CWU BRANCH RETIRED MEMBERS OFFICERS – ONLINE MEETING 14TH JULY 3PM

CWU BRANCH RETIRED MEMBERS OFFICERS – ONLINE MEETING 14TH JULY 3PM

We have organised an online event for CWU Retired members Branch Officers. The meeting will be held via Zoom on Tuesday 14th July at 3pm.

The meeting is open to all Branch Retired members’ officers and Branch Secretaries. It is vital that as many Branches as possible are in attendance so please bring the content of this LTB to the attention of your respective officials ASAP.

During the meeting we will update officials on the work the CWU has undertaken during the pandemic, our priorities over the coming months and of course, we will take any questions from Branches.

The log in details for the meeting are as follows:-

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84165621493?pwd=dHJ6eGNxUXgyaDZ6SlcrcTMvUks5QT09

Meeting ID: 841 6562 1493 Password: 068152

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on the day. 

Yours sincerely,

Dave Ward
General Secretary

Tony Kearns
Senior Deputy General Secretary

LTB 348/20 – Retired Members

POST OFFICE: DC PENSION SCHEME – ONLINE SEMINARS

POST OFFICE: DC PENSION SCHEME – ONLINE SEMINARS

Branches are advised that the Post Office is planning to run an online pensions seminar on two occasions – 8th and 15th July regarding the Post Office Pension Plan (Defined Contribution scheme) in conjunction with the provider, Scottish Widows.

A Joint Statement containing the full details has been published today and is reproduced below:

Joint Statement from CWU, Post Office and Unite
Defined Contribution Pension Plan – Online Seminar with
Scottish Widows

Dear Colleague,

We jointly believe that pensions are a really important part of your benefits and to continue supporting your understanding of the Post Office Pension Plan, as well as bringing you up to date information, we have partnered with Scottish Widows to deliver a defined contribution pension seminar to you in July.

Back in May, you will have received your Scottish Widows Annual Benefit Statement as well as a copy of our first Post Office Pension Plan newsletter. We hope that you found the newsletter informative and by joining this online seminar, we hope it will further enhance your knowledge of the plan. 

Please look out for the invitation to the online seminar in the coming days. There will be two opportunities to attend the session (the content will be the same), Wednesday 8th July and Wednesday 15th July, both at 1pm. If you are unable to attend the seminar at the specific date and time, please do not worry – the session will be recorded and you will be able to play this back at your own convenience.

If you have any questions about this communication please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Post Office Reward Team at RewardTeam@postoffice.co.uk or your Union representative.

Yours sincerely,

Maxine Cross                                            Phil Savage                                                               Andy Furey
Head of Reward                                      Unite the Union                                                       Assistant Secretary
Post Office                                                                                                                                     CWU

Branches and Representatives are asked to bring this matter to the attention of our Post Office members and encourage them where possible to join one of these informative pensions seminars or to watch the recording at a later date. The joining instructions are attached for ease of reference.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Furey
Assistant Secretary

LTB 347/20 – Post Office – DC Pension Scheme – Online Seminar

Attachment 1 to 20 LTB347 – Scottish Widows Post Office Pension Seminar Instructions

Royal Mail – Movement of Sorting Frames

Royal Mail – Movement of Sorting Frames

A growing number of enquiries have been received from Branches and Area Health and Safety Reps in relation to this issue and as to whether local management teams have the authority to move sorting frames around offices and re-organise office layouts during the current Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic in order to achieve and comply with social distancing guidance etc.

This issue has again been raised by the Health, Safety & Environment Department with Royal Mail HQ and as a result the attached “Delivery Take Action – Mandatory Instruction” has been issued to all managers.

This Instruction:

  • Reminds all managers that sorting frames must not be moved by local teams.
  • Instructs managers that sorting frames and fixtures can only be moved by contractors authorised by Royal Mail Group Property.
  • Informs managers that if frames have been moved locally, the frames must be inspected and checked to ensure there are no obvious signs of damage or instability, following a 6-point check-list.
  • Asks managers to report all problems to the Royal Mail Group Property Helpdesk for further assistance.
  • Informs managers that any damaged or unstable frames must be taken out of use immediately, until the frames have been checked, rectified and passed as suitable for use by RMP&FS contractors.
  • Instructs managers that where frame moves have resulted in a change to the use of the office space/layout, they must review the Office Fire Risk Assessment and associated evacuation plan, plus the Workplace Onsite Risk Assessment.
  • Some offices have been designated to receive a more formalised inspection programme and managers at these offices will be contacted and notified by an engineer. The Safety Check-List in the communication should still be followed until an engineer is able to visit the offices.

In all cases, Sorting Frames must not be moved again without using competent contractors via the Royal Mail Property & Facilities Services Helpdesk.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 344/20 – Royal Mail – Movement of Sorting Frames

Moving Sorting Frames

Use of Private Cycles on Delivery

Use of Private Cycles on Delivery

A number of enquiries have been received from Branches and Area Health and Safety Reps in relation to this issue and as to whether staff can use private cycles on delivery. For clarification please note that the position and policy of Royal Mail is set out in the latest Coronavirus Guidance – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers – Q&As on Page 16 as follows:

Q: Can postmen use cycles to convey to their first point of delivery?

A: No, cycles are not permitted for use on delivery unless by exception they are part of an approved duty structure implemented by the RMG planning team.

It should be noted that under Health and Safety Legislation, namely PUWER (the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998), Employers are responsible for the safety of all work equipment which is any machinery, appliance, apparatus, tool or installation for use at work, which would include vehicles and cycles etc., and this includes privately owned equipment which employees provide for their own use at work.  Employers would be duty bound to ensure the equipment safe, suitable, fit for the purpose it is used or provided for, ensure the work equipment is maintained in an efficient working order and in good repair and that those using the equipment are capable of using it safely. Any plan to introduce work equipment requires, under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (MHSWR) 1999, a full risk assessment to be carried out, in consultation with the Trade Union Safety Representative, in good time, with the Safety Representatives input taken fully into account.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 343/20 – Use of Private Cycles on Delivery

Latest Royal Mail Group Coronavirus Covid-19 Guidance/Q&A Document (Version 45)

Latest Royal Mail Group Coronavirus Covid-19 Guidance/Q&A Document (Version 45)

I attach for your information Version 45 of the Royal Mail Group Coronavirus Covid-19 Guidance – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers document, issued by the business on Friday 26 June 2020.

The Health, Safety & Environment Department continues in dialogue with the Royal Mail Group Safety Health & Environment Team to raise additions and amendments to the Q&A document.

Any enquiries to this LTB should be directed to Dave Joyce National Health, Safety & Environment Officer.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 342/20 – Latest Royal Mail Group Coronavirus Covid-19 Guidance Q&A Document (Version 45)

Coronavirus Guidance Questions and Answers__v45

Financial Appeal for Michael Horne Family

Financial Appeal for Michael Horne Family

Following the tragic death of CWU member Michael Horne whilst on duty on the 6th June 2020, the CWU has launched an appeal to help support the family with the funeral costs and to assist them through these difficult times.

Michael was a CWU member working for RMSS out of the Southampton Mail Centre and was out on delivery duties on the Isle of Wight when he tragically lost his life in a road traffic accident. Michael who turned 40 on 23rd of May this year leaves a young family behind, his wife Lorraine, a son aged 13 and daughter aged 6.

This appeal is being coordinated by our Wessex South Central Branch who will liaise with the family to ensure their wishes are respected.

If branches would like to make a donation the details of the account for the fund are as follows:

CWU Wessex South Central Branch 
Account Number: 33021344
Sort Code: 60-83-01
Reference: M Horne

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

Yours sincerely,

Dave Ward
General Secretary

LTB 341/20

Greener Jobs Alliance (GJA) Newsletter No. 26 May-June 2020

Greener Jobs Alliance (GJA) Newsletter No. 26 May-June 2020

The Greener Jobs Alliance was launched to promote skills training and job creation to meet the needs of Britain’s rapidly growing low carbon sectors and to green the whole economy.

The transition to a low carbon and resource efficient economy can drive sustainable economic recovery and job creation in every part of the country as well as making existing jobs more secure. But this requires a more strategic national and local approach to deliver the workforce skills needed and to stimulate demand for clean energy and energy efficiency services.

The Greener Jobs Alliance liaises at a national and local level to build the broadest possible support for the policies, investment, partnerships and commitments needed to drive the transition to a low carbon economy.

The Greener Jobs Alliance liaises with training bodies, colleges, universities, employers, local and national government, trade unions, housing associations, campaign and community groups – to build the policies, investment and partnerships needed to drive the transition to a low carbon economy.

The GJA runs a number of ‘free’ courses on the environment for Trade Union Reps in different parts of the UK which have been attended by a number of CWU Reps.

The GJA came into existence as a result of funding from Battersea and Wandsworth TUC.

Newsletter 26 covers; Cutting carbon, growing skills, GJA Briefing, Covid-19: Return to work, new Hazards guidance, CO2 at record highs despite lockdown, ITUC day of action and other topics.

See attached May-June GJA Newsletter No. 26.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 339/20 – Greener Jobs Alliance (GJA) Newsletter No 26 May-June 2020

GJA-Newsletter-No26-MayJune 2020

Royal Mail Group – Fire Safety Focus Week 2020

Royal Mail Group – Fire Safety Focus Week 2020

Royal Mail Group has informed the Health, Safety & Environment Department that during the week of 29th June 2020 the RMG SHE Team are asking all managers to complete a review of their fire risk assessment as part of a ‘Focus on Fire Week’. Attached is a copy of the slides which will be issued in the functional updates on the week commencing 29th June and the slides that will be shown on workplace plasma screens.

Normally as part of this week RMG SHE would request that all sites complete their annual fire alarm evacuation test and training. However due the Coronavirus restrictions and guidance under social distancing, this task will be replaced with a request to ask employees some key questions about the fire evacuation procedures in their unit.  The request for this is not prescriptive as what is possible will be different at every site.

We are circulating the information and materials shared with us for your information. Please feel free to share this material with your Workplace Safety Reps as part of the week.  RMG SHE would normally request that Area Safety Reps engage with their area constituency units and get fully involved, supporting and assisting with the completion of Fire Risk Assessments which is one of the key tasks for the week.  However with the complications around Coronavirus, Covid-19, social distancing etc., the situation is anything but normal and the RMG SHE Team Director and Business Partners have asked that in the units where ASRs/WSRs are operating (in line with social distancing rules and precautions) if they can and wish to assist and take part in those units it would be very much appreciated.

The purpose of Fire Safety Week is to help raise awareness of the roles and responsibilities of the Person In Control and the important part they play in the management of fire safety on their sites. This is to ensure legal requirements are met and to ensure employees and visitors to the property are kept safe at all times.

Fire Safety Week highlights the requirement for an annual review of the Operational Fire Risk Assessment and ensures that all actions highlighted within this are undertaken and recorded as required.

The attached slides give some context around the types of issues PiCs can expect to deal with.  These are a selection of issues highlighted in the Technical Fire Risk Assessors.

Fire Risk Assessments

All employers must carry out and regularly review a fire risk assessment of their premises and keep it up to date. This will identify what is needed to do to prevent fires and keep the workforce and visitors safe.

Written records of fire risk assessment must be retained.

Carrying Out The Assessment

  1. Identify the fire hazards.
  2. Identify people at risk.
  3. Evaluate, remove or reduce the risks.
  4. Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan and provide training.
  5. Review and update the fire risk assessment regularly.

Items to consider:

  • emergency routes and exits
  • fire detection and warning systems
  • fire-fighting equipment
  • the removal or safe storage of dangerous substances
  • an emergency fire evacuation plan
  • the needs of vulnerable people, for example the elderly, young children or those with disabilities
  • providing information to employees and other people on the premises
  • staff fire safety training

Fire Safety – Future Building Safety Regulations

The government has asked the HSE to establish a new building safety regulator in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Most Fires Are Preventable

Those responsible for workplaces and other buildings to which the public have access can avoid them by taking responsibility for and adopting the right behaviours and procedures.

General Fire Safety Hazards

Fires need three things to start – a source of ignition (heat), a source of fuel (something that burns) and oxygen:

  • Sources of ignition include heaters, lighting, naked flames, electrical equipment, smokers’ materials (cigarettes, matches etc.), and anything else that can get very hot or cause sparks.
  • Sources of fuel include wood, paper, plastic, rubber or foam, loose packaging materials, waste rubbish and furniture.
  • Sources of oxygen include the air around us.

Actions

Once the risks have been identified, appropriate action must be taken to control them. Consider whether the risks can be avoided altogether or, if this is not possible, how they can be reduced and managed. Also, employers must consider how to protect people if there is a fire:

  • Carry out a fire safety risk assessment.
  • Keep sources of ignition and flammable substances apart.
  • Avoid accidental fires, e.g., make sure heaters cannot be knocked over.
  • Ensure good housekeeping at all times, e.g., avoid a build-up of rubbish that could burn.
  • Consider how to detect fires and how to warn people quickly if they start, e.g., installing smoke alarms and fire alarms or bells.
  • Have the correct fire-fighting equipment for putting a fire out quickly.
  • Keep fire exits and escape routes clearly marked and unobstructed at all times.
  • Ensure workers receive appropriate training on procedures they need to follow, including fire drills.
  • Review and update risk assessments regularly.

More Information

The Law

  • The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 covers general fire safety in England and Wales.
  • In Scotland, requirements on general fire safety are covered in Part 3 of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, supported by the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006.
  • In the majority of premises, local fire and rescue authorities are responsible for enforcing this fire safety legislation. The HSE has enforcement responsibility on construction sites, for nuclear premises, and on ships under construction or undergoing repair.

What Are The Hazards?

Many substances found in the workplace can cause fires or explosions. These range from the obvious, e.g., flammable chemicals, petrol, cellulose paint thinners and welding gases, to the less obvious – engine oil, grease, packaging materials, dusts from wood, flour and sugar.

It is important to be aware of the risks and to control or get rid of them to prevent accidents.

What do I have To do?

To help prevent accidental fires or explosions, you first need to identify:

  • What substances, materials, processes etc., have the potential to cause such an event, i.e., substances that burn or can explode and what might set them alight.
  • The people who may be at risk/harmed.

Once risks have been identified, management should consider what measures are needed to reduce or remove the risk of people being harmed. This will include measures to prevent these incidents happening in the first place, as well as precautions that will protect people from harm if there is a fire or explosion.

Key points to remember

  • Think about the risks of fire and explosions from the substances you use or create in your business and consider how you might remove or reduce the risks.
  • Use supplier safety data sheets as a source of information about which substances might be flammable.
  • Consider reducing the amount of flammable/explosive substances you store on site.
  • Keep sources of ignition (e.g., naked flames, sparks) and substances that burn (e.g., vapour, dusts) apart.
  • Get rid of flammable/explosive substances safely.
  • Review risk assessments regularly.
  • Maintain good housekeeping, e.g., avoid a build-up of rubbish, dust or grease that could start a fire or make one worse.

Employers/management also need to consider the presence of dangerous substances that can result in fires or explosions as part of your fire safety risk assessment. This is required under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (in England and Wales) and under Part 3 of the Fire (Scotland) Act.

The Fire and Rescue Authorities deal with general fire safety matters in workplaces apart from on construction sites including shipbuilding where these are dealt with by HSE or its agents. Enforcement responsibility for fire safety where dangerous substances are kept and used generally lies with HSE (or local authorities if they inspect the premises).

Any Management Enquiries Or Further Information Should Be Directed To:

Nicholas Burns – Safety Health and Environment Engagement Manager
Royal Mail Group Safety, Health and Environment

Mobile: 07801091380
Email: nicholas.burns@royalmail.com

Yours sincerely,

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 338/20 Royal Mail Group – Fire Safety Focus Week 2020

Fire Safety Focus

2020 Fire Safety 1

2020 Fire Safety 2

2020 Fire Safety 3

“Cutting Carbon, Growing Skills” – New Guide From The TUC’s Unionlearn

“Cutting Carbon, Growing Skills” – New Guide From The TUC’s Unionlearn

“Cutting Carbon, Growing Skills” (green skills for a just transition) – is a new guide from the TUC’s Unionlearn operation and shows how the trade union movement will be leading the way in supporting the fight against climate change, helping workers build the skills that will be part of the solution. The guide equips union reps with the essentials to engage their members and consult employers on greening their workplace. It includes:

  • What is a just transition and why is it a trade union issue?
  • How are new green jobs and skills vital to the economy?
  • How can Union Reps play a part?
  • What training is available from unions?

This new publication is an excellent resource for the coming years.

Climate change and environmental issues at work are increasingly moving up the trade union agenda. Unions are working together and forming partnerships to tackle what is seen by many as the biggest issue of the twenty-first century. And one aspect of this is the way that unions will work to ensure workers have an opportunity to develop the new skills needed for a low-carbon economy.

Developing green skills at work has the potential to offer a wide range of opportunities to workers across the UK, and the trade union movement will be leading the way in supporting the fight against climate change and helping workers build the skills that will be part of the solution.

The TUC is calling for a just transition for workers and this new publication from Unionlearn explains the facts around what just transition is and what unions are doing to ensure their members are not left behind. It also explores the role of the trade union reps, the training available and the skills that will be needed in the future.

Through information and case studies, along with signposting to courses and resources, this booklet aims to be a practical guide to union reps and members that will give them the tools needed to be part of the solution, as the world faces up to the climate crisis.

Throughout Cutting Carbon, Growing Skills, there are stories of initiatives run by unions and reps that show what can be done, and this will encourage others to follow their lead by organising activities and projects or develop skills of their own.

The TUC hopes the booklet will inspire a new generation of reps to get involved with environmental issues in their workplaces and support working people benefit from a just transition where clean, green jobs support the growth of a low-carbon economy that will see trade unions leading the way.

Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. The TUC Congress motion ‘Climate crisis and a just transition’ passed in 2019 recognised that “The Earth’s temperature has already risen by one degree above pre-industrial levels. The autumn IPCC report warned that we only have 12 years to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees. Net zero cannot be achieved without urgent investment in new, low-carbon energy generation. Congress believes climate change is a trade union issue. The future of our planet is at risk if we don’t organise now to force governments to cut emissions in line with the IPCC report.” (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an intergovernmental body of the United Nations that is dedicated to providing the world with objective, scientific information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of the risk of human-induced climate change, its natural, political, and economic impacts and risks, and possible response options).

In July 2019, the TUC issued a statement supporting the decarbonisation of the economy. The statement also made it clear that this transition away from fossil fuels could not be done at the expense of workers.

A copy of “Cutting Carbon, Growing Skills” (green skills for a just transition) is attached.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 340/20 – Cutting Carbon, Growing Skills – New Guide From The TUC’s Unionlearn

TUC-Unionlearn Cutting Carbon Growing Skills – Green Skills for a Just .._

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