AHDC/RS Meeting at CWU HQ 10/02/2020
Resource Scheduler and Auto Hours Data Capture
During the months of Jan and Feb 2020 the CWU offered Royal Mail a period of calm in order to hold talks to try and move forward all of the issues involved in the National dispute. In turn, RM informed the CWU that it will be pressing on without agreement with its future plans, including the roll out of two systems called RS and AHDC.
What is RS?
RS is an automated system that can in theory align individuals against workload. This means it has the potential to change the work you currently perform during your normal working day and your daily and weekly attendance patterns. RM has also expressed the view that RS could also be used to schedule annual leave. RM are clearly seeking to develop RS in order to curtail the ability of CWU Rep’s to negotiate your local workplace duty arrangements and attendance patterns.
What is AHDC?
AHDC is an automated signing in and out system that will allow RM the ability to micro-manage you and scrutinise your every move. RM want to link AHDC to pay and use it to govern the level of overtime you are paid. AHDC has already been used by the business at the temporary Christmas Sort Centre at Greenford (Tetris) last/this year to determine the pay of agency workers without any discussion with the CWU.
The CWU agreed to a limited trial of AHDC in four workplaces from May to August 2018, with agreed protections and safeguards on its use. The trial ended without jointly agreed recommendations on further deployment and raised a number of serious questions for the CWU in regard to the system’s accuracy and ability to fully record all hours worked and/or attended by individuals.
The CWU also agreed to a limited trial of RS in five work places from July 2018 for a period of two months, again with agreed protections. Following a further extension of the trial, RM requested for all trial activity to be postponed in March 2019 as the system was not working as planned.
In both cases the agreed Terms of Reference confirmed that there would be no further roll out or deployment without consultation and agreement at National Level. No such agreement has been reached in either case. Despite this, RM has now decided to press on and deploy both RS and AHDC without agreement and by executive action in a number of workplaces including: PRDC (London), NWRDC (Warrington), Greenford Mail Centre, Warrington Mail Centre, Slough DO, Windsor DO, Maidenhead DO, HCN (Hemel Hempstead DO), Northwood DO, Altrincham DO, Sandbach DO, Tarporley DO, Northwich DO and St Helens DO.
As has been demonstrated over many years the CWU is not opposed to new technology to enhance and improve operational capabilities. However, this new technology has very different focus that is aimed at you and your performance as an individual, in order to drive further efficiency. We have therefore made our position very clear to RM:
That a National agreement needs to be reached on the application and the use of new technology (such as RS and AHDC) and an undertaking that RM will not use new technology/data as a vehicle to introduce working arrangements adverse to the interests of our members and as measurements to be used against our members by applying constant pressure through continuous improvement techniques, in effect dehumanising the workplace.
RM’s decision to press on with both RS and AHDC is not an extension of former trials held last year. It is a stated intention by the business to impose these systems across the whole of RM, starting with the above mentioned workplaces.
For absolute clarity:
RS and AHDC are not proven or agreed systems, even RM have acknowledged this.
RS and AHDC are designed to re-write our current duty and resourcing arrangements, removing or restricting the ability for the CWU to negotiate at local level
RS and AHDC will be linked to pay, has the potential to be used to stop pay and be used to bank hours if you happen to finish in advance of your time and override locally agreed overtime arrangements.
RS and AHDC have the real potential to dehumanise the workplace, turning you into a number with a computer determining your daily and weekly attendance patterns, working day and ultimately your pay.
The above is why the CWU Nationally has not agreed to either initiative and will continue to support your local reps in defending you from their roll out at your workplace.