Joint Statement – Parcelforce Worldwide and the Communication Workers Union:
Pathway to Change Agreement – Agreed National Change Agenda for the Technology Roadmap and Indoor and Admin Revision Activity in Depots and the Deployment of the SWW
Branches and representatives will be aware that Section 2.3 of the Pathway to Change Agreement contained a clear commitment by Royal Mail Group to the Parcelforce Worldwide brand and operational structure, while recognising the significant commercial and economic challenges the business faces. Parcelforce and the CWU therefore committed to progress integrated discussions building on the outstanding commitments in the 2018 Guiding Principles agreement and the change agenda and productivity improvements developed during the National talks leading to the Pathway to Change agreement.
The department has therefore been engaged in intense discussions with the business to ensure that these commitments can be delivered, in line with the timescales in the P2C agreement.
Discussions have now concluded with a Joint Statement being agreed and endorsed by the Postal Executive, a copy of which is attached.
In summary the Joint Statement details the activity specific to our members based in the Depot operation, which includes the deployment of the technology flightpath in PFW and the completion of revision activity in the Depot Indoor and Admin/Customer Experience functions.
The attached Joint Statement defining the Technology Roadmap and Indoor revision activity confirms the delivery of the 2nd hour of the SWW for all Depot employees in line with the timeline for the full deployment of the Technology Roadmap currently targeted for Monday, 31st May 2021.
The Technology Roadmap now consists of three elements
- Planning Values (PV’s)
- Parcelforce Route Analytics (PRA)
- Parcelforce Route Balancer (PRB)
Colleagues will recall that the 2018 Guiding Principles agreement included a review of all Planning Values. The work on the Outdoor (C&D) values was completed in 2019 but was not deployed as we entered dispute with the company. The revised values are based on IE measurement but now include bespoke rather than average walking time.
Work has also continued on the under the roof (UTR) values to ensure that all work performed by C&D drivers prior to departure is accounted for and has appropriate time assigned to it. In line with the deployment plan the revised Planning Values will be deployed across the Depot network on a phased basis. This excludes 7.5t Bulk routes at this time as work continues on PV’s for this activity.
On deployment road speeds which had been increased during lockdown will also revert to the standard allowance.
Parcelforce Route Analytics (PRA)
PRA technology is built on the same platform as PDA Outdoor Actuals (OA) which is in use in the RM Letters function. This technology provides geospatial information, to enable a visual debrief to take place once the route is complete. This PRA technology will be deployed across the Depot network supported by agreed guidelines on the use of the data, which will be communicated via LTB 110/21). PRA will be enabled on Monday, 22nd March 2021.
Parcelforce Route Balancer (PRB)
PRB is a solution to objectively assess workload on each PFW route before departure. It uses the REX system (inc. updated PVs) to calculate total workload demand versus available hours and allows the route to be topped-up/stripped-back as necessary.
It is hoped that PRB will remove the current frustration associated with legacy BSI “targets” and stop C&D drivers being scheduled beyond normal duty times. It will provide a standard non-optional National process for workload management, which is jointly owned by local CWU Representatives and PFW Managers.
As noted above, in addition to the current standard 15 minutes Under the Roof (UTR) time, an allowance has been developed for each depot based on the level of loading activity performed by drivers. This time allowance will be allocated in PRB.
While the department believes that there are some clear benefits both recognise that the Technology Roadmap constitutes a significant change to current arrangements and will require a phased and measured approach to deployment, to ensure that any technical issues can be identified and addressed and drivers can be fully supported throughout the process.
We have therefore agreed a phased approach with pilot activity at the front end to ensure that the introduction is technically sound and that routing anomalies can be addressed systematically to reduce any adverse aspects. To support this approach, guidelines for the change will be developed through the pilot activity.
The detail of the Pilot activity at 5 depots in Phase 1 and the subsequent roll out across four additional phases is laid out in the Joint Statement and displayed in the Annexe to the Joint Statement.
In effect in each phase PV’s will be enabled and PRB run in the background and jointly monitored for a period prior to full deployment. Following deployment of PRB any increase in workload will be managed through a 5-week flightpath, i.e. if a route had an increase of 10 stops the workload would be increased by 2 stops per week over a flightpath.
Both parties recognise that post departure ad-hoc collections are not currently being performed, however through the joint analysis conducted in preparation for the introduction of the Technology Roadmap it has been identified that a significant number of items are currently not captured by the REX auto manifest. While joint activity will focus on ensuring that all items are brought in scope, for the purposes of the pilot activity an ad-hoc time allowance will be applied to all routes. This time allowance will be based on the current average of out of scope items at each depot.
Revision Activity – Depot Indoor Warehousing, Admin and Customer Experience
The Joint Statement details the agreed change agenda and revision activity for the other Depot functions. In all cases assuming that the scoping work has been completed and a commitment given to an agreed outcome in each depot, the 2nd hour reduction in the SWW will be deployed for all Depot employees simultaneously. This may be in advance of the deployment of the Indoor change.
Deployment of the Shorter Working Week
It has been agreed that the deployment of the plan will deliver the SWW for all Depot employees. The business had indicated that they wished to deploy an equivalent benefit however the department has been successful in pressing for the reduction in time. Detailed guidelines will be produced to ensure that local Managers and Representatives are given clear guidance on options to remove the time, which ensures that the benefit is received in full while avoiding the conversion of standard time to overtime or Scheduled Attendance.
Remaining Functions – Hubs/Processing Centres
Further National discussions are at an advanced stage to define the change agenda for the Coventry National and International Hubs and Processing Centres to enable the SWW reduction in line with the timelines defined in the Pathway to Change Agreement. Further updates will be provided, when those discussions have been concluded.
Joint launch activity took place on 17 March 2021 for the sites involved in the pilot activity and it will also be the department’s intention to arrange a virtual Parcelforce Representative’s Briefing to enable discussion and full understanding of the commitments in the Joint Statement. Once arrangements have been finalised they will be communicated.
Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: firstname.lastname@example.org quoting reference 054.06.