National Joint Statement – Resourcing & Recruitment Including the Reintroduction of Postal Apprentices
The Postal Executive are pleased to present to you a very positive Joint Statement that has been agreed with Royal Mail Group.
The Joint Statement seeks to address the previous and very damaging resourcing strategy which has had a very demoralising impact on culture and the operation. This Joint Statement along with the Average Holiday Pay Agreement seek to address fairness, contracts that reflect the hours actually worked and focus on the next generation of postal workers however it is important to remember where we have come from and genuinely reflect on this positive moment.
Branches, Representatives and members will recall that prior to the Pathway to Change Agreement being concluded and subsequently endorsed by the Postal Membership, the Union and its members were looking at a reduction in operational hourage equivalent to approximately 30,000 – 40,000 FTE. This was our assessment of a managerial strategy purely focused on decline and with no ambition, a strategy that would have cost thousands of decent jobs, undermined the USO and broke up this great postal service.
No one could have predicted at that time that within a matter of months the Union and Royal Mail Group would set aside their differences and embark on a journey that would see Royal Mail Group employees/CWU members join the ranks of the other key workers in the fight against the Covid pandemic across the whole of the United Kingdom.
Since March 2020, all postal workers have had to adapt and adopt new working arrangements and attendance patterns to collect, process and deliver essential mail and items that were, and remain, crucial to the fight against the ever changing battle against Covid. In addition, as the USO provider, Royal Mail Group has been able to maintain a postal operation that not only dealt with the unprecedented growth in parcel traffic but which also supported the economic and commercial connectivity so important to our society.
All of the above required a significant investment of both resource and finance however the upside of this activity has been a significant change in the economic fortunes of Royal Mail Group who having been on the edge of becoming a loss making company in the region of £400-£600 million, have now seen a major improvement in the company’s financial position.
The above, coupled with concluding the Pathway to Change Agreement and a completely different managerial ideology, has now placed the company in a position of being able to plan for further growth and the introduction of new products and services. Therefore, far from reducing headcount, the company can embark on a proactive recruitment campaign as well as the further introduction of approximately 1,000 Postal Apprentices who will lay the foundation for the reintroduction of the Postal Cadet Scheme and the next generation of postal workers. This is the first agreement for the introduction of Postal Apprentices in our core functions since 2006.
To support the recruitment activity across the UK including the introduction of Postal Apprenticeships, attached for the information of Branches is a National Joint Statement which includes Annexes A, B and C. It has been reached following consultation and input from the Postal National Officers. In summary, as well as recommitting to the terms of our existing national agreements, the following commitments have been achieved:
- Resourcing will be predominantly full-time supported by part-time employment;
- Employees will be on permanent contracts unless there is a genuine need for a FTC, the number of which will be monitored and kept under regular joint review;
- All future revision activity will reduce the reliance on agency/casual staff;
- A clear pecking order for recruitment that puts the uplift in part-time contracts up to full-time for those who want it, first.
- Part-time contracts can be reviewed in between the six-month realignment reviews;
- Sunday Delivery and associated work is reaffirmed as voluntary but inventive duty arrangements, such as 3-4 day weeks, can be included in the resourcing mix and selected on a voluntary basis;
- There will be no central block on the recruitment of a full or part-time position where revision activity has justified why the resource is required;
- Any locally agreed recruitment must follow the defined order outlined in the Joint Statement.
I trust that Branches will view the attached Joint Statement as a positive development which will no doubt be a welcome tool for our Representatives in the field to use when undertaking both interim and full revisions and/or any realignment activity going forward.
Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to the DGS(P) Department or appropriate Postal National Officer.
Deputy General Secretary (Postal)