Branches will be aware that Jeremy Corbyn MP was suspended as a member of the Labour Party on the 30thOctober. Since that date, we have received hundreds of enquiries regarding this news. Once the news of Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension became public, as General Secretary, I made statements demanding that he be readmitted to the Party following serious concerns regarding the process leading to his suspension and the political nature of it. I also made statements making clear my support for the EHRC report.

Branches will be aware that Jeremy Corbyn was readmitted to the Labour Party on the 17th November. It is our understanding that the panel convened to hear Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension case found him to be not guilty of any breaches in a unanimous decision. Despite political briefings surrounding this hearing, the panel included representatives from all sides of Labour’s left/right political spectrum.

Many hoped that this finding would lead to the Labour Party turning its focus to the important issues of the day including the economic outlook and the coronavirus crisis. This was also an important moment to begin implementing the EHRC recommendations on anti-semitism and doubling down on efforts to ensure that Labour becomes a truly anti-racist Party.

Instead, the Labour Leader Keir Starmer took the decision to suspend the Labour whip – a parliamentary term for admittance to the Parliamentary Party – from Jeremy Corbyn in a decision that flies in the face of the Party’s rules and customs. This decision also goes against all forms of natural justice given that Jeremy Corbyn had been found not guilty of the charges made against him by the Party’s formal processes.

Following these events, an emergency motion was presented to the CWU NEC. The motion read:

“The NEC endorses the Terms of the Joint Statement agreed by seven TULO unions, including the CWU, with regard to the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour Party and the call for him to be reinstated.  The statement is attached.

The NEC will be aware that Jeremy Corbyn has subsequently been reinstated as a Labour member but that following this the leader of the Labour Party announced yesterday that he would not be restoring the Whip to Jeremy Corbyn.  The NEC believe this is wrong and will support the call for the Whip to be restored to Jeremy Corbyn.

The General Secretary will bring forward a paper to the next NEC meeting to enable a discussion on this ongoing internal dispute within the Labour Party and the implications of it impacts on our political work.”

The motion was passed unanimously by the CWU National Executive

The CWU continues to support Jeremy Corbyn, who has been a long-term supporter of this Union’s industrial and political work. However, beyond Jeremy Corbyn as an individual, we also believe there is a very serious issue developing regarding freedom of expression and natural justice and the views of the Union on this have equally been expressed directly to the Labour Leader.  Additionally, we have also expressed our concerns over whether the current direction of Labour is truly representing the policies that Labour has previously agreed in supporting CWU members.

We are also aware that in relation to this issue a number of Labour Party CLPs, CLP Officers including a number of CWU members have been suspended from the Party as a result of them expressing their support for Jeremy Corbyn in the manner the union has at national level. We are led to believe that these actions have been instigated by the General Secretary of the Labour Party whom we understand is responsible for a directive informing Branches and CLP’s that these matters cannot be discussed. Our view is that this only serves to deepen divides within the Party along factional grounds. Given the serious political issues that our members face industrially and in their day to day lives both the approach and its consequences are unacceptable.

We would be grateful if branches could inform of us of any CWU members who they are aware have been suspended by the Labour Party over this issue and the reason given for such suspensions.

We also wish to make clear that in our exchanges with the Labour Leader on this matter, we have focused on the need for these issues to be resolved and for an end from all sides to the factional fighting that is making Labour look unelectable.

Finally, you will see from the motion, that we are due to bring forward a further paper to the National Executive, which will consider the implications of this internal Labour dispute on our ongoing political work.  Further developments will be reported in due course.

Any enquiries on the above should be sent to the General Secretary’s Office at

Yours sincerely

Dave Ward

General Secretary

LTB 566/20 – CWU support for Jeremy Corbyn MP

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Responding to today’s press release from OFCOM CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said ‘At a time when postal services have never been more essential and we should be investing in our national infrastructure, we should be looking for ways to protect and enhance a six day universal postal service, not for reasons to cut it back.”

“While letter volumes have continued to decline, there is huge demand for affordable high quality parcel services that cover every part of the country and during the pandemic Royal Mail has handled over 90% of all Covid-19 testing kits. A 6 day universal service remains essential to the UK and we should be looking at building new products and services into it to support its long-term sustainability rather than managing its decline.”

“It is ironic that this news from the regulator has come the day before Black Friday, one of the busiest posting days of the year, when no other person in the country is thinking about how to cut their postal services. It is essential that the government and MPs protect the country’s infrastructure and do not move to scrap the universal service at the worst possible time.”

“Ofcom’s research shows that 40% of people would feel cut-off from society without a daily postal service and that 61% of people think it’s important to maintain a 6-day service. The role of the regulator and the government should be to ensure this continues and the CWU will be fighting to defend a vital public service.”

CWU Deputy General Secretary Terry Pullinger said “Once again Ofcom has produced a predictable conventional wisdom, but dated report, many countries have knee jerked towards reducing their USO and weakened the social inclusion and connectivity of their nations citizens. If this report was up to date it would reflect how the current pandemic has totally proven the worth of the 6-day USO which does not only deliver letters.”

“Ofcom make reference to the current USO being letters six days and parcel five days, and yet despite making a huge case for the need to be more efficient in delivering parcels, does not recommend moving USO parcels to six days. A move which would totally benefit the nation offering affordable guaranteed one price goes everywhere universal service six days a week, and if you are going there with parcels why would you not still deliver any available letters, surely that is efficient. The CWU would support that change, the CWU supports greater investment in parcel automation which would drive the efficiency they desire, the CWU support opening the delivery of commercial parcel offerings across the whole day from 7.00am to 19.00hrs and also seven days a week.’

“The Universal Postal Service Obligation is one of our greatest social inventions and has massively proved its worth again during this pandemic some 500 hundred years or more since it was first introduced. Whilst Ofcom enjoy loading the gun it would be unforgiveable for the Government to fire it, run that consultation again Ofcom and see the results you get from the public and businesses now having witnessed its true worth during 2020.”

Royal Mail Group – Free Flu Voucher Scheme – Lloyds Pharmacy Receives Additional Stocks of Flu Vaccine:

Royal Mail Group – Free Flu Voucher Scheme – Lloyds Pharmacy Receives Additional Stocks of Flu Vaccine:

Royal Mail Group have informed CWU/HQ that from this week, Lloyds Pharmacy is expecting the delivery of new stocks of the flu vaccine. Members who have previously expressed an interest in receiving a ‘free flu jab’ via the Lloyds Pharmacy booking portal will receive an email informing them to contact their local Lloyds branch to book an appointment. For those members that did not express an interest but would now like a flu jab, they should now contact their local Lloyds branch to book an appointment.

RMG have acknowledged the frustrations some members have experienced trying to secure a flu vaccination but news of the arrival of new bulk stock levels will now enable more people to receive a flu vaccination.

So far over 6,500 Royal Mail and Parcelforce employees have redeemed their ‘free flu vaccine’ since it was launched on 1 October. Lloyds, in line with other suppliers and the NHS, has seen a large increase in demand for vaccines this year, which exhausted initial stocks.

To book a flu jab, members should contact any local branch of Lloyds Pharmacy or visit them in-store. If they have stock, they will book an appointment for individuals.

Any members with questions regarding whether they qualify for a free ‘NHS flu vaccination’, should contact their GP surgery.

Where employees live more than 15 miles away from their nearest Lloyds Pharmacy, they can use an alternative flu jab provider, pay for their flu jab and submit a reimbursement claim via a T&S.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 564/20 – Royal Mail Group – Free Flu Voucher Scheme – Lloyds Pharmacy Receives Additional Stocks of Flu Vaccine

RM/CWU Joint Statement – Covid-19 Tender Proposal to Deliver T24 Test Kits

RM/CWU Joint Statement – Covid-19 Tender Proposal to Deliver T24 Test Kits

Branches and representatives are informed that we have now received confirmation from Royal Mail that they have been successful in their bid for the Government contract to deliver Covid-19 test kits across 7 days of the week.

Discussions have been taking place with the business to finalise a Joint Statement in relation to the activity and a document has been concluded and endorsed by the Postal Executive, a copy of which is attached for your information.

The Joint Statement provides information that will enable activity to commence in preparation for the operational start of the contract, which at present is anticipated to be the 2nd December 2020, with the first Sunday delivery of test kits taking place on the 6th December 2020.

Discussions are currently continuing in relation to operational details and additional materials to support the activity and further information will be shared in the coming days. However, in advance of this being circulated we would ask that engagement takes place with the appropriate and relevant Royal Mail managerial interfaces in line with the attached Joint Statement.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to:

Processing/Distribution: Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: dwyatt@cwu.orgquoting reference: 014.14.
Deliveries/Collections: Mark Baulch, Assistant Secretary, email: outdoorsecretary@cwu.orgquoting reference: 600.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baulch
Assistant Secretary
Katrina Quirke
Acting Assistant Secretary

LTB 563/20 – Delivery of CV19 Test Kits – 25.11.20

JS – Covid 19 Tender Proposal to Deliver T24 Test Kits

TUC – Face Coverings in the Workplace Guide:

TUC – Face Coverings in the Workplace Guide:

This new updated TUC guide explains why face coverings are used, the difference between face coverings and masks, what the recommended standards are and what union reps can do to support members.

The guide covers the different types of face coverings, reusable, single-use, styles and materials.

The guide points out the purpose and value of face coverings/masks designed to protect those around us, and protect the wearer.

Face coverings are a legal requirement to wear while travelling on public transport and in most indoor public spaces.

The guide covers the mandatory face covering requirements for some workers, exemptions and regulatory differences in Scotland, where face coverings are also mandatory in specific other work settings.

Police enforcement is included in the guide.

Importantly the guide stresses the important fact that face coverings help reduce the spread of coronavirus, but are not a replacement for other measures such as 2-metre social distancing, regular hand-washing, effective ventilation systems, cleaning and self-isolation when necessary which are still considered as more effective control measures.

Face coverings and face masks differences are explained in the guide as are the different filtering levels and standards.

Many people are choosing to wear a face covering at work, whether or not one is required.

In August 2020, the government U-turned to allow for schools to require staff to wear a face covering if they felt it necessary. More and more employers are now requiring workers to use face coverings at work.

The guide states that if an employer requires workers to wear face coverings at work, these should be provided to the workforce free of charge and workers should be given an adequate supply.

With regard to standards, the guide points out the government’s advice that face coverings should “ideally include at least two layers of fabric”. The World Health Organisation Standards recommends a face covering has three layers and explains the materials and fabrics used.

There is advice for union reps on the minimum specification face covering that employers should provide.

The guide covers situations where workers are required to use face coverings for long periods and that working hours should reflect the discomfort and fatigue issues associated with this and that employers should build in breaks to allow workers the option of time away from the workplace without a face covering.

Disposing of face coverings is referred to in the guide.

Exemptions are referred to in the guide covering people who are exempt from the wearing of face coverings, including workers who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability and people speaking to or assisting someone who relies on lip-reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate.

Government advice states that nobody should be made to obtain a medical note as evidence for their exemption. Employers should approach this based on trust, and not force anyone with an exemption to wear a face covering.

It concludes that union reps will wish to seek assurances from management that no member is penalised or otherwise discriminated against based on exemption.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 562/20 – TUC – Face Coverings in the Workplace Guide

Document 1

Joint Statements between Parcelforce Worldwide and the CWU on Christmas and New Year Arrangements:

Joint Statements between Parcelforce Worldwide and the CWU on Christmas and New Year Arrangements:

 Underpinning Incentive Payment 2020 

 Callers Office and Customer Service Closing Times – Christmas and New Year’s Eve 

 Scottish New Year Bank Holiday Arrangements – 2021 

Further to LTB 531/20 Agreement between CWU & Parcelforce Worldwide on 2020 Autumn Pressure and Christmas Remuneration Proposals for all CWU Grade Depot Employeesattached for the information of Branches and representatives are three Joint Statements designed to provide clarity on various issues relating to the Christmas and New Year Arrangements, which have been endorsed by the Postal Executive. 

Underpinning Incentive Payment (Annex A)

The Underpinning JS mirrors those agreed in previous years and confirms the payment of the additional £100 Underpinning Payment will be made in December Salaries.

Callers Office and Customer Service Closing Times Christmas and New Year’s Eve (Annex B)

Discussions have been ongoing for some time with Parcelforce in an attempt to move the business from the previous position that Callers Offices and Customer Service Phone Operations would remain open until 19.00. The department had sought to match the 16.00 closing time for CSP’s in Royal Mail, however unlike Royal Mail Parcelforce Callers Offices/Admin Units also handle Customer Service calls.

As a compromise the business has agreed to close both functions at 18.00 this year, one hour earlier than last year and have also agreed that locally agreements can be made to release resource as demand decreases later in the day. The department views this as an improvement on previous years and we will continue to monitor the situation on an ongoing basis.

Scottish New Year Bank Holiday Arrangements – 2021 (Annex C)

Parcelforce are not a USO provider and as such are not covered by the Ofcom exemption in relation to the request by Royal Mail to move the non-USO day from the Bank Holiday on the 4th January 2021 to Saturday, 2nd January 2021 which has now been confirmed. 

To clarify that position, the attached Joint Statement confirms that PFW will take Monday, 4th January as a Bank Holiday and normal arrangements will apply. The reference to Night Shifts and Conditioned Hours relates to two Depots where the nightshift operates on a Sunday to Friday basis. 

The department believes that the attached Joint Statements will provide additional clarity on the topics covered which we hope will be welcomed by Branches, Representatives and members.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: quoting reference 106A.11 and for Customer Services 134.02

Yours sincerely

Davie Robertson

Assistant Secretary

LTB 561/20

Attachment 1 – Underpinning Incentive Statement 2020 20.11.20

Attachment 2 – Customer Service Closing Times on the Eves 20.11.20

Attachment 3 – Scottish New Year Bank Holiday Arrangements 2021 20.11.20

Royal Mail Group – Latest Updated Coronavirus/Covid-19 – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers Guidance Document (Version 68):

Royal Mail Group – Latest Updated Coronavirus/Covid-19 – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers Guidance Document (Version 68):

I attach for your information Version 68 of the Royal Mail Group, Managers’ Coronavirus/Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers Guidance document, issued by the business on 18 November 2020.

At the commencement of the Coronavirus/Covid-19 outbreak, Royal Mail Group established a ‘Business Pandemic Team’ which includes all national heads of department and this team meets regularly to review the situation across Royal Mail Group and to issue update Questions and Answers information communications to all managers, which is cascaded throughout the business.

The Coronavirus Guidance, version 68 Q&A document has been shared with the Union’s Health, Safety & Environment Department and is hereby circulated for information and reference purposes for CWU Health and Safety and Branch IR Reps.

The Q&A documents are circulated to all RMG managers and are also available to access through a link on the Royal Mail Group ‘Intranet’, in the ‘Managers Update Messages’ section.

Please note that changes and additions from the previous version are highlighted in ‘Yellow’.

NOTE: Please also note that these Q & A documents are ‘Royal Mail Group’ advice documents and all the contents are not agreed with the CWU.

Contents List:

  1. Prevention
  2. Self-isolation, testing and reporting
  3. Cleaning and consumables
  4. Travel
  5. Support and advice
  6. POLICY 
  1. General guidance
  2. Travel/and annual holiday
  3. Caring for dependants
  4. Sick pay
  5. Attendance process
  6. Vulnerable employees
  1. General Ops advice
  2. NHS testing kits
  3. Operational processes and reporting changes
  4. Delivering and collecting from customers
  5. Fleet and vehicles

Any enquiries to this LTB or feedback on the RMG Q&A document should be directed to Dave Joyce CWU National Health, Safety & Environment Officer.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

20LTB560 Royal Mail Group – Latest Updated Coronavirus Covid-19 – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers Guidance Document (Version 68)

Coronavirus Guidance Questions and Answers v68

Royal Mail Update

Royal Mail Update

We have made progress in our ongoing talks with Royal Mail and these are now at a crucial stage, although there are several outstanding issues.

CWU Branches, Representatives and members will have seen the company’s half yearly results issued today.  This confirms that whilst still in a challenging business environment, Royal Mail Group is now in a better place than originally projected and there has been strong revenue growth.  This has been achieved because of the fantastic work that our members have carried out in meeting the needs of customers and wider society throughout the ongoing pandemic.

Talks are currently interrupted because of Royal Mail’s need to prepare their half yearly results and we expect them to reconvene either later today or tomorrow.

We are very focused on achieving an overall agreement on the future and in particular to ensure that our members rightfully receive a backdated consolidated pay award before Christmas.  On the basis of the company’s half yearly results, we now anticipate an improved offer on pay.

We can confirm that whatever the position we reach, we will provide our Branches, Representatives and members with a full update next week.

Yours sincerely

Dave Ward                                                     Terry Pullinger

General Secretary                                    Deputy General Secretary (P)

20LTB559 – Royal Mail Update

Coronavirus Covid-19 Vaccines Update:

Coronavirus Covid-19 Vaccines Update:

The Health, Safety & Environment Department has received a number of enquiries regarding Coronavirus/Covid-19 Vaccine inoculations and this is a summary update to assist members following announcements and stories published through the media.

The Coronavirus/Covid-19 Vaccine is not yet available despite the news coverage and is completely separate from the Flu Vaccine which is currently available and which people are being inoculated with via the ‘Free Flu Jab’ schemes the Union has agreed with RMG and POL plus the NHS Scheme for those now eligible.

The situation in respect of the various Coronavirus/Covid-19 Vaccines is in summary as follows:

Efforts are being made by a number of pharmaceutical companies in a number of countries to find and produce an effective, safe to administer, vaccine, to protect the world against Coronavirus but experts say more than one will be needed to combat the pandemic, and researchers across the world are working to develop several Covid-19 vaccine/inoculation jabs.

The UK government in recent statements have said that they are committed to rolling out a Coronavirus vaccine as soon as one has been approved in the UK.

There are more than 200 vaccines being developed and tested around the world. Around 12 of these are in the final stages of testing but the joint ‘Pfizer/BioNTech’ partnership and ‘Moderna’ are the first two to report positive results in announcements made earlier this week.

Pfizer, the US multi-national pharmaceutical giant, who are working with German partner BioNTech, announced that their Covid-19 vaccine is 95% effective, according to final results from final trials. Pfizer said it had the required two-months of safety data and would now be making an application for emergency US authorisation within a matter of days. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been tested on volunteers in six countries. The findings are interim and studies are continuing but it has been reportedly tested on 43,500 people in six countries and no safety concerns have been raised so far. The jab is known as a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine, which uses the virus’s genetic code rather than any part of the virus itself, is injected into the body where it enters cells and tells them to create antigens.

Moderna, the US biotechnology company, released preliminary data for its vaccine, showing their product had 90% effectiveness.

The better-than-expected data from the two vaccines, both developed with new technology known as messenger RNA (mRNA), have raised hopes for an end to a resurgent pandemic that has killed more than 1.3 million people globally and wreaked havoc across many countries, hitting economies and daily life.

AstraZeneca, the British multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company, who are working with the University of Oxford and are the third participant in the race to develop a vaccine, is also in phase three of clinical trials presently. The results of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine trials will be published before Christmas. More than 20,000 volunteers are participating in trials for the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine, in countries including the UK, South Africa, Brazil and Kenya. The vaccine trial team are optimistic that data on its safety and efficacy of the vaccine will be available by the end of the year. The Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine, called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, uses a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) which causes infections in chimpanzees.

Other potential vaccines in phase three trials have been developed by biotech company Novavax and Russia announced this week that early data for its Sputnik V vaccine shows 92% effectiveness.

Another vaccine is being developed by Imperial College London. It is in phase one of clinical testing, where doses are given to a small group of people to determine whether it is safe and to learn more about the immune response. Data on its efficacy will be available in the middle of next year.

Pharmaceutical companies Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline have also teamed up with the hope of making a vaccine available by the middle of next year. Their vaccine is in the phase two stage, where the vaccine is given to hundreds of people so scientists can learn more about its safety and correct dosage, and phase three is planned by the end of the year.

The UK Government has secured 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the first agreement the firms have signed with any government. The Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the UK will have procured 10 million doses to be distributed by the end of this year. An ‘initial agreement’ had also been reached for 5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine. Further data is awaited on this vaccine and the company is currently increasing its production operation in order to meet demand. It’s thought each person needs two doses of this particular vaccine, so the 5 million doses would be enough to vaccinate 2.5 million people.

In August, the UK government announced it had secured access to six of the producers of Covid-19 vaccines in development, representing 340 million doses.

A vaccine usually takes years, often decades, to develop, but scientists working on potential Coronavirus jabs are hoping to achieve the same huge amount of work in a few months. Neither the Moderna nor the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines have passed final regulatory approval as yet – but they have different timetables. The Pfizer/BioNTechvaccine, if approved by regulators, will be rolled out sooner but the government still hasn’t promised a launch date. The Prime Minister said he “hoped” the NHS will be able to start distributing the vaccines to those who need it, perhaps even before Christmas. However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned that the “vast bulk” of any rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab would be in the new year.

The UK’s medicines regulator could approve the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford University/AstraZeneca jabs within days of a licence application being submitted, according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock who said this week that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has been carrying out a rolling review of data from both Pfizer/BioNTechand Oxford University/AstraZeneca and that means that the regulator will be able to make a judgment on whether this is clinically safe, and not just take the company’s word for it, but do that within a matter of days from a formal licence application.

It is hoped by the government that the first phase of the vaccination programme in the UK will protect 99% of those at risk of death from Covid-19, before moving on to younger age groups.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the military and NHS staff were on standby to roll out a vaccine across the UK from the start of December, and will work “seven days a week” to do so. He added that it will be delivered through care homes, GPs and pharmacists, as well as ‘go-to’ vaccination centres set up in venues such as sports halls and concluded that the UK will be among the first countries in the world able to do this. He said that the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine was easier to deploy than the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which needs to be kept at a temperature of minus 70°C and is being manufactured in Belgium. He said that from the moment the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine leaves the factory in Belgium it can only be taken out of minus 70°C four times before it is injected into a patient’s arm. While it will be a “mammoth logistical operation”, Matt Hancock said he had “confidence” it can be delivered.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

20LTB558 Coronavirus Covid-19 Vaccines Update

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