RM/CWU Joint Communication – Covid-19 Delivery of T24 Test Kits & Sunday Delivery Developments Update
Branches will be aware of the above contained within LTB 091/21 issued on March 3rd which provided a detailed Joint Statement regarding COVID19 Test Kits and Sunday Delivery Developments, including the introduction of commercial Sunday Direct Injection contracts.
Since then numerous discussions have taken place with Royal Mail regarding what both Departments felt was information that had been circulated by Royal Mail which was not in line with the Joint Statement. In particular concerns were raised in relation to the later arrivals into Hubs, the reduced number of Hubs and the number of Hubs needing to deliver beyond 7pmas an exception. In addition, the number of new contracts coming on line, the forecasted volumes and the fall to ground, have meant the resourcing numbers for each Hub need to be reviewed.
Discussions with the Royal Mail managerial team dealing directly with the Sunday contracts proved extremely difficult. Both Departments raised significant concerns that the business was reverting to previous thinking around a later, cheaper pipeline which was driving an unacceptable operational model based on the Monday to Saturday LAT Network, that was never designed to handle high volumes of traffic. The CWU position throughout these discussions was that the business should invest upstream to ensure that items move through the pipeline earlier and reach Delivery Hubs in time to meet the operational specification described in the March Joint Statement.
Concurrently it was clear that despite the range of resourcing options included in the March Joint Statement, which is designed to recognise the voluntary nature of resourcing for Sunday Deliveries and promoting inventive duty structures, the business was actively seeking to recruit new staff to cover the work. This issue had led to discussions between the DGSP and Matthew Newman, HR Director.
As a result of the impasse on both issues, it was agreed the matter would be escalated to the Main Negotiating Group and measures were being taken for that to be progressed.
However, Royal Mail has considered the points put forward by the CWU and as a result they have revised their position in relation to the upstream operation and additional investment to support the principles agreed within the Joint Statement.
Further discussions have taken place this week and have now concluded with the attached Joint Communication which details a number of high level changes to the operational plan being agreed, which are as follows:
- To support the Sunday Delivery products a 03:30 despatch network will be put in place from each of the English RDC sites from Sunday, 25th April. This network will provide a single service on each route and introduce a total of 56 Network Road Services between RDCs.
- Inward Mail Centre’s will move to a 1-hour processing window from the final arrivals to ensure items are dispatched by Distribution Services as soon as possible to each of the planned Sunday Delivery Hubs in order to advance the commencement for deliveries.
- The revised provisional plans outline circa 349 Sunday Parcel Hubs, of which 313 Hubs are planned to deliver once over the ground and 36 Hubs are planned to deliver twice over the ground. In addition, due to the introduction of new additional road services, 258 (74%) of Hubs now have a start time before 12:00 and 36 (10%) of Hubs have a potential finish time after 19:00.
- Each Inward Mail Centre will now have a new arrival profile which will need to be reviewed by the Local JWG to understand what the impact means for the catchment area, the total number of Hubs which are needed and also whether local knowledge means further measures can be introduced; for example, direct services to neighbouring Mail Centres to support earlier arrivals into distant Mail Centres.
- Recommit to the parameters of the Resourcing Menu of Options agreed as outlined within the Joint Statement and these remain in place. The Local JWG are encouraged to find solutions to mitigate and eradicate any requirement for the use of Agency/Casual resource.
On the final point regarding Sunday Resourcing we have made it clear to Royal Mail that all of the principles hold the field and if for example a unit agrees the need for external resource on Sundays that duty structure and hours would have been agreed as part of the resourcing meetings or revision proposals. In addition, we have made it clear that we also have examples of when innovative duty patterns have been vetoed by managers locally and therefore the Joint Communication also enforces this point and that any issues in relation to the interpretation or application and deployment will be raised with the signatories for resolution at National Level.
As such both departments are now confident that the attached Joint Communication fully supports the previous Joint Statement and will allow the Local JWG’s to meet and review all of the operational plans and ensure we continue to win growth and provide the best possible attendance patterns for our members.
Both departments would like to place on record thanks to Tony Bouch, PEC member, for his ongoing work in these talks and the support and guidance provided to the local JWG’s in dealing with the Sunday Delivery issues.
Any queries to the content of the above please contact: Deliveries: Outdoor Department email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting reference: 600 or
Processing/Area Distribution: Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary email: email@example.com, quoting reference: 014.14