Royal Mail Group Vehicle ‘Touchpoints’ Cleaning Poster and Communication To All Managers (Coronavirus/Covid-19 Safety Precautions)

Royal Mail Group Vehicle ‘Touchpoints’ Cleaning Poster and Communication To All Managers (Coronavirus/Covid-19 Safety Precautions)

Royal Mail Group has issued an updated, jointly agreed ‘Vehicle Touchpoints’ Cleaning Poster and communication to all office managers where Royal Mail, Parcelforce and RMSS Fleet vehicles are operated. The vehicle touchpoints poster has been updated to reinforce the requirement for all drivers to wipe down vehicles before and after use.  This is a requirement regardless of whether the vehicles are shared or not.

The poster has been agreed by the Royal Mail Group National Road Safety Manager.

There is also now a requirement to record ‘touchpoints cleaned’ in the vehicle log book to provide a record that this has taken place.

The re-issue of the updated ‘Vehicle Touchpoints’ Cleaning Poster and communication to all office managers to monitor the cleaning and ensure its carried out is a welcomed development and is obviously a reaction to the recent enforcement action taken against Royal Mail on vehicle cleaning standard failures by the HSE, as reported in LTB 517/20 issued on 28 October 2020.

Managers have also been advised that when completing ‘SMAT’s’, they should include a check of the vehicle log book and record any observations in the ‘Hygiene Factors Section’ of their ‘SMAT’ report (see note below).

Would all CWU Workplace Safety Reps please regularly check that ‘touchpoint cleaning’ of vehicles is undertaken at their office and if not please report it to both the office manager and to the Branch Area Health and Safety Rep.

Would all Area Health and Safety Reps please carry out health and safety inspection spot checks on this activity and where it is not carried out, please immediately record and report the fact urgently to Operational Management and the RMG Safety Health and Environment Team in order that remedial action can be taken.


SMAT = ‘Safety Management Audit Training’ template/form is a management document and process, completed by managers/PiCs (Person in Control) to enforce safety standards and safe systems of work. The aim of SMAT is to change safe working behaviours and improve health and safety in order to reduce injuries at work through safety and health observations, constructive feedback and coaching conversations with employees. (SMAT Templates are not for use by CWU Health and Safety Reps).

The number of SMATs required to be completed by managers varies from function to function but typically operations managers are targeted to complete a SMAT once a week and non-operational managers once a month. (See attached example copy of ‘SMAT’ template/forms for delivery managers (onsite, yard and offsite) – Note: ‘SMAT’ form contents vary according to the operation/function in which they are used).


  • Vehicle Touch Points Cleaning Poster
  • ‘SMAT’ Forms (Delivery – On Site, Yard, Off Site)

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 520/20 – RMG Vehicle Touchpoints Cleaning Poster and Communication To All Managers (Coronavirus Covid-19 Safety Precautions)

Cleaning Touchpoints Poster v3

SHE Guidance (SMAT) 2019 (v 1.1)

SMAT template Offsite – Delivery (June 2020)

SMAT template Onsite – Delivery (June 2020)

SMAT template Yard – Delivery (June 2020)



Branches and representatives will be aware that over a number of years the department has agreed Autumn Pressure arrangements for the coverage of Parcelforce Customer Service provision. In recent years these have included the outsourcing of workload to a third party to take pressure off of our depot based operations. Discussions have taken place again this year.

While the expectation this year is that peak will increase demand the business believe that a number of factors mean that this workload can be handled in-house this year. Despite the effects of Covid, Parcelforce Quality of Service has been broadly maintained which has meant that the trend towards a reduction in call numbers has continued. In addition, the Covid crisis has led to a significant rise in first time deliveries, which when married to a far higher percentage of Customer Service activity happening on line through the self-service system, Parcelforce believe that the expected call volumes can be absorbed without the need to outsource work.

The revised plan utilises the current call centre sites, which have capacity for additional agency resource while maintaining social distancing as many of our members are currently home working. In addition, the calls will be routed through 4 individual depots (Basingstoke, Bristol, Manchester and Solent) which again have capacity for additional staff.

While the plan is designed to take pressure off of the depots Branches will note that within the depots the plan will not adversely affect earnings opportunities with access to Overtime/Scheduled Attendance and the opportunity for part time staff to increase their hours in line with the normal peak arrangements.

Local discussions at all sites will agree the required resourcing arrangements using all resourcing options and we have ensured that there is a fast track referral to the Regional Operation Manager and Regional Organiser to assist in reaching agreement should that be required.

Given that this is a new process for this year the arrangements will continue to be reviewed Nationally during the peak period to ensure that workload is manageable and service is maintained.

The agreed Joint Statement is attached for your information and appropriate engagement should now take place between local Parcelforce Representatives and Managers in order to ensure adequate cover is put in place to cover the Autumn Pressure/Christmas period.

Branches are requested to ensure that the Joint Statement is brought to the attention of our Parcelforce Representatives and members.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to: Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: quoting reference 134.02.

Yours sincerely

Davie Robertson

Assistant Secretary

LTB 518/20

Attachment 1 – JS PFW Peak Customer Service Plan 29.10.20

Cleaning Standards For Buildings & Vehicles (Coronavirus/Covid-19) – HSE Enforcement Action:

Cleaning Standards For Buildings & Vehicles (Coronavirus/Covid-19) – HSE Enforcement Action:

As Branches and in particular Health and Safety Reps will be aware, there have been constant announcements and reminders issued by the Government, the UK’s Chief Medical Officers, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), NHS, DHSE, PHE, HSE and Local Authorities etc., all emphasising the need for the uplifting and maintenance of cleaning standards of the workplace, stressing the need for more regular and stringent cleaning standards to combat the Coronavirus/Covid-19 Virus spread.

This matter has in turn been raised repeatedly by the Health, Safety & Environment Department at the weekly RMG/CWU National Joint Coronavirus Operational Group Skype Meetings and with the Royal Mail National Directors (Ricky McAulay RM Field Operations Director, Shaun Davis RMG Global Director compliance and sustainability, Simon Barker RM National Network & Integration Director and Freddie Warnock RMG UK Operations National Safety Health & Environment Strategic Business Partner and separately with Martin Gafsen Director Royal Mail Group Property & Facilities Services – and their senior management teams).

Recently at Deeside Parcelforce Depot, there was an intervention by a HSE Field Force Enforcement Inspector which resulted in the findings of two crucially significant Covid-19 contraventions on the subject of the cleaning standards of the building and of the vehicles. As a result, an Enforcement Notice and Fee For Intervention (FFI) charge was served on the business, (a copy is attached).

Firstly – notably the HSE Inspector found that RMG/Parcelforce had made two contraventions of Sec.2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which sets out the employer’s legal duty and requires the employer to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all employees.

The HSE notice states that this duty extends to managing and controlling risks of infection from coronavirus in the workplace and includes measures such as frequent cleaning of surfaces such as door handles, taps etc., social distancing, and other mitigation measures. During the Inspector’s investigation of the COVID-19 arrangements at the premises, he found that the current cleaning arrangements are not sufficient to minimise the risks associated with COVID-19. 

The HSE Inspector stated that Royal Mail Group/Parcelforce must increase how often and how thoroughly the business cleans the workplace, as well as:

  • Cleaning surfaces that are not normally cleaned.
  • Develop and implement a cleaning policy for the facilities at the Depot/Office.
  • Monitor the cleaning to ensure cleaners are following company cleaning policy and standards.
  • Keep records.
  • Inform all cleaners of the cleaning policy content and instruct them on the cleaning procedure.

Secondly – In relation to vehicle cleaning, the HSE Inspector found that drivers did not have the time to clean their vehicle at the end of each shift to the required standard to be ‘Covid-Safe’ and there is currently no supervision or monitoring of this cleaning activity. Additionally, it was found that cleaning of vehicles was not always completed. The HSE Inspector concluded that current cleaning arrangements of vehicles are not sufficient to minimise the risks associated with COVID-19 and instructed Royal Mail Group/Parcelforce that they must ensure that employees clean Vehicles after each use which is important to prevent any transmission of COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces.

The Inspector found that at present, there is no supervision or monitoring of vehicle cleaning and that there is only limited time for staff to complete this important task of cleaning their vehicles. He concluded on this point that because of the lack of supervision and limited time allocated, this important task is not always completed and that this failure increased the risk of infection from Coronavirus/COVID-19, therefore suitable a cleaning system with supervision

and monitoring must be implemented to ensure this task is completed to the required standard. Royal Mail Group/Parcelforce are required by the HSE to develop and implement a vehicle cleaning policy and all drivers must be informed of the policy content and instructed on the cleaning procedure, materials to use and on waste disposal. Appropriate cleaning materials must be made available to drivers and sufficient time provided to allow vehicle cleaning to be completed. RMG/Parcelforce must additionally ensure that arrangements are in place to monitor the cleaning of vehicles, and that records are kept, demonstrating which vehicle/driver was inspected and whether they were following the company vehicle cleaning policy.

In short, Royal Mail Group and Parcelforce as the employer must provide:

  • Adequate time for staff to clean their vehicles at the end of each shift or use.
  • Adequate cleaning materials.
  • Adequate waste disposal arrangements.
  • Arrangements for monitoring the vehicle cleaning.
  • Carry out inspections and keep records demonstrating the vehicles have been cleaned and drivers were following the company vehicle cleaning policy.

The HSE Inspector’s findings required that remedial action needed to be applied across all Parcelforce Depots and in fact across all Royal Mail Offices and all of the Vehicle Fleet wherever they operate.

Would All Area Health and Safety Reps and Workplace Health and Safety Reps bring the attached HSE ‘Notice of Contravention’ to the attention of their local office and area operations management in order to press home the need for better cleaning standards – failing which there will be further HSE Enforcement Action which if repeated will undoubtedly lead to prosecutions and fines. 

This information can equally be used to bring this matter to the attention of BT or any other employer to remind them of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 Section 2 General Duties to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their workforce plus the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 Section 9 duty to ensure every workplace is kept sufficiently clean.


  • HSE ’Notice of Contravention’.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

20LTB517 Cleaning Standards For Buildings & Vehicles (Coronavirus Covid-19) – HSE Enforcement Action

NOC final draft 15 Oct 2020

HSE – Cleaning – make your workplace and Vehicles COVID-secure

NHS Recognising Coronavirus/Covid-19 Symptoms Poster – How to Tell the Difference Between the Flu, a Common Cold, and Coronavirus/Covid-19:

NHS Recognising Coronavirus/Covid-19 Symptoms Poster – How to Tell the Difference Between the Flu, a Common Cold, and Coronavirus/Covid-19:

It’s not always as easy to tell the difference between Coronavirus/Covid-19, the Flu and the Common Cold and the attached NHS Poster compares the symptoms of each virus in a simple way, given the best available information to date. The Health, Safety & Environment Department are circulating the poster for the assistance of Branches and Health and Safety Reps.

Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and Flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. Because some of the symptoms of Flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis. Flu and COVID-19 share many characteristics, but there are some key differences between the two. The common cold is also a viral infection of your nose and throat (upper respiratory tract). It’s usually harmless, although it might not feel that way. Again there are similarities in some symptoms. Many types of viruses can cause a common cold.

As we edge into winter, with no signs of the Covid-19 pandemic slowing down there are widespread concerns and anxiety about getting ill with the virus. The first indication of any form of sickness often leaves people instantly anxious that they’ve caught Covid-19 and while it’s very important that people are sensible and take steps to isolate if they do reasonably fear that they’ve contracted Covid-19, it’s also worth remembering that it could easily be something else.

In the colder winter months, cases of Flu and the common cold will be on the rise, which means either of those could well be the culprit for people feeling under-the-weather. But of course, it’s not always easy to tell the difference between Coronavirus/Covid-19, the Flu, and a cold.

COVID-19 and the common cold share similar respiratory symptoms, like a cough. However, with coronavirus, people tend to have a dry cough and will cough much more frequently and continuously, and it may be accompanied by shortness of breath. The common cold cough is generally milder and wet. Coronavirus will usually lead to a full-blown fever. On the other hand, although a cold can cause a slightly raised temperature it’s unlikely to develop into a fever. A cold will leave you sneezing, with a stuffy and runny nose. Typically, sneezing or a stuffy, runny nose are not symptoms of Covid-19 or Flu. Changes to taste and smell will differ. You can find the loss of smell and taste a lot more noticeable and extreme with Covid-19, as opposed to a regular cold where there are usually only minor changes to smell and taste.

There are quite a lot of common, overlapping symptoms between Covid-19 and the Flu. The symptoms that are very common in both illnesses include cough, fever and fatigue. The risk of catching the Flu can be countered by getting a Flu Jab – This is ‘free of charge’ to all Post Office and Royal Mail CWU members – See LTBs 414/20, 437/20, 478/20 and 500/20. The main difference is how suddenly symptoms come on. If your symptoms come on suddenly it is more likely to be Flu, as COVID-19 symptoms usually develop gradually. With the Flu, you may wake up and suddenly feel achy and have a fever, and you may feel too ill to function. With COVID-19, this tends to be at a more gradual pace compared to Flu and symptoms range from mild to severe. Symptoms may start off mild but can become quite serious particularly around day 7 of infection.

While the poster shows that there are certainly some differentiating factors between the three illnesses, it’s frustrating that the only way of knowing for certain if you’ve contracted Covid-19 is to have a COVID-19 test.

If your only symptoms are a new continuous dry cough, loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, and high temperature, then it is probable that you have COVID-19, and you should act accordingly. It is important to note that no diagnosis based on symptoms alone is 100% accurate and if you find yourself with symptoms of COVID-19 then you must isolate and arrange a test as soon as possible for your own peace of mind and to keep others safe.


  • Wash hands regularly, keep your distance from others, keep hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes handy for those times when you don’t have access to soap and water.
  • Get a Flu Jab at the earliest opportunity.
  • Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 must isolate and arrange a Covid-19 test as soon as possible for their own peace of mind and to keep others safe.


  • NHS Recognising Coronavirus/Covid-19, Flu and Cold Symptoms Poster

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

20LTB516 NHS Poster – How to Tell the Difference Between Flu, a Common Cold, and Covid-19

NHS Covid Flu and Cold symptoms comparisons

Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2020

Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2020


‘Breast Cancer Now’ is a charity in the United Kingdom which was formed in 2015 by the merger of two charities, ‘Breast Cancer Campaign’ and ‘Breakthrough Breast Cancer’. In 2019 the two biggest breast cancer charities, ‘Breast Cancer Care’ and ‘Breast Cancer Now’ merged and the organisation is now the United Kingdom’s largest breast cancer charity.  By merging, the two organisations aim to create one ‘comprehensive support offer’ for people affected by the disease and also increase their campaigning voice with a united ‘Action Plan’ so that by 2050, everyone who develops breast cancer will live.  The CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department is working with the charity again to support this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign and circulating information that can be reproduced and circulated or bulk ordered from the charity, the contact details for which are set out below.

Facts and statistics 2020

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women the UK with one woman diagnosed every 10 minutes.
  • Around 55,000 women and 370 menare diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK.
  • In England, every year around 46,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • In Scotland, every year around 4,700 people are diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • In Wales, every year around 2,800 people are diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • In Northern Ireland, every year around 1,500 people are diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • A further 7,000 people are diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), an early form of breast cancer, in the UK every year.
  • One in sevenwomen in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
  • This month nearly 5,000 peoplewill be diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Eight out of 10cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women aged 50 and over. 
  • One-quarterof cases are diagnosed in women aged 75 and over. Just over 10,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 50 every year in the UK. Of these, around 7,600 women will be in their 40s.
  • Around 2,300women in the UK are diagnosed aged 39 or under, or just 4% of all cases. Breast cancer in men is rare with just 370 new cases in the UK each year, compared to around 55,000 new cases in women.
  • Almost nine in ten(85%) of women survive breast cancer for five years or more.
  • Breast cancer survival is improving and has doubled in the past 40 yearsin the UK due to a combination of improvements in treatment and care, earlier detection through screening and a focus on targets, including faster diagnosis.
  • An estimated 600,000 peopleare alive in the UK after a diagnosis of breast cancer. This is predicted to rise to 2 million in 2030. For many the overwhelming emotional and physical effects of the disease can be long-lasting.
  • Every year around 11,500women and 85 men die from breast cancer in the UK – that’s nearly 1,000 deaths each month, 31 each day or one every 45 minutes.
  • Breast cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the UK.
  • Breast cancer is a leading cause of death in women under 50 in the UK.

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is cancer that starts in the breast tissue. One in seven women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Breast cancer can cause symptoms such as a lump, but a lump is not the only symptom of breast cancer.

How does breast cancer start?

Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to divide and grow in an unusual and uncontrolled way.

Where does breast cancer start?

Breast cancer can start in different parts of the breast. The most common type of breast cancer starts in the ducts. The ducts are tubes in the breast that carry breast milk to the nipple. Sometimes cancer can start in the lobules. The lobules are glands that produce milk for breastfeeding.

Who does breast cancer affect?

Breast cancer mainly affects older women. Most breast cancers (80%) occur in women over the age of 50. And the older you are, the higher your risk. Men can also get breast cancer, but this is rare. Most men who get breast cancer are over 60. Breast cancer is caused by a combination of our genes, environment and lifestyles.

Being breast aware

The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the better the chance of successful treatment. So it’s important to check your breasts regularly and see your GP if you notice a change. Find out more about checking your breasts and the changes to be aware of.

What is secondary (or metastatic) breast cancer?

Secondary (or metastatic) breast cancer is when breast cancer spreads from the breast to other parts of the body, becoming incurable. Breast cancer most commonly spreads to the bones, brain, lungs or liver. While it cannot be cured, there are treatments that can help control certain forms of the disease for some time and relieve symptoms to help people live well for as long as possible. There are an estimated 35,000 people living with secondary breast cancer in the UK. In around 5% of women, breast cancer has already spread by the time it is diagnosed.

Breast cancer symptoms and signs

The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the better the chance of successful treatment. So it’s important to check the breasts regularly and see a GP if changes are noticed. Common breast cancer signs and symptoms include:

  • a lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit – a lump might be felt but it can’t be seen.
  • a change to the skin, such as puckering or dimpling
  • a change in the colour of the breast – the breast may look red or inflamed
  • a change to the nipple, for example it has become pulled in (inverted)
  • rash or crusting around the nipple
  • any unusual liquid (discharge) from either nipple
  • changes in size or shape of the breast

On its own, pain in the breasts is not usually a sign of breast cancer. But those suffering pain need to look out for pain that’s there all or most of the time. Noticing an unusual change doesn’t necessarily mean it’s breast cancer, and most breast changes are not because of cancer. But it’s important to get checked by a GP. Men can also develop breast cancer but it is very rare.

How to check the breasts

Checking the breasts only takes a few minutes. There’s no special technique and it doesn’t need training to check the breasts. Check the whole breast area, including the upper chest and armpits. Do this regularly to check for changes.

Remember as TLC: Touch – Look – Check

  • Touchyour breasts: can you feel anything unusual?
  • Lookfor changes: does anything look different?
  • Checkany changes with your GP

If anything unusual is felt or seen – make sure it’s checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. If the doctor thinks further testing is required, they will refer the individual to a breast clinic to see a specialist.

*SEE ATTACHED factsheet, leaflets and booklets

What will happen when seeing the GP?

if any unusual changes in the breast are noticed, see a GP as soon as possible. The GP will examine the breasts. After examining the breasts, the GP may:

  • feel that there’s no need for further investigation
  • ask to see the patient again after a short time
  • refer the patient to a breast clinic

Being referred to a breast clinic doesn’t necessarily mean that the patient has breast cancer. It just means that more tests are needed to find out what’s going on. If the GP is male and the patient is a woman and doesn’t feel comfortable going to see him, the patient can ask if there’s a female doctor available or request a female nurse or member of staff to be present during the examination, or take a friend or relative to the appointment.

Breast screening

What is breast screening?

Breast screening uses a breast x-ray, called a mammogram, to look for breast cancers that may be too small to see or feel. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the UK. The sooner it’s diagnosed, the more effective treatment is likely to be. Screening can pick up cancers earlier, before there are any signs or symptoms.

When are Women invited for screening? 

The UK breast screening age  

As people get older, the risk of breast cancer increases. Women aged 50 to their 71st birthday are invited for a mammogram every three years as part of a national breast screening programme. People have to be registered with a GP to be automatically invited for screening.

Women over 71

Women who are 71 or over will not automatically be sent an invitation for screening. Ordinarily, women who are 71 and over can continue to have breast screening every three years if they ask for it.  However, at the current time the self-referral system has been paused. This is to allow screening services to catch up after delays to screening caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Age extension trial  

In England, some breast screening clinics were taking part in a trial where some women under 50 and over 70 were invited for screening. This was to see if it would be beneficial to extend the age range for all women in the future. As part of the age extension trial, some women aged 47 to 49 and 71 to 73 were invited for a mammogram. This trial has now stopped.

What happens during breast screening?

The appointment will be at a breast screening unit. This might be a breast screening clinic or in some areas a mobile screening unit. First, the patient will be asked to complete a questionnaire. It will ask about any ongoing medical conditions, of if the patient is having hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and if the patient has had any breast problems.

The mammogram will be carried out by a woman

A female mammography practitioner (an expert in taking breast x-rays) will explain what will happen and answer any questions. She will ask if the patient is pregnant or thinks they may be pregnant.

The patient will be asked to remove clothing from the waist up

The patient will stand in front of the mammogram machine and the breasts will be placed one at a time on the x-ray machine. The breast will be pressed down firmly on the surface by a clear plate. At least two pictures of each breast will be taken, one from top to bottom and then a second from side to side to include the part of the breast that extends into the armpit.

Getting your results 

The results of the screening mammogram are sent by post to you and the patient’s GP. Most women will receive a letter telling them that their mammogram showed no signs of cancer. They’ll be invited for screening again in three years. Some women will get a letter asking them to come back for further assessment. This is because more tests are needed to assess a change seen on the mammogram. Being recalled doesn’t necessarily mean that the person concerned has breast cancer, just that more tests are needed to find out what it is. Occasionally some women receive a letter asking them to go back for another mammogram because a technical issue meant the image was unclear.

Benefits and risks of breast screening 

There are advantages and disadvantages of breast screening.

Benefits of screening 

It can find breast cancer early. Screening can find a breast cancer early, before it can be seen or felt. The earlier breast cancer is found, the more likely it is to respond well to treatment, and the less likely individuals are to need a mastectomy (removal of the breast). It prevents deaths. Screening prevents an estimated 1,300 deaths from breast cancer each year in the UK. Another way of saying this is that for every 200 women screened, one life is saved.

Risks of screening 

Discomfort. Some women find having a mammogram uncomfortable. However, this isn’t always the case and a mammogram only takes a few seconds.


Some cancers found through breast screening will not develop any further or will grow so slowly that they will never cause any harm during a woman’s life. At the moment, doctors cannot tell which cancers can be left alone, so all cancers are treated. This means some women will have treatment that may be unnecessary (known as overtreatment).

Missed diagnosis

Mammograms are the most reliable way of detecting breast cancer sooner. However, they’re not 100% reliable and a small number of breast cancers are missed.  Around four out of every 100 women screened are recalled for further assessment. This is usually because an area has shown up on the mammogram and more information is needed before a result can be given. The majority of women recalled do not have breast cancer. However, being recalled or having more tests can cause a lot of worry and distress.


Having a mammogram every three years for 20 years means being exposed to a small amount of radiation. This can very slightly increase the risk of developing breast cancer in the future. The amount of radiation patients are exposed to during a mammogram is very low, and an individual would receive a similar amount from flying between London and Australia and back.

Who can help make the choice? 

Whether or not individuals go for screening is their choice. It’s important women have the information needed to make a decision. Anyone who wishes to discuss breast screening can call the ‘Brest Cancer Now’ charity’s free Helpline on 0808 800 6000.  Even if an individual doesn’t go to a screening appointment, they’ll continue to be automatically invited for screening for as long as they are eligible. People deciding not to go for a screening appointment should tell the screening service so they can offer the appointment to someone else.

Staying breast aware between mammograms 

Having mammograms cannot prevent breast cancer, and it’s possible for breast cancer to develop in the three years between each mammogram. It’s important to continue to be breast aware and report any changes to the GP even if the person has had a mammogram recently. Anyone who would like to discuss breast screening can call the ‘Brest Cancer Now’ charity’s free Helpline on 0808 800 6000.

What to expect at a breast clinic appointment

If a person has been referred to a breast clinic by their GP or if they’ve been recalled following routine breast screening, it’s natural to feel anxious or worried. The vast majority of people who are seen at a breast clinic will not have breast cancer. However, it’s still important to attend breast clinic appointments so the person concerned can be fully assessed.

The breast clinic appointment may take several hours so that all the necessary tests can be carried out. Patients will usually have a breast examination, followed by one or more of the following tests:

The order in which the tests are done will vary between clinics. Patients can take a partner, friend or relative with them for company and support. Some people prefer to go on their own. Patients may be asked to fill in a short questionnaire before they are seen by a doctor or specialist nurse. This includes questions about: any family history of breast problems, any medicines being taken, including hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or the contraceptive pill, any previous breast surgery, including breast implants. During a breast examination, the doctor or nurse may want to check both breasts when sitting, and again when lying down. As part of the examination, it’s normal to examine the lymph nodes (also called glands) under the arms (axilla) and around the neck. If the referral is from a breast screening clinic, the patient may not have a breast examination on some occasions. Having a breast examination, breast imaging (for example, a mammogram or an ultrasound scan) and tissue removal (for example, a core biopsy or FNA) is known as a triple assessment. This may be necessary to make a definite diagnosis.

When will patients get their results?

The assessment may be done in a one-stop clinic. This is where all tests are carried out during the visit to the clinic. Some test results may be available later that day, but if a core biopsy is carried out, this will take longer. In some areas, patients may be asked to make another appointment to finish the tests or to get the results. If this happens, the patient may have to wait about a week for the test results.

Being recalled to the breast clinic following a routine screening mammogram

About four women in a hundred are called back to a breast clinic following routine screening because they need more tests. This happens more often after a woman’s first mammogram, usually because there are no other mammograms to compare with. Something that may look unusual on a mammogram may be entirely normal, and most women who are recalled for assessment will not have breast cancer. Sometimes women may be recalled because the image taken isn’t clear and needs to be repeated. This is called a ‘technical recall’ and should be made clear in your letter. If a woman is recalled to a breast clinic after a routine mammogram as part of a national breast screening programme, they should receive a letter within two weeks of the mammogram explaining when (and where) the breast clinic appointment will be.

Being referred to a breast clinic by the GP

GPs follow guidance when deciding whether or not to refer patients to a breast clinic. The guidance outlines how quickly a person should be seen depending on their symptoms. Any queries about the waiting time for an appointment can be discussed with the GP.

Breast lumps, pain and benign breast conditions

Benign (not cancer) breast conditions are very common. Most breast changes, such as breast lumps or breast pain, are not signs of breast cancer. However, if a lump or any other change is noticed that’s new – the individual should see their GP as soon as possible.

Breast lumps

Breast lumps can have a number of different causes. It’s important to get any breast lumps checked by the doctor as a lump can be a sign of cancer.  Common causes of breast lumps


  • Breast cyst– a fluid-filled sac that can develop as the breasts change with age
  • Fibroadenoma– a lump that often develops during puberty, but which can occur at any age

Less common causes of breast lumps include:

Breast pain 

Breast pain is very common in women of all ages. Cyclic breast pain appears to have a strong link to hormones and the menstrual cycle. Cyclic breast pain often decreases or disappears with pregnancy or menopause. Noncyclic breast pain often results from changes that occur in the milk ducts or milk glands. Individuals should see their GP/doctor if the pain doesn’t improve or they notice swelling, a lump, redness and warmth, which could indicate an infection. More often, women have breast pain or discomfort related to their menstrual cycle. Also, some non-cancer breast conditions, such as mastitis, may cause a more sudden pain.

Rash under the breast

A rash under the breast or breasts, between the folds of skin, is usually caused by a skin condition called Intertrigo. It’s a very common condition that can occur throughout life.

Other common benign breast conditions include

  • Breast calcifications– these don’t cause any noticeable symptoms and are usually found during breast screening or an investigation for another breast problem.
  • Periductal mastitis– occurs when the ducts (tubes) under the nipple become inflamed and infected, causing a tender, hot or reddened breast.
  • Gynaecomastia– an enlargement of breast tissue in men, usually affecting teenage boys and older men.

Less common conditions benign breast conditions include

  • Hyperplasia and atypical hyperplasia – more common in women over 35, these conditions don’t usually cause any symptoms.
  • Mondor’s disease– caused by inflammation of a vein just under the skin of the breast or chest wall.
  • Sclerosing lesions of the breast– an area of hardened breast tissue, more common in women in their 30s and 40s.
  • Duct ectasia– a result of normal breast changes that happen with age, which doesn’t usually cause any symptoms.
  • Lobular neoplasia– usually found during a biopsy or test being done for another breast symptom or change, often in women aged 40 to 50.
  • Pseudoangiomatous Stromal Hyperplasia (PASH)– usually felt as a painless lump in the breast.

Seeing a GP

Even though most breast changes will not be cancer, it’s still important to find out what is causing a change. The GP will examine the breasts. They may decide there’s no need for further investigation, or they may refer an individual to a breast clinic for further tests.

Breast cancer causes

Many different things can affect the chances of getting breast cancer. There’s no single cause. It results from a combination of the way people live their lives, people’s genes and the environment. No one can predict who will get breast cancer and it’s not possible to confidently say what might have caused someone’s breast cancer. There are, however, some things people can do to lower their chances of getting it.

Age and breast cancer risk

Getting older is the most significant risk for developing breast cancer.  Most breast cancers (80%) occur in women over the age of 50. And the older a person is, the higher the risk. Most men who get breast cancer are over 60.

Risks people cannot control 

As well as getting older, some other things that people cannot do anything about can affect a person’s risk of breast cancer, such as when a woman starts having periods. Women who started their periods at an early age (before 12) have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. The earlier women began their periods, the higher the risk. However, this increase in risk is small. Also if a woman goes through a later menopause (the average age is 52), the chance of getting breast cancer is slightly increased. Breast density is the amount of breast tissue compared to fat tissue in the breasts and those who have a high amount of breast tissue compared to fat, have a ‘high breast density’ and this increases the risk of breast cancer. The denser the breast, the greater the risk. Breast density varies naturally between women and can only be measured on a mammogram. Most benign breast conditions do not increase the risk of breast cancer however.  People who have atypical hyperplasia or lobular neoplasia have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer.

Lifestyle and breast cancer risk 

By making small changes and living well now, people can lower their chances of getting breast cancer. It doesn’t guarantee that a person won’t develop breast cancer, but leading a healthy lifestyle does give people a better chance.


Regularly drinking alcohol is associated with a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Limiting the amount of alcohol consumed can reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Being overweight or obese

The risk of developing breast cancer increases in people who are overweight or obese after the menopause. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces the risk.

Keeping active

Being physically active for around 20 minutes a day can reduce the risk of breast cancer.


There’s growing evidence that smoking increases the risk of breast cancer. The risk is higher in women with a significant family history of breast cancer. The younger a woman is when she begins smoking, the higher her risk. The increased risk remains for at least 20 years after stopping smoking.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Having children has a complex effect on breast cancer risk. Overall, in the long term, pregnancy reduces the risk of breast cancer. Breastfeeding children slightly reduces the risk of breast cancer.

The pill and HRT

Taking the combined contraceptive pill slightly increases the risk of breast cancer. Within a few years of stopping, however, this risk disappears. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases the risk of breast cancer while taking it and for a few years after stopping.

A family history of breast cancer

Having someone in the family with breast cancer doesn’t automatically mean a person’s own risk is increased. For most people, having a relative with breast cancer does not increase their risk. However, a small number of women and men have an increased risk of developing breast cancer because they have a significant family history.


There are many myths about the causes of breast cancer. For example, some people worry about using deodorants or wearing an underwire bra, but these things do not increase the risk of breast cancer.

Breast cancer in men

Many people don’t know that men can get breast cancer because they don’t think of men as having breasts. But men do have a small amount of breast tissue. Breast cancer in men is cancer that starts in this small amount of breast tissue. Breast cancer in men is very rare. Around 370 men are diagnosed each year in the UK. Most men who get breast cancer are over 60, although younger men can be affected.

Signs and symptoms of male breast cancer

The most common symptom is a lump in the chest area which is often painless.

Other symptoms of male breast cancer may include:

  • Liquid, sometimes called discharge, that comes from the nipple without squeezing and which may be blood-stained
  • A tender or inverted (pulled in) nipple
  • Ulcers (sores) on the chest or nipple area
  • Swelling of the chest area and occasionally the lymph nodes under the arm

What to do if a symptom is noticed?

If a change to the breast tissue or nipple is noticed, the man should see their GP as soon as possible. They should also report any changes up to the collarbone or in in the armpit. Men’s breast tissue can also become enlarged because of a benign (not cancer) condition called gynaecomastia.

Causes of breast cancer in men 

The exact causes of breast cancer in men are not fully understood, but certain things increase the risk. Male breast cancer studies are looking at what might cause breast cancer in men.


Most men who get breast cancer are over 60, although younger men can be affected.

High oestrogen levels

There’s some evidence that men are at greater risk if they have higher than normal levels of the hormone oestrogen. All men have a small amount of oestrogen. High oestrogen levels can occur in men because of:

  • Long-term liver damage, particularly cirrhosis
  • Obesity (being very overweight)
  • Some genetic conditions, such as Klinefelter’s syndrome


Men who have had previous radiotherapy to the chest, for example to treat Hodgkin Lymphoma, may have a slightly increased risk of developing breast cancer.

Family history

A small number of men have a significant family history of breast cancer. This may be because they inherited an altered gene that increases the risk of breast cancer. The most common altered genes are called BRCA1 and BRCA2. BRCA2 is more commonly associated with breast cancer in men. Those with an altered gene, have a higher risk of breast cancer and possibly other cancers. However, the increased risk of breast cancer is still low and less than women in the general population. Children will have a 50% chance of inheriting the altered gene. Anyone concerned about their family history should, as a first step to talk to their GP.


Anyone with any symptoms of breast cancer should in the first instance go to see their GP. The GP will carry out an examination. They’ll then follow a set of guidelines to decide whether to refer an individual to a breast clinic, and how urgently that person should be seen.

What to expect at the breast clinic

The breast clinic appointment may take several hours so that all the necessary tests can be carried out. Patients will usually have a breast examination, Individuals can take a partner, close friend or relative with them for company or support. Some people prefer to go on their own. A doctor or specialist nurse will ask about symptoms and patients may be asked to fill in a short questionnaire including questions about any family history of breast problems and any medication being taking. Patients will have an examination and may undergo some tests. Further tests may be needed such as:

  • A mammogram (x-ray of the breast tissue).
  • An ultrasound scan (using sound waves to produce an image).
  • A core biopsy of the breast tissue and sometimes lymph nodes (using a hollow needle to take a sample of tissue to be looked at under a microscope – several tissue samples may be taken at the same time).
  • A fine needle aspiration (FNA) of the breast tissue and sometimes lymph nodes (using a fine needle and syringe to take a sample of cells to be looked at under a microscope).

Getting the results

The breast clinic staff will inform patients how and when they’ll get their results. If all your tests are done in a one-stop clinic, some of the results may be available later that day, but if a core biopsy in undertaken, this will take longer. Or patients may be given further appointments to complete all the tests and get the results. The results will also be sent to the person’s GP, and patients can ask for a copy of the letter. If the patient is diagnosed with breast cancer the person will be told if it is early breast cancer, also known as primary breast cancer, or if breast cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body, known as secondary or metastatic breast cancer. The patient will also be given more detailed information about treatment. A breast care nurse will normally talk the patient through the diagnosis and treatment. They will also offer support and information and can be a point of contact throughout the treatment and afterwards.

Coping with breast cancer

If results show a male patient that they have breast cancer, it can be stressful and cause anxiety, shock, fear, disbelief and sadness. Family and Friends can be a good source of support and it’s good to talk. Male patients can talk to the breast care nurse, the treatment team or their GP about any concerns they have.

The ‘Walk The Walk’ breast cancer charity has a monthly virtual meet-up (VMU) for men diagnosed with breast cancer. All men with a history of a breast cancer diagnosis are welcome. To join the conversation or for more information, contact Doug Harper by emailing  For more information and to find out what support is available, you can also call the ‘Breast Cancer Now’ free Helpline on 0808 800 6000.

Further support – Helpline

Further support and information is available from ‘Breast Cancer Now’ who are happy to field enquiries.  For people referred to a breast clinic who feel worried or frightened that they have breast cancer, there’s an opportunity to talk things through or have questions about breast health or breast cancer answered by an expert, calls can be made to the charity’s free Helpline or people can email their expert nurses.

Contact Details:-

Breast Cancer Now
Fifth Floor
Ibex House
42-47 Minories

Telephone: 0345 092 0800


Helpline/Information Line – Talk to the “Breast Cancer Now” Breast Care Nurses0808 800 6000


Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak most national screening services were temporarily suspended March–July 2020 but screening has now restarted. Due to a backlog it could take some time for services to be fully restored. Nearly one million women in the UK have missed potentially lifesaving NHS breast screening due to COVID-19, ‘Breast Cancer Now’ the leading UK breast cancer charity has warned. See attached Press Release from the ‘Breast Cancer Now’ charity.


  • How To Check Your Breasts Factsheet
  • Breast Cancer and You Diagnosis and Treatment BCC Booklet
  • Breast Cancer Screening NHS and Cancer Research Pamphlet
  • Breast Cancer Your Breasts Your Health BCC Poster
  • Breast Cancer Your Breasts Your Health BCC Booklet
  • Breast Cancer Touch Look Check BCN Mini Pocket Guide
  • Breast Cancer Touch Look Check BCN Leaflet
  • Breast Cancer Key Facts BCN Leaflet
  • BCN Press Release – 1 Million Women Miss Breast Screening due to Covid-19 Pandemic

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 515/20 – Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2020

Almost one million women in UK miss vital breast screening due to COVID….

Breast Cancer – Key Facts Leaflet

Breast Cancer – Touch Look Check (TLC) Leaflet

Breast Cancer – Touch Look Check Mini Guide

Breast Cancer – Your Breasts Your Health Booklet

Breast Cancer – Your Breasts Your Health Poster

Breast Cancer Screening

Breast_Cancer_and_You_Diagnosis Treatment (Breast Cancer Care Booklet)…

How to check your breasts Factsheet



I am pleased to report that following exchanges of correspondence with Nick Read, Group CEO, it has been agreed that Saturday 26th December is once again designated a “Non-Service day” for Crown Offices. This means those members who would have been scheduled to work will have the day off and will not have to make up the hours.

After the extremely difficult last six months this will no doubt come as a relief for our members in Crowns Offices who, like so many of our members, are designated as Key Workers and have kept serving the public throughout the pandemic. The long weekend break is totally deserved, especially as the lead up to Christmas is expected to be exceptionally busy with greater than normal Mails volumes. I am pleased to see that the Post Office recognises our members working in Crown Offices warrant the time off to be with their families.

I would be grateful if Branches and Representatives can ensure this information is shared with our members working in Crowns Offices.

Yours sincerely

Andy Furey
Assistant Secretary

LTB 514/20 – Post Office – Non-Service Day Saturday 26th December 2020



Branches and representatives will be aware that as a result of the Covid-19 crisis the business is forecasting unprecedented levels of parcel traffic during the Autumn/Christmas Peak period.

It has been clear for some months that the business has been planning to build a peak operation on top of parcel traffic volumes, which are already at levels we would normally associate with Christmas. The threat of a 2nd National lockdown, the prospect of another increase on online shopping and the requirements in relation to the test kit programme, have undoubtedly added complications into the discussions in respect of arrangements for this year.

On a cross departmental basis, we have been engaging with the business in order to enable Branches and representatives to engage on arrangements to meet the demands of Peak. Discussions have now concluded and attached for your information are the agreed Peak/Christmas Arrangements 2020/21, which have been endorsed by the Postal Executive.

You will note that the attached broadly mirrors prior agreements and retains all of the elements and safeguards achieved in previous years. In addition and given the current situation, the document also builds in other safeguards and commitments in relation to this.

As you will be aware this year Boxing Day falls on the Saturday and in line with the precedent set in 2004, the 26th December is declared a non USO day. However, the business has indicated that there is a requirement to collect, process and deliver Covid-19 test kits. Where service requires attendance on Saturday 26th December, the business have agreed that attendance will be voluntary and will attract Scheduled Attendance rates.

In Scotland as in 2009 and 2015, Royal Mail have requested that the non USO day associated to the 2nd New Year Bank Holiday is moved from Monday 4th January to Saturday 2nd January. On this occasion Ofcom have chosen to open a consultation on the issue which will close on the 2nd November. Royal Mail expect the change to happen and are planning on that basis, however the agreement recognises that planning may have to be adjusted should Ofcom decide not to mirror the previous arrangements.

In anticipation of the expected traffic levels the agreement covers, temporary workplan changes, early and late supplementary parcel deliveries, night opening for DO’s, and Sunday operational arrangements and provides clarity on Customer Service Point (CSP) opening times.

Both departments believe that the arrangements will be welcomed by our Branches and Representatives and will provide guidance on ensuring that resourcing for the Peak/Christmas Pressure period is conducted in line with Nationally agreed standards. On that basis representatives are now encouraged to engage with managers in relation to agreeing arrangements.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to:
Processing/Distribution: Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: dwyatt@cwu.orgquoting reference 706A.13
Deliveries/Collections: Mark Baulch, Assistant Secretary, email: outdoorsecretary@cwu.orgquoting reference 170.

Yours sincerely,

Davie Robertson Assistant Secretary
Mark Baulch Assistant Secretary

LTB 513-20 Peak Christmas Arrangements 26.10.20

Attachment – Peak Christmas Arrangements 26.10.20

RM/CWU Joint Statement – Covid-19 Bespoke Weekend Priority Postbox Collection

RM/CWU Joint Statement – Covid-19 Bespoke Weekend Priority Postbox Collection

Dear Colleagues,

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.

Any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 600, email address: or please contact the Parcels, Network, International and Quadrant Department reference 014.14 email address

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baulch                                   Davie Robertson
CWU Assistant Secretary             CWU Assistant Secretary

LTB 512-20 Joint Statement – Covid-19 Bespoke Weekend Priority Postbox Collection

Covid-19 Tender Proposal To Deliver T24 Test Kits

JS – COVID Bespoke Weekend Postbox Collections Joint Statement

Virtual Classroom Courses – Interim Training Programme

Virtual Classroom Courses – Interim Training Programme


As restrictions due to Covid-19 continue, we are aware of a growing need for education and training to be delivered.

To this end we have arranged for a number of online (virtual classroom) courses to be delivered regionally by our Further Education Partners in the devolved nations.

We will be reviewing this programme whilst it is being delivered to consider further provision in this way during the period of the pandemic.

Courses in Wales and EnglandDate CourseCut-off dateJanuary

11 – 15Introduction to H&S Part 1

5 Days duration (Mon – Fri) Timings to be set by the tutor to include setting of self-directed study and time away from screen*

20 Nov 20

Wed 13thMandatory Fair & Equal (1 Day)

Single Day duration (Wednesday) Timings to be set by the tutor to include setting of self-directed study and time away from screen**

20 Nov 2018 – 22Postal Agreements & Procedures*27 Nov 20Wed 20thMandatory Fair & Equal**27 Nov 2025 – 29Essential Skills Part 1* 4 Dec 20February2 – 4Mental Health Awareness (3 Days Tuesday ,Wednesday, Thursday)11 Dec 20Wed 10thMandatory Fair & Equal**11 Dec 2015 – 19Equal Rights Part 1* (all strands)11 Dec 20Wed 17thMandatory Fair & Equal **11 Dec 20March1 – 5Union Learning Reps Part 1*8  Jan 218 – 12Introduction to H&S Part 2*15 Jan 21Wed 10thMandatory Fair & Equal** 15 Jan 2116 – 18BAME Leadership Part 1 (3 Days Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)22 Jan 21Wed 17thMandatory Fair & Equal** 22 Jan 2122 – 26Essential Skills Part 2*29 Jan 2129 – 31Women’s Leadership (3 Days Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)5 Feb 21

Courses in Scotland / Northern IrelandDate 2021CourseCut-off dateJanuary

11 – 15Introduction to H&S Part 1*

 5 Days duration (Mon – Fri) Timings to be set by the tutor to include setting of self-directed   study and time away from screen*

20 Nov 20Wed 20th Mandatory Fair & Equal (1 Day, 2 day NI)

Single Day (2 in NI) Day duration (Wednesday) Timings to be set by the tutor to include setting of self-directed study and time away from screen**

27 Nov 2025 – 29  Postal Agreements & Procedures*4 Dec 20FebruaryWed 3rdMandatory Fair & Equal**11 Dec 208 – 12Essential Skills Part 1*11 Dec 2016 – 18Mental Health Awareness (3 Days Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)11 Dec 20Wed 24thMandatory Fair & Equal**11 Dec 20March1 -5Equal Rights Part 1* (all strands)8 Jan 2110Mandatory Fair & Equal**15 Jan 2115 – 19Union Learning Reps Part 1*22 Jan 2122 -26Introduction to H&S Part 2*29 Jan 2131stMandatory Fair & Equal**5 Feb 21April5 – 16No course20 – 22BAME Leadership Part 1 (3 Days Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)26 Feb 2123rdMandatory Fair & Equal**26 Feb 2126 – 30Essential Skills Part 25 Mar 21May4 – 6Women’s Leadership (3 Days Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)12 Mar 21

Application Process

Authorised applications must be received by the cut-off dates.  Branches must send an email to via the Branch Secretary only with the following information:

  • Title and date of course
  • Name of applicant
  • Branch
  • Membership number of applicant
  • Contact email address for the applicant
  • Contact mobile number
  • Any adjustments that require consideration

When applications have been received applicants MUST be registered as CWU Reps/Officers on the OLS system for applications to be processed. 

Attached is a guide on how to add Reps/Officers to the OLS for new Branch Secretaries.

The above is an interim online application procedure whilst a new process is in development.

IT, Infrastructure and learning differences

Having tested online delivery of samples of both accredited and unaccredited courses, it is crucial that the student is set up appropriately and in good time before the training commences.

The learner must preferably have access to a good PC / laptop.  Tablets can be used but have some limitation in our experience.  Attending training courses using a mobile phone will not be allowed.

There must be a stable internet connection from the learning is taking place.

Colleges will also be in contact before the course to advise of any additional requirements.

We would appreciate Branches assistance in ensuring any applicants are prepared in line with the above points.  If any reps encounter difficulties getting set up with IT equipment in preparation for course attendance, please advise their Branch Secretary, Union Learning Rep or the Equality, Education & Development as soon as possible.

Additionally, upon application; please ensure that we are aware in good time of any adjustments that may need to be arranged such as issues relating to dyslexia or sight / hearing differences.

Release & Notice

Paid release should normally apply where the union is recognised and / or in line with any existing agreements.

Please forward any enquiries relating to this LTB to in the first instance.

Finally, we are sure that Branches appreciate that this is a particularly challenging time for all concerned, including our partner providers and therefore we acknowledge and thank you in advance for your patience with this approach.

Yours sincerely,

Kate Hudson
Head of Equality, Training & Development

20LTB 511 – Virtual Classroom Courses – Interim Training Programme

OLS Advice



The purpose of this LTB is to advise Branches that next year is the 50th Anniversary of the 1971 Postal Strike, which ran for almost 7 weeks from the 20thJanuary 1971 to 8th March 1971.

Given the significance of this strike, not just to the CWU but also to the wider trade union movement and our social history, it is important that we commemorate what remains as the longest national strike that has ever taken place within the union (the then UPW).  Therefore, in conjunction with the Communications team, we are planning a special event for January 2021, in recognition of the sacrifices made by our members in supporting their union and we welcome any ideas from Branches on the best way to commemorate this.

As part of the planning we are compiling a list of members from 1971 who still remain members of the union today, albeit mostly retired.

Given that the dispute took place when postal and telecommunications were part of the old GPO, it’s also likely that some T&FS Branches may have members who took part in the strike, particularly in engineering and the old telephone operator grades.

To help us compile the list we are also asking Branches to put forward any individual members who you are aware would like to take part in the event.  This may involve those members talking about their recollections of the strike on video etc. and collecting relevant photos and memorabilia.

We will also be contacting retired members directly in due course and Norman Candy (former NEC member) will be placing information on the retired members’ website as we plan the event.

In the meantime, please send your ideas and any members you wish to nominate to participate in the event to Janina Dunn at

Please also ensure that the content of this LTB is raised directly with the retired members secretary and section of your Branch.

Any queries on the contents of this LTB should be addressed to

Yours sincerely

Dave Ward                                        Tony Kearns

General Secretary                        Senior Deputy General Secretary


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