RM/CWU National Joint Statement for Customer Service Point (CSP) Opening Hours and Standardisation Process
Branches will be aware, as advised in LTB 335/20 and the approach contained within the associated Joint Statement regarding the standardisation along with the continuous review of CSP Opening Hours, accordingly the Union received proposals from Royal Mail that sought to do the following;
- Standardise the opening times of all CSP Units (Enquiry Offices) across the UK
- Put CSP Units into categories dependent on traffic and footfall
- Instigate the closure of 200 CSP Units in very small and micro sized categories based on cost
- Work on a cost per parcel retrieval basis that did not fully take into account the needs of the customer, nor the perceived ambition of the company in terms of growth.
The Postal Executive rightly agreed to totally reject that approach on the basis that it was short sighted in the extreme and flew in the ‘face of the spirit and intent’ of the Pathway to Change Agreement.
National Discussions continued with Royal Mail through the joint working group where our position was articulated forcibly and in a reasoned fashion, detailing the flaws in the Royal Mail’s position. The department also reminded Royal Mail that the mind-set of the company should now change beyond all recognition and that their position was not consistent with the Pathway to Change Agreement and manifested in a negative approach to this vital service, particularly to those offices that they were looking to close. The discussions also evaluated the current variations in terms of service provision and opening hours on offer across CSP’s in order to examine the impact on staff and potential benefits of standardisation. The Discussions have also taken into account the impact of new delivery products and services being rolled out, such as in-flight 1 & 2, which have impacted FTD rates.
As a result of these discussions, we have achieved a Joint Statement, which has been endorsed by the Postal Executive that has moved on considerably, regarding the position of Royal Mail and contains the following:
- The opening hours and categorisation are based on pre-Covid 19 levels
- There are no units to be closed
- Full Cognisance will be taken when revising duties as there will be many tasks that are due to be undertaken, once the office is closed to the public
- Temporary duty arrangements can be agreed until either the table top or full structural revision activity takes place in the Delivery Unit.
- A full review will take place of the changes in future and an initial 3-month touch point review will take place once the actual deployment date is known, this will also take into account future commercial opportunities and new services into CSP’s.
- There is the ability for local offices to raise anomalies that might require them to be placed in a different category or there are other local factors which will require flexibility.
We believe that the Joint Statement represents a sea change of Royal Mail thinking and will hopefully serve as an indication of how we wish to continue going forward with a constructive and optimistic manner.
As the UK now looks forward to Covid-19 restrictions being eased in line with the Government and other National Administrations’ road maps, it is an opportune time to review the opening hours of the CSPs (based on pre-Covid data) to ensure that the new BAU opening hours reflect the needs of customers and align to parcel volumes and CSP footfall, whilst also taking full consideration of the impact of the inflight product as well as other products and services going forward.
Any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 230.03, email address: email@example.com
CWU Assistant Secretary