigate the actions of the National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP) who have done absolutely nothing to support their members in relation to the outrageous treatment they have suffered due to the Horizon system which has proven to be not fit for purpose.”

There is no doubt this appalling situation amounts to a national scandal. How can a government-owned organisation treat so many people so badly for so long? (the Group Litigation claim involved 557 former Postmasters). There are exceptionally serious questions to ask of the Post Office leadership and indeed government for that matter. Whilst the legal process may have come to a conclusion with the out of court settlement, this shouldn’t in any way detract from public scrutiny of what has gone wrong here, especially as £58m of public money was set aside to resolve the various court cases. The Post Office Board and Paula Vennells, its former Chief Executive, have to be accountable for their actions and the way they sought, unsuccessfully in the end, to defend themselves in court. The outcry for justice is not going to go away.

Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) – Wednesday 26th February

Given the background above, I am pleased to inform Branches that the Prime Minister confirmed yesterday during PMQs that there will indeed be an independent inquiry into the Horizon scandal. The question, which was raised by Kate Osborne, Labour MP for Jarrow and the subsequent answer from the Prime Minister was as follows:

Kate Osborne (Jarrow) (Lab)

Q4. Like many other sub-postmasters, my constituent Chris Head was victim to the Post Office Horizon IT system scandal. These errors have resulted in bankruptcies, imprisonment and even suicide. Will the Prime Minister today assure Chris and others that he will commit to launching an independent inquiry?

The Prime Minister

I am indeed aware of the scandal to which the hon. Lady alludes and the disaster that has befallen many Post Office workers—I have met some of them myself. I am happy to commit to getting to the bottom of the matter in the way that she recommends.

Recently there has been significant parliamentary debate surrounding this national scandal. Indeed, on Tuesday 25th February, there was a debate in the House of Lords – “Responding to the judgement in Bates vs Post Office (2019) EWHC 3408: and taking action against the directors responsible for the Horizon Accounting System.” The link to the debate is as follows: 

https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/c8ca3555-a8e9-4ce2-a648-08114cdc3684

In this debate, many peers were extremely critical of the Post Office’s actions and were calling for full accountability, particularly as the Post Office is owned by government and BEIS has a representative on the Post Office Board. Lord McNicol, Labour, asked the government the following question:

“We must also consider the government’s role in this ordeal and their responsibility to help. The CWU’s Branch Secretary for subpostmasters has pointed out that a government representative sits on the Board of the Post Office and that they presumably took part in those Board meetings that made decisions on the litigation, including the attempt to recuse the Judge. Would the Minister care to comment on that?”

There will also be a House of Lords oral question on Thursday 5th March from Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom as follows: 

“Level of compensation received by sub-postmasters as a result of the Horizon accounting system litigation as compared to the losses those sub-postmasters incurred due to Post Office Ltd’s policies”

Parliamentary Question to BEIS

Kevan Jones, Labour MP, asked the Secretary of State BEIS – “what steps Post Office Ltd is taking to identify former subpostmasters that repaid monies in relation to unproven allegations of financial discrepancies.” 

Paul Scully, the new Post Office Minister answered on 27th February as follows: 

“Post Office Ltd will announce a scheme in the near future which will address historic shortfalls for Postmasters who were not part of the Group Litigation. Post Office Ltd are actively considering how best to reach all relevant Postmasters both past and present as part of this process”.

Cross-Party Support for an Inquiry

Following the Prime Ministers’ response at PMQs, a number of politicians have tweeted their support for an inquiry:

Tweet from Gill Furniss, Labour MP, Chair of the APPG for Post Offices

“Glad the Prime Minister has agreed to a public inquiry on the Post Office #HorizonScandal. This is a testament to the hard fought campaign of hundreds of subpostmasters and members of the APPG on Post Offices from all parties.”

Tweet from Lucy Allan, Conservative MP

“There is a ground swell of support building in parliament for Govt to take steps to help clear the names of Post Office workers wrongly convicted of theft based on the Post Office’s flawed Horizon computer system”

Computer Weekly Article

Computer Weekly has been following and reporting on this matter for many years and yesterday published a further story following Boris Johnson’s commitment to the independent inquiry. The link to this interesting article is as follows:

https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252479176/Boris-Johnson-commits-to-getting-to-the-bottom-of-Post-Office-Horizon-IT-scandal?amp=1&__twitter_impression=true

Clearly we are making progress on this issue now that the Prime Minister has responded positively and acknowledged the need for an inquiry. Our activities in the coming days will be to push for the inquiry to happen without delay and for an independent chair to be appointed, who must have powers to fully investigate and compel witnesses to be examined and give evidence.

We will be carefully monitoring this situation whilst doing all that is necessary to ensure this matter is not swept under the carpet, Postmasters do get justice and fair recompense and those guilty parties who inflicted so much pain on innocent and hard-working people are brought to account.

Further developments will be reported.

Yours sincerely

Andy Furey
Assistant Secretary

20LTB095 – Post Office – Horizon Scandal – Prime Minister Responds Positively to a call for an Independent Inquiry

CWU General Conference Agenda Pad

CWU General Conference Agenda Pad

Branches would wish to know that the 2020 General Conference Agenda Pad has now been published on the website and can be accessed using the following link:

http://www.cwu.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/CWU-conference-2020-GENERAL.pdf

Pdf. copies have also been attached.    Hard copies of the agendas are in the process of being printed and will be distributed to branches when completed.

Any enquiries to this Letter to Branches should be addressed to conferences@cwu.org or call 020 8971 7256.

Yours sincerely

A P Kearns
Senior Deputy General Secretary

20LTB090 – General Conference Agenda Pad20LTB090 – General Conference Agenda Pad

CWU conference 2020 GENERAL

Coronavirus – Latest Update Information, Advice & Guidance as at 26 February 2020

Coronavirus – Latest Update Information, Advice & Guidance as at 26 February 2020:

Latest information on the outbreak of Coronavirus in China and other countries, including the current situation in the UK as issued by UK Government agencies on 26 February 2020, namely the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England and the UK’s Chief Medical Officers.

Situation in the UK

Number of cases

As of 26 February, a total of 7,132 people have been tested in the UK, of which 7,119 were confirmed negative and only 13 positive.

Risk level

Based on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers (England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland) assess the risk as ‘moderate’ – raised from low.  This permits the Government to plan for all eventualities. The UK continues working in collaboration with other countries and the World Health Organisation to monitor the situation in China and around the world.

Travellers Returning To The UK

Based on the scientific advice of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), the UK Chief Medical Officers have updated their advice for anyone who has travelled to the UK from specific areas as set out in the following paragraphs.

The UK is carrying out enhanced monitoring of direct flights from certain specific areas. Passengers will be told how to report any symptoms they develop during the flight, at the time of arrival, or after leaving the airport.  These areas have been identified because of the volume of air travel from affected areas, understanding of other travel routes and number of reported cases. This list is being kept under review.

Travellers are advised that if they have returned from the following list of specific areas since 19 February, they should stay indoors and avoid contact with other people, call NHS 111 and inform them of recent travel to the listed area. In Scotland phone the GP or NHS 24 on 111 out of hours. If in Northern Ireland, call 0300 200 7885This advice should be followed even if they do not have symptoms of the virus:-

  • Iran
  • Italy – specific locked down areas as designated by the Government of Italy (in Lombardy: Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano. in Veneto: Vo’ Euganeo).
  • South Korea – specific care zones as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea (Daegu, Cheongdo).
  • China – Hubei province (returned in the past 14 days).

Travellers who have returned from the following list of areas since 19 February and develop symptoms of the virus, however mild, should stay indoors and avoid contact with other people, call NHS 111 and inform them of recent travel to the listed area. In Scotland phone the GP or NHS 24 on 111 out of hours. If in Northern Ireland, call 0300 200 7885People do not need to follow this advice if they have no symptoms of the virus:-

  • Northern Italy (anywhere north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini)
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Myanmar

Travellers who have returned from other parts of China and the following list of specified areas in the last 14 days and develop symptoms of the virus (cough or fever or shortness of breath etc.),however mild, should stay indoors and avoid contact with other people, call NHS 111 and inform them of recent travel to the listed area. In Scotland phone the GP or NHS 24 on 111 out of hours. If in Northern Ireland, call 0300 200 7885People do not need to follow this advice if they have no symptoms of the virus:-

  • China
  • Thailand
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Macau

Health Protection Regulations

On 10 February, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced strengthened powers to protect public health. The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 has been put in place to reduce the risk of further human-to-human transmission in this country by keeping individuals in isolation where public health professionals believe there is a reasonable risk an individual may have the virus.

Information about the Coronavirus

A Coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, Coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of Coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.  Generally, Coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of Coronavirus which was first identified in Wuhan City, China.

Summary of action taken by the UK Government

The Government has introduced advanced monitoring at airports with direct flights from China. A team of public health experts has been established in Heathrow to support anyone travelling in from China who feels unwell. These hubs will bring in rotational teams of 7 clinicians, working in shifts, who will be on hand to support patients on arrival. This is in addition to medical staff who are already permanently in place at all UK airports and the advice issued to all UK airports for people travelling to and from China. The Government has issued clinical guidance for the detection and diagnosis of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), and infection prevention and control. The Chief Medical Officer, Medical Director at PHE and Medical Director at NHSE/I have issued advice via a CAS (Central Alerting System) alert to frontline staff to increase awareness of the situation and any actions to take. Most people who develop symptoms will get them after leaving the airport and so the priority is providing UK residents and travellers with the latest information to make sure they know what to do if they experience symptoms, and the NHS and PHE have an established plan to respond to someone who becomes unwell. China has also introduced port-of-exit screening so people already exhibiting symptoms are not allowed to leave the country.

Diagnosis and Analysis

Based on current evidence, Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild. Those who have died in Wuhan appear to have had pre-existing health conditions.

The UK is now one of the first countries outside China to have a prototype specific laboratory test for this new disease. Healthcare professionals who are contacted by a patient with symptoms following travel to Wuhan have been advised to submit samples to PHE for testing. Individuals should be treated in isolation.

After the experience of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, PHE developed a series of diagnostic tests to detect any member of the family of Coronaviruses. These have been used for several years, and were able to detect the first UK case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012.

With the first reported publication of the genome sequence of a 2019 Novel Coronavirus, PHE was able to rapidly develop further specific tests for this virus, working with WHO and a global network of laboratories.

When a clinician suspects Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), they take samples from the nose, throat and deeper respiratory samples, package and send them safely to PHE Colindale. PHE can provide a laboratory result from this specific virus on the same working day.

PHE also has the capability to sequence the viral genome and compare this to published sequences from China, if a case occurs. This will provide valuable information on any mutations in the virus over time and allow an improved understanding of how it spreads.

UK Government Advice Website (Gov.UK)

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

Royal Mail Group – Coronavirus – A Reminder of the Latest Advice – Issued Wednesday 26thFebruary.

See copy attached.

Previous LTBs issued on this subject matter; LTB033/20, LTB043/20, LTB054/20, LTB063/20, LTB071/20 and LTB080/20.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

20LTB093 Coronavirus – Latest Update Information, Advice & Guidance as at 26 February 2020

Feb Coronavirus 26th February Final

CURRENT DISPUTE

CURRENT DISPUTE

Please find attached a letter sent today to Achim Dunnwald, Chief Transformation & Strategy Officer, in regard to the meeting which took place on Thursday, 20th February with Royal Mail Group (RMG).

The meeting was called to discuss a resolution to the current dispute, however it became obvious during the course of the meeting that RMG’s intentions were far from honourable. RMG clearly called the meeting to present a proposal to the CWU negotiators whilst at the same time communicating it to all CWU graded employees. Seeking to disrespect the CWU national negotiators in this way speaks volumes about the current RMG leadership.

I believe that the attached letter is self-explanatory and makes it clear that the 2020 pay award is not part of our current dispute.

Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to the DGS(P) Department.

Yours sincerely,

Terry Pullinger

Deputy General Secretary (Postal)

20LTB92 – CURRENT DISPUTE (00000002)

LTB 92.20 Attachment 1 (00000002)

Royal Mail Group Terry PullingerDeputy General Secretary (Postal) letter to Achim DunnwaldChief Transformation & Strategy OfficerRoyal Mail Group

TP/24000/20/hf 26th February 2020
Achim Dunnwald
Chief Transformation & Strategy Officer
Royal Mail Group

Dear Achim,

Current Dispute

Further to the meeting held on 20th February 2020 which the CWU attended in good faith at your request, we were bitterly disappointed to realise that the meeting was indeed another ploy by the business to get our lead negotiators in a room while you were proposing and circulating directly to your employees/our members a pay offer for 2020 and beyond. It is actions like this that I believe expose the company’s true intentions – to bypass the CWU and impose, rather than negotiate and agree a future vision consistent with our current agreements. This will undermine industrial relations to the detriment of the business and our members.

The absolute priority for the CWU in attending the meeting on 20th February was to resolve our dispute on all of the CWU specific demands, which RMG agree have exhausted our Dispute Resolution Procedures. It is essential that we resolve these issues as you will be aware that the CWU require settlement on all of our specific demands to avoid a trade dispute. If agreement is unable to be reached on any one or more of the demands in dispute, then the CWU has no option but to ballot its members for industrial action.

As you are well aware and agree, the 2020 pay award is not part of the current dispute and your efforts to bring them together is no more than a deliberate attempt to introduce new business into the current dispute, which is unacceptable.

It is evidently good business to resolve the issues in dispute as a priority, given that it is highly likely any resolution will clearly inform what comes after. Against that backdrop I once again urge you to focus on resolution, cease your programme of executive action and stunts which create further tensions and concentrate on creating an environment for genuine negotiations to resolve this long-standing dispute.

I thank you for your time and look forward to your reply.
Yours sincerely,
Terry Pullinger
Deputy General Secretary (Postal)

National Gate Meeting Day: Tuesday 25th Feb   

National Gate Meeting Day: Tuesday 25th Feb

Tomorrow is ‘National Gate Meeting Day’ – in effect, ALL Branches have been tasked to ensure ‘Gate Meetings’ take place at every Royal Mail workplace across the UK. If you are not sure when or where your’s is due to take place, contact the Branch Secretary / Office on 07950 568043 / 01702 356244 to get the details. You can also contact your relevant Area Rep to also find out these details.

Additionally, below is a link to a very good article written by Terry Pullinger that appears in the ‘Tribune’;
https://tribunemag.co.uk/2020/02/the-fight-of-our-lives

POSTAL ORGANISING/RECRUITMENT STRATEGY – MOTION 81

POSTAL ORGANISING/RECRUITMENT STRATEGY – MOTION 81

Further to LTB 64/20 circulated on 6th February 2020 regarding the above, we are now in a position to commence the registration process.

It would therefore be appreciated if Branches/Divisions/Regions could list the names of the delegates attending the Seminar/Workshop in the attached table and forward to Lynn Browne lbrowne@cwu.org. For ease of reference, the following Representatives are invited to attend:

  • Postal Branch Secretaries (or their substitute or appropriate Branch Officer)
  • Royal Mail Divisional Representatives (a maximum of 2 from each Division)
  • Territorial Engineering Representatives
  • Parcelforce Regional Organisers
  • Regional Secretaries

Colleagues are asked to give this request their urgent attention and to register their attendance by no later than 17.00hrs on Thursday 5th March 2020.

Tea and Coffee will be available periodically throughout the day and in order to maximise the time scheduled a buffet lunch will also be provided. Any colleagues with dietary requirements should indicate this in the table attached so that we can ensure all attendees are catered for.

The structure for the Seminar/Workshop is as follows:

09:15 – 10:00   Registration – Tea & Coffee

10:00 – 10:10   Opening Statement – Jane Loftus, Postal Executive Chair

10:10 – 10:30   Terry Pullinger, Deputy General Secretary (Postal)

10:30 – 11:00   Presentation – Lynn Browne, Senior Organiser Postal

11:00 – 11:15   Tea & Coffee

11:15 – 12:30   Presentation – The Importance of Workplace Committees – Steve Brown & Paul Malyan

12:30 – 13:30   Lunch

13:30 – 14:45   Q&A & comments. Plan of Action

14:45 – 15:00   Tea & Coffee

15:00 – 16:00   Feedback & Summary

Additional information regarding the event will be sent to Branches in due course.

Any enquires in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to Lynn Browne lbrowne@cwu.org.

Yours sincerely,

Terry Pullinger

Deputy General Secretary (Postal)      

20LTB89 – POSTAL ORGANISING RECRUITMENT STRATEGY – MOTION 81

LTB 89.20 Attachment 1

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: