RM/CWU Joint Statement – Covid-19 Bespoke Weekend Priority Postbox Collection
Branches will be aware through previous LTB’s and communications, of the above service and that Royal Mail was chosen for its unparalleled nationwide network to lead as the Prime Supplier on a number of products.
To date Royal Mail and the CWU have worked together to adapt to the changing demands from Government as the pandemic unfolds. In a very short period Royal Mail Group and the CWU have established a network comprised of:
• Regional/Local Test Centres: Royal Mail Relay are collecting test kits from c.200 test sites up to 4 times daily.
• Home Collection Service: The Royal Mail Core Network has 394 Delivery Offices undertaking doorstep collections seven days a week.
• c.30,000 Priority Postboxes: Have been labelled with collection time after 4pm.
• Nursing/Care Homes/Schools/GP Surgeries: Royal Mail are delivering c2,700 boxes of test kits to important parts of our communities.
Thus far, a huge amount of work has been undertaken by the departments to ensure that all of the safety protections have been in place to protect our members providing these collections, which across all of the relevant pilots and phases has proven successful.
However, as a result of ongoing discussions between Royal Mail and the Government to meet the demand for testing into the Autumn and Winter, the Government have asked Royal Mail Group to put in place a further operation for a later collection from a subset of the current Priority Postboxes on a Saturday and to introduce a new collection service on a Sunday.
The attached Joint Statement, agreed by the Postal Executive, mirrors previous versions of activity that has taken place and refers to the ongoing operational processes, location of the collections and resourcing options being dealt with through the Local JWG structures that have been put in place. This has placed our representatives in a strong position to be able to ensure that our members are safe and have the correct PPE to complete the collections, which will be kept under constant review.
The added complication is a further contract that Royal Mail is currently tendering for, which would be to support the effort by also delivering test kits using the Tracked 24 product seven days a week. Royal Mail has submitted a bid in response to this tender.
Confirmation of an award is expected on the 9th November 2020 with a requirement to be operational by the 17th November 2020.
Given the very tight timescale between the contract award and ‘go live’, Royal Mail are seeking to commence planning and scoping work to establish a Sunday delivery operation, based on the LAT model and to test the appetite from Royal Mail employees to resource the Sunday.
As such we have agreed a further Joint Communication which is also attached to explain the difference and the crossover and confirm that this aspect is subject to further National talks and an agreed Joint Statement being concluded, if the contract is won.
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Mark Baulch Davie Robertson
CWU Assistant Secretary CWU Assistant Secretary