ROYAL MAIL & CWU NATIONAL JOINT STATEMENT ON THE NATIONAL DEPLOYMENT OF TRAFFIC TRANSFORMATION
Branches will recall that in February 2017, Terms of Reference were agreed between Royal Mail and the CWU on Trial Activity Relating to the Traffic Transformation (TT) Initiative (LTB 159/17 refers).
The objective of the trial was to develop and test potential technical and manual traffic recording models, including PDA’s to support traffic recording, as it was jointly recognised that the business existing methods for measuring the volume of mail were complicated and produced inaccurate information that could impact on resourcing and QofS.
The TOR provided the framework for joint trial activity that would take place during the financial year 2017/18, to analyse whether the objectives could be achieved by replacing an amount of manual recording currently performed by MIST stations, with modelled volume numbers. In addition, technical solutions would automatically collect customer declared and machine-sourced traffic data. Where manual recording was still required, the revised solution entailed the use of PDAs rather than the current MIST system.
Subsequently an Addendum to the initial TOR was agreed and communicated which extended the trial sites along with the timescales, due to technical delays on the new PDA Traffic Measurement Application (LTB 097/18 refers).
Since that time progress was delayed both by system delays and the industrial relations environment which prevailed over the last year. During this period both systems have continued to operate concurrently.
In early 2020 Royal Mail informed the union of their intention to switch off MIST and DIRT and migrate solely to the Traffic Transformation methodology from the 1st April 2020. The CWU Nationally sought clarity and assurances on a number of points and asked that the switch be delayed. However earlier this week the business announced that it was their imminent intention to switch off MIST and DIRT.
Following urgent talks between the CWU and Royal Mail it has now been agreed that as of 29th June 2020 the new Traffic Transformation solution will be switched on with the current process (MIST and DIRT) no longer being used for traffic recording.
The attached Joint Statement agreed with the business and endorsed by the Postal Executive today, sets out further measures to address the resultant changes created by the switchover.
The move to TT will be followed by a 3-month period of Early Life Support (ELS) where the project will be supporting front-line teams with any technical or operational issues. During this period both parties will continue to work closely together to ensure that any issues that are raised can be dealt with and resolved at the earliest opportunity.
As Traffic Transformation has been in place and operating in parallel to MIST stations since 2017/18 in Processing Plants the switch off of MIST and DIRT will be light touch and there will be no change to the current operational arrangements and local working arrangements for OPGs, other than the removal of MIST stations.
The switch off of MIST will have an impact on LA workload in Bookrooms and National discussions will address that impact and the Joint Statement ensures that the full terms of MTSF will apply to any change. Andy Furey’s department will progress these discussions on behalf of our LA members in Mail Centres. Broadly we are anticipating approximately 20 job losses amongst LA members and this will be on the basis of 1 job loss per Mail Centre. Talks have been arranged for next week to deal with the headcount reduction and new ways of working.
Branches and representatives will note that the change in system will result in a rebasing of reported traffic at each site. Nationally on balance the change will result in a minor increase in reported workload. Within that though there are some sites where the change is larger which mainly results from issues other than the change of recording system. Discussions have however ensured that any analysis is on a like for like basis and the Joint Statement confirms that the 2019-20 traffic figures will also be rebased.
The Joint Statement also ensures a Framework for additional national talks to identify and resolve any issues created by the rebasing and conclude an agreed traffic challenge process. The JS also reaffirms the commitment to all current resourcing processes and agreement across all of the affected functions.
These discussions have effectively gone to the wire and the departments would like to apologise for the extremely short notice. However, our focus has remained on securing an agreement to provide necessary clarifications and assurances to support the change
Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to:
Processing: Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: firstname.lastname@example.org quoting reference 053
Deliveries: Mark Baulch, Assistant Secretary, email: email@example.com quoting reference 230.03
LA’s: Andy Furey, Assistant Secretary, email:firstname.lastname@example.org quoting reference 3000