RM/CWU – National Joint Statement For Customer Service Point Opening Hours and Review Process Resulting From The Coronavirus Pandemic
Further discussions have taken place with Royal Mail over the last few days regarding the issue of CSP Opening Times. Accordingly, the joint statement which is attached has been endorsed today by the Postal Executive. This allows for us to move forward on this issue jointly with the company and also gives us the ability to review the situation Nationally on a regular basis starting with the first review w/c 6th July. The review approach will allow us to evaluate first time delivery and volume data along with taking into account any local difficulties which are being experienced in order to bring about changes in addition to the national template.
The Joint Statement contains the following commitments:
- It is acknowledged that as a consequence of Covid 19, the long-term impact of this may result in variations to the service provision that was in place prior to the changes introduced on 6th April. This will be kept under regular review using the process, the data set, and joint feedback outlined below.
- Both parties are committed to ensuring that any employee issues resulting from the amended opening hours in CSP’s are addressed in line with existing agreements and processes.
- Whilst there will continue to be a temporary reduction of CSP hours during the crisis, it is now the right time to commence the implementation of an interim plan which will begin to increase CSP opening hours, starting on Saturday 27th June 2020. This will allow customers extended access to the CSPs, so they can collect their items and use other CSP services over more hours across the full week. Royal Mail and the CWU have jointly reviewed information in relation to CSPs and customer visits. The information confirms there has started to be an increase in customers collecting their items from CSPs. Therefore, extending opening hours will help improve service for customers, whilst maintaining safety arrangements within the CSP itself, continuing to protect customers and colleagues.
- It is also recognised that there needs to be flexibility applied as there may be a requirement to review individual CSP opening times where there are reported safety or customer issues with the current arrangements. Any safety issues with the opening hours or arrangements should be dealt with jointly and reviewed nationally.
- The CSP opening times will be jointly monitored on an ongoing basis between Royal Mail and CWU Nationally, with the first review w/c 6th July 2020. Both parties will continue to review the CSP opening times and the impact on service and this will also be carried out in line with the necessary Government and Public Health England advice and guidance. It is agreed that the next review will include the data and necessary information to scope the viability for a further phased increase in opening hours for Thursday & Friday daytime opening hours. Upon completion of this we will then continue to jointly review weekday evening opening hours and scope the viability for further increases to opening times across the week as part of this National review process.
- There has been firm guidance on the safety and social distancing measures that have been put in place across the CSPs both internally and externally. These safety measures need to continue for the foreseeable future and enhanced where necessary to reinforce social distancing along with other key aspects, keeping customers and CSP representatives safe. Everyone working in the CSPs will be further briefed on the interim changes to CSP opening hours as these progress.• Separate National discussions will also take place to evaluate the current variations in terms of service provision and opening hours on offer across CSP’s in order to examine and evaluate the impact on staff and potential benefits of standardisation. These discussions will also take account of the impact of new delivery products and services being rolled out.
Whilst we have pushed Royal Mail hard for a firmer up front commitment to restore in full the pre-Covid opening hours in all CSP’s, this has not been possible to achieve and they are averse to this. This is due to the ongoing continuation and uncertainty of the pandemic, along with changing Government advice, plus customer trends and footfall into CSP’s and the continuing operational difficulties and challenges resulting from the social distancing measures currently in place within the operation.
Given these circumstances the approach outlined in the Joint Statement along with the commitments contained within it as part of an ongoing review provides the basis of progressing this issue and we would ask that any issues that are being experienced are dealt with jointly and raised to us in order to inform the ongoing National Review.
Any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 600, email address: email@example.com.
CWU Assistant Secretary