The lockdown and ongoing Covid restrictions have presented the CWU with major challenges in both the day-to-day and strategic operation of the union.  However, despite this, the Union and all our Representatives can be proud of the way of the way we have maintained the focus of the union on all aspects of our work during these very difficult times.

One positive to come out of this period has been the increased use of video platforms by all Unions to hold meetings and engage workers across the movement and once again the CWU has been at the forefront of utilising this technology in the most effective way.

Although the CWU will always prioritise face to face meetings, we must also recognise that some form of Covid restrictions will continue to apply for a considerable time and therefore it’s crucial that we continue to look at new and innovative ways of building engagement at all levels.

With this in mind and given the understandable absence of any Conference or Branch gathering in recent months, the purpose of this LTB is to advise branches that the NEC has agreed to hold a 3-day online (via Zoom) CWU Engagement Festival/event, on the 28th, 29th, 30th September 2020.  This will enable us to bring all CWU Branches together and provide the platform for important debates and discussions across the whole union.

The event will be themed around how we build representation, the strength of the union and indeed the whole movement, in a post Covid environment.  The event will enable Branches, Representatives and activists to discuss and debate the key issues that have surfaced as a result of Covid and that are bound to have a major impact on our industries, the wider world of work, the economy and the very nature of politics in the UK and internationally.

We will work with Branches to maximise participation in the event and encourage all participants to come forward with their own ideas on our future and the future of trade unionism.  We want to make it clear that this is an informal event and it is not designed to replicate or substitute for a Conference, Policy Forum or a standard National Briefing, rather it will be structured to provide high quality and informative sessions with the opportunity for meaningful and constructive engagement with Branches.  We are working with Chris Webb and our Communications Team to ensure the event will be highly interactive and innovative.

Further details on the structure of the event are as follows:-

  • The event will be held over 3 days on the 28th, 29th and 30th
  • The event will be structured around 9 separate sessions (3 per day), with appropriate breaks in-between
  • Branches will be invited to register for the event (details to follow) and will be able to select, pick and choose different representatives to participate in the various sessions. There will be no limit on attendees for any Branch or session and we will work with our Branches to maximise their attendees, ensuring new reps/activists are encouraged to take part and that overall participation reflects the gender, ethnicity and diversity of the union.
  • The programme for the event will cover important and contemporary topics linked to the Covid theme. The provisional programme is set out at Appendix A (this is subject to change).
  • Although the event covers general union topics, we are scheduling 2 industrial roundtables providing the opportunity for the DGS (P) & DGS (T) to give an update on current industrial issues. These roundtables will be held at the same time with Branches being allocated to their respective industrial constituency.
  • We will be inviting high profile speakers to participate and these will be announced in due course.

To summarise, the NEC believe this is the right moment to take our online engagement activity to another level.  In the coming weeks we will be developing the programme and further information will be sent out in due course, including details on registration, more information on the programme, alongside any appropriate documentation that will facilitate discussion and debate.

Any general queries should be addressed to

Yours sincerely

Dave Ward

General Secretary






10:00-12:00 – Opening of the event, post Covid challenges and direction of the CWU – Karen Rose President and General Secretary

12:00-12:30 – Lunch

12:30-14:30 – The Future World of Work and New Deal for Workers – General Secretary and Andrew Towers (GS Team)

14:30-16:30 – Industrial Roundtable – DGS (P) and DGS (T) (separate breakout rooms)


10:00-12:00 – Unions after Covid-19 – Including new CWU App and New Opportunities to grow – General Secretary, Ray Ellis, Amie Retallick (Comms Team)

12:00-12:30 – Lunch

12:30-14:30 – CWU Political Engagement – General Secretary and Liam Young (GS Team)

14:30-16:30 – CWU Against Racism – Kate Hudson/Team


10:00-12:00 – Climate Change/Green New Deal, Safe Working Environment – Tony Kearns and Dave Joyce

12:00-12:30 – Lunch

12:30-14:30 – Future CWU Communications strategy – Chris Webb

14:30-16:00 – Summary of event and next steps – General Secretary and Karen Rose President

Disability Confident Scheme

Disability Confident Scheme

We are pleased to attach our department’s latest factsheet which focuses on the government’s Disability Confident Scheme, some of you will remember its predecessor, the Two Ticks Scheme.

Our department is aware of a number of cases where members with disabilities are facing difficulties in the workplace linked to their disability.  For those employers that have the disability confident status, it is worth reminding them of their commitments as outlined in the attached factsheet.

Any queries on this LTB should be directed to Equality&

Yours sincerely,

Kate Hudson

Head of Equality, Education & Development

20LTB425 – Disability Confident Scheme

Disability Confident Scheme Factsheet

RM/CWU – National Joint Statement for Customer Service Point Opening Hours and Review Process Resulting from The Coronavirus Pandemic

RM/CWU – National Joint Statement for Customer Service Point Opening Hours and Review Process Resulting from The Coronavirus Pandemic

Further to LTB 335/20 which outlined the review process in regards to the above, further discussions have taken place with Royal Mail over the last few days in regards to the issue of CSP Opening Times. In line with the National Joint Statement the temporary change in CSP opening times have been under regular joint CWU/RM review since these measures were put in place and introduced from the start of the Covid –19 Pandemic. Based on operational feedback, changes to government guidelines, more people returning to work and a recent increase in customer visits to CSPs, the decision has been taken to continue the gradual increase in CSP opening hours.

Accordingly, the joint statement which is attached has been agreed with Royal Mail which further extends the planned CSP opening hours across the week from Tuesday 1st September onwards as outlined below;

  • Very large and Large CSPs will open on Thursday from 8:00-20:00
  • Medium and Small CSPs will open on Thursday from 08:00-14:00 and 16:00-20:00
  • Very Large and Large CSPs will open on Wednesday from 08:00-12:00
  • Very Large and Large CSPs will open on Sunday from 11:00-15:00
  • Large and Medium CSPs will open for an additional hour on Saturday, from 08:00-14:00
  • The majority of CSPs will open and close one hour later across the week.

As outlined and supported through the sharing of National data during the Joint Review Process Information on CSPs suggests that currently Thursdays are the busiest days for customers collecting their items, for this reason Thursday will have the longest CSP opening hours in the immediate future, however this aspect and trend will continue to be reviewed on an ongoing basis in addition to all of CSP opening hours in line with the National data.

Attached to this LTB is the file which confirms the new opening times for CSP’s in detail. Local Managers and CWU representatives are requested to ensure that both parties jointly review the CSP size and Proposed hours. 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 with any safety issues addressed where necessary. In addition, due to local circumstances due to Covid – 19 and any further Government advice these aspects may also need to be considered within the locality.

The National Joint statement also contains the commitment that the resourcing process necessary to increase the opening hours will be carried out jointly between the Local Dom/CWU Representative in each unit in line with National agreements including the IR Framework through the weekly resourcing meeting whilst also taking any individuals issues into account.

The CSP opening times will continue to be jointly monitored on an ongoing basis between Royal Mail and CWU on a National basis. 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 relevant health authority advice and guidance. It is agreed that the review will include the data and necessary information to scope the viability for a further phased increase in opening hours.

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:

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baulch

CWU Assistant Secretary

LTB 424/20 – JS For CSP Opening Hours and Review Process Resulting from the Coronavirus
CSP National Joint Statement- Opening hours and Review Process 20.08.20
Copy of CSP Opening Hour Change 01-09-2020

Phil Bentham, Postman, Barrow-in-Furness DO and Mark Cremer, Postman, Lancing DO – Recent Deaths

Phil Bentham, Postman, Barrow-in-Furness DO and Mark Cremer, Postman, Lancing DO – Recent Deaths

We have received a number of enquiries in relation to the sad and tragic deaths of Phil Bentham, Postman, Barrow-in-Furness DO and Mark Cremer, Postman, Lancing DO. Sadly, both members died in separate incidents in different parts of the UK during last week’s heatwave.

CWU HQ wishes to express its condolences and deepest sympathies to the families, friends and work colleagues of our two members who died in sad circumstances and we fully understand the grief and anxiety amongst Phil and Mark’s work colleagues in their respective Delivery Units where emotions are naturally running high. To this end the Union is supporting the local Representatives and working closely with the two Branches concerned.

The exact cause of death of both Phil and Mark is yet to be determined and this will be subject to the normal procedures which may involve post-mortem examinations and coroner’s inquests. Accordingly, we are not in a position to comment further until such time as investigations have been completed by the appropriate medical and, if necessary, the judicial authorities and their respective conclusions published.

Representations to Royal Mail

As Branches would expect, representations have been made to Royal Mail at the most senior level following these deaths. Specifically, concerns have been raised in relation to the important health and safety issues that need to be addressed in respect of working outdoors in excessively hot weather conditions. In particular, the issue of sun safety and dehydration risks to the outdoor workforce has been escalated several times over the last few months. We have of course also taken up this matter previously when similar hot conditions have been experienced.

Whilst it is unknown as to exactly what the causes of death were, the Union has requested a full joint Royal Mail/CWU investigation to examine whether or not there were any deficiencies in the Royal Mail “Severe Weather Risk Assessment” process and if more can and should be done to protect the outdoor delivery workforce, including taking into account any underlying medical conditions that individual employees may have which warrant consideration.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advise UK employers, that when working outdoors the effects of the weather in the environment can potentially have a serious impact on an employee’s health, if the risks have not been considered or properly managed and controlled. The HSE also warns that too much sunlight is harmful and advises employers to provide free access to cool drinking water in order to avoid dehydration, heat exhaustion and sun stroke.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) advise that hot weather means the body has to work harder to keep its core temperature at normal levels, and this puts extra strain on the heart, lungs and kidneys. This means people can be at greater risk if they have a heart condition. The BHF stress that it is particularly important to stay cool and hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids helps to make up for the fact that people are sweating more than usual and stop your blood pressure from dropping too much.

The Union is seeking the agreement and support of Royal Mail in discharging fully its Health and Safety at Work duty of care to the outdoor workforce by ensuring that all Delivery Office Managers undertake Severe Weather Risk Assessments in hot, heatwave weather, in full consultation with our CWU Area Health and Safety Representatives. Where necessary Delivery Office Managers should make adjustments, modifications, reductions or cancellations to deliveries and they should follow the advice of the HSE.

Despite our representations there has unfortunately been little or no bottled water provision made for staff out on delivery in many units, even though Water Fountains being switched off (as a Covid-19 precaution) during the pandemic. The Union has been pressing Royal Mail for this to be addressed as a priority. In this regard further developments will be reported.

Branches and CWU Area Health & Safety Representatives are encouraged to make the necessary representations to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our members at all times and especially during periods of extreme or severe weather conditions. In this respect if difficulties are encountered, these should be reported to CWU headquarters immediately.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Furey                  Mark Baulch                                       Dave Joyce
Acting DGS(P)             Assistant Secretary Outdoor         National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 422/20 – Phil Bentham, Postman, Barrow-in-Furness DO and Mark Cremer, Postman, Lancing DO – Recent Deaths



Branches are advised that the Post Office has announced this morning the relocation of the Portsmouth Supply Chain CViT Unit to Nursling industrial Estate near Southampton, impacting upon 14 employees. It is important to note there will not be any redundancies associated with the relocation and that the work will remain in-house with no outsourcing. In this regard, please see the attached Joint Statement.

Recent discussions have been held with Post Office management and we have been fully consulted on the move, which we believe to be positive for the following reasons:

• There are a number of serious Health & Safety concerns surrounding the Portsmouth site (the former RM Mail Centre which was vacated a number of years ago) due to the landlord falling behind on repairs. This has led to a full time H&S warden overseeing and trying to resolve the problems in the building in the interests of our members.

• Post Office management is led to believe the landlord has a strong desire for the Post Office to move out of the building as he has other development plans in mind. This has led to the lack of interest in fixing the problems within the building and the resultant H&S issues.

The new site is 22 miles west of the current location (a 30 minute drive from the Portsmouth Unit) and is currently used by Loomis – it will therefore be a shared site with Loomis. The Post Office has agreed that any Excess Travel Expenses will be paid to our members up to a ceiling of £20k in line with MtSF.

There is also a Crown Post Office situated within the same site as the Portsmouth CViT Depot. Seemingly this is not affected as part of the move and management have provided the following reassurance within the Joint Statement.

“This move will not affect the DMB operation currently housed at the site.”

Mole Meade, Postal Executive member and Rob Jones, Supply Chain Rep, are leading on this matter and will be engaging with the members throughout the consultation alongside Craig Dapson, Unit Rep. Rob has been to the Portsmouth depot this morning supporting the members and I am grateful for his assistance.

In conclusion, we fully support this positive move to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our members. We are pleased the Post Office has identified a new, much safer site within a reasonable travelling distance and that all parts of the process of moving will be conducted in line with MtSF.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Furey
Assistant Secretary

LTB 421/20 – Post Office – Supply Chain – Relocation of Portsmouth CViT Unit

HSE To Carry Out Welding Inspections To Check on Compliance With New Welding Fumes Controls Designed To Reduce Lung Cancer Risks:

HSE To Carry Out Welding Inspections To Check on Compliance With New Welding Fumes Controls Designed To Reduce Lung Cancer Risks:

The HSE has issued a reminder to all employers that they must protect their workers’ health by controlling the risks from welding fumes.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched a programme of inspections in February this year which was interrupted by the Coronavirus pandemic. However, the intention now is to continue the programme as a key objective aimed at improving and maintaining health and safety standards and the HSE Field Operations Inspectors will review health and safety standards across the country, visiting businesses and encouraging employers to visit the ‘HSE Revised Guidance Website Pages’ to remind themselves of the changes to control standards.

HSE has stated that to protect workers’ health, employers must ensure they have adequate controls in place to avoid or reduce exposure to welding fumes. Employers should be using local exhaust ventilation where effective and provide suitable respiratory protective equipment where necessary to protect workers from inhaling fumes.

The HSE inspections follow a safety alert that was issued last year after new evidence showed that exposure to mild steel welding fumes can cause cancer and the HSE updated its guidance to reflect this.

Scientific evidence from the International Agency for Research on Cancer shows that exposure to mild steel welding fumes can cause lung cancer and possibly kidney cancer in humans.

The HSE has stated that employers and workers must know the risk. Welding work must be planned and the right controls used when welding activity is carried out. If they are not used, the HSE will use enforcement action against offenders to bring about improvements.

The HSE added that it is their mission that all workers are protected and are not made ill or killed by their work. Everyone should be able to leave work and go home healthy and safe. By law employers must protect their workers by controlling the health risks from welding fumes. This applies to specialist welders and workers who do some welding, no matter how small the amount.

A number of CWU members employed in various engineering functions use welding equipment, to which the new guidance is very relevant and applicable to their employers.

The HSE Welding Fumes Guidance is attached (with links to further detailed information).

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

20LTB419 HSE To Carry Out Welding Inspections To Check on Compliance With New Welding Fumes Controls Designed To Reduce Lung Cancer Risks

HSE – Welding Fumes Guidance



It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that Steve McMahon Area Health & Safety Representative – Essex Amalgamated Branch, who was diagnosed with cancer in June of this year lost his battle and passed away during the night of the 3rd August, he was 67 years of age.

Steve Joined the GPO in 1975 and worked for over 45 years, starting in London, transferring to Ipswich and eventually to Chelmsford Mail Centre where he held the position of Local Representative for 10 Years and his current role of Area Health & Safety Rep for 7 Years.

Steve was a committed trade unionist, who had a long history of working tirelessly on behalf of our members and the CWU and will be remembered for the excellent Health and Safety work he carried out on behalf of the union.

In conveying our sincere condolences, I know I speak on behalf of the whole union in saying Steve will be sorely missed by his friends and colleagues and our thoughts are of course with his family and friends at this very sad time.

Due to Covid-19 it will be difficult to pay respects at Steve’s funeral, the Essex Amalgamated Branch Committee, in conjunction with his close friends at Chelmsford Mail Centre will be paying tribute to him with his family in the near future.

Yours sincerely

Dave Ward

General Secretary


Addendum To The National Agreement Between Royal Mail Logistics And The CWU On The Deployment And Use Of Telemetry Equipment In The Royal Mail Network LGV Fleet

Addendum To The National Agreement Between Royal Mail Logistics And The CWU On The Deployment And Use Of Telemetry Equipment In The Royal Mail Network LGV Fleet

Branches and representatives will recall in June 2014 an agreement was endorsed by Postal Executive in regard to the use of Telemetry in the Network function (398/14 refers), with GPS based tracking systems enabling the accurate and timely reporting of vehicle movements and aiding in the improvement of driving styles.

Currently Royal Mail Logistics use Isotrak as a telematics service for their LGV Fleet. Isotrak has supplied Royal Mail with telematics services since 2003 with the last review into the Canbus key measures being in 2014. Since 2014, Royal Mail’s fleet size and type has changed significantly, alongside this the telemetry capabilities have also evolved.

Through engagement surveys and informal discussions, the feedback that was been received indicated the telematics service is no longer aligned to the needs of the driver. Royal Mail and the CWU therefore jointly reviewed the current measures within the telematics and looked at information available through other Logistic providers, taking into account, Isotrak current trends and Canbus Key measures, that align more towards the current fleet and support safe and efficient driving.

An Addendum has now been agreed and endorsed by the Postal Executive, a copy of which is attached for your information (Annex A). Colleagues will note that the changes agreed will still support the following key measures:

  • Accurate recording of end to end performance, supporting improved decision making
  • Real time visibility on the Network enabling pre-notification of arrivals and collections
  • Real time visibility on breakdowns supporting improved security and safety for drivers
  • Improved in cab communications and driver interface
  • Improved vehicle /driver utilisation
  • Improvements in driving styles and driver behaviours

The following changes to the measures will be applied on the Isotrak Telemetry system:

Advanced Driver Coaches will support the training of drivers, the attached slides (Annex B) will enable them to utilise tailored individual training sessions, in line with the terms of the Training Needs Analysis section of the Advanced Driver Coach Agreement.

The Addendum also includes all of the normal safeguards with regard to the use of data associated with the use of telemetry:

  • The specific purpose for using the information provided by the measures update and capability will be to enhance vehicle tracking and quality of service, improve driver training, fuel consumption and vehicle longevity.
  • Both parties agree that all individuals have a right to privacy at work and it is accepted that there is a mutual obligation of confidence and trust applied to every contract of employment and that all parties should act in a way so as not to break that relationship. As such driver performance data produced will remain confidential to the individual and will not be displayed on notice boards or in league tables.
  • It is agreed that this change in measures is designed to standardise the process across the fleet and is not being introduced as, or will be used as, a disciplinary tool or for day to day performance management processes. Equally, it will not be used to enhance the ability of managers, on the evidence available, to take disciplinary action.
  • Outputs for Canbus will not form part of the daily de-brief sessions with drivers or for day to day performance management.

It is agreed the deployment will be reviewed on an ongoing basis with a PIR scheduled to take place 6 months after deployment. The activity will be monitored by the Network Working Group and will be supported by agreed comms (Annexes C & D) and the Advanced Driver Coaches.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: quoting reference: 233.03

Yours sincerely

Davie Robertson 

Assistant Secretary


Annex A – Final Addendum to Telemetry Agreement (Isotrak) 11-08-20

Annex B- Royal Mail ADCS presentation

Annex C – Driver behaviour posters

Annex D – Unit WHY poster v2



I am pleased to advise Branches that following discussions with Customer Experience management, an agreement has been reached to extend 33 Fixed Term Contract (FTC) positions within the Dearne, Doxford, Plymouth and Stoke Contact Centres (there are no FTCs in Bangor or Glasgow). Following a resourcing review, these positions, which were due to expire in September will be extended until the end of February 2021.

The following Joint Statement has been agreed and published today:

Dear Colleague,

Customer Experience Temporary Resourcing Update

In recent months, the impact of COVID-19 has affected the levels of service we provide. We’re confident the recent changes announced about the gradual, step-by-step return to safe office working will improve matters and help ensure we’re supporting customers as effectively as possible. We do, of course, recognise this will be a measured move forward over time, particularly with reduced capacity in our sites as we make them as risk-free as possible ensuring a productive environment for you and the benefit of our customers.

We regularly look at our resource requirements and have reviewed current demand as a result of the Covid-19 situation. Consequently we have agreed to extend most of the Fixed Term Contract (FTC) positions currently in CE. These positions sit within our Dearne, Doxford, Plymouth and Stoke Contact Centres and were due to end in September. We’re pleased to advise these contracts will be extended to the end of February 2021. As well as supporting us as we work through the gradual returning to offices, these changes will also assist the unit as we progress technology enhancements and see the return to work of a number of permanent CE people who are currently on maternity leave.

We continue to make progress towards our overall goal of driving the customer to the heart of our business and servicing their needs in the most efficient way. Alongside this we continue to improve and upgrade technology, to enable the streamlining of our processes and provide further opportunities to better align our resource to meet both our customer and commercial needs.

This is good news for the individuals concerned and for the rest of CE during these challenging times. We know this continues to be a demanding year and we thank you for your continued customer focus and your efforts to handle our customers.

Kind regards

Susan Howlett – CE Director                                                        

Andy Furey – CWU Assistant Secretary

We will continue to monitor the resourcing situation in conjunction with our Reps and will be seeking an agreement to make these FTCs permanent where appropriate in due course.

Yours sincerely

Andy Furey
Assistant Secretary

20LTB417 – Royal Mail – Customer Experience – Fixed Term Contracts

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