Royal Mail Group the Pathway to Change – Terms of Reference for Joint Pro-active Culture Reviews and Interventions
Branches will recall the joint commitments contained within both the Four Pillars and Pathway to Change national agreements, to improve culture and the working environment within Royal Mail Group.
Harnessing the trust and appreciation on the doorstep gained by our members, particularly through Covid, has to be mirrored in the workplace, through improving culture and the local relationships. It is this measure that will have the most significance on our future success and therefore this work continues to remain at the top of the agenda for the Postal Executive.
Branches will be aware that there are a number of components to building trust, improving culture and the working environment. Whilst this will not occur overnight, the Main Culture Negotiating Group, as well as the sub-groups dealing with uniform, tools and equipment, health and well-being and the working environment, have continued to meet since the Pathway to Change Agreement was endorsed in February 2021.
In order to supplement this mutual interest activity and to illustrate that there are no units too difficult to be involved in our quest to improve culture, a number of joint visits have been conducted between the CEO and myself to workplaces that historically have been seen as high profile in terms of difficult industrial relations.
Recently, both Bridgwater and Whitechapel delivery units have had joint IR/ER reviews conducted for the Union by Postal Executive members Tony Bouch and Katrina Quirke respectively. Whilst there is still much to be done in both of the workplaces, good progress has been made and it has become apparent that there are some aspects of the joint activity that may be useful to adopt elsewhere.
Talks have been held with the Business around the possibility of conducting a trial, with finite timelines, of pro-active culture reviews and interventions. I am pleased to announce that the Postal Executive have recognised the is merit in this joint mutual interest activity and have now agreed the attached Terms of Reference based on the national trial agreement and the defined success criteria.
As a part of this initial joint trial, the work at Bridgwater and Whitechapel PDOs will be assessed. If seen as successful, those same aspects will also be extended to three additional units – Leeds VOC, Leyburn DO and Ware DO. Mahmood Ali will oversee the trial on behalf of the DGS(P) Department, due to commence in mid-August, with a full formal joint evaluation held during the week commencing 18th September 2021.
Following this, the Postal Executive and the Main Culture Negotiating Group will be jointly briefed to detail the progress made in each of the trial locations, against the outputs from both the listening session and the action plan. At this time, consideration will also be given as to how each unit has fared against the agreed success criteria.
Branches and Representatives will recognise that the culture of a unit is not just determined by the volume of ‘flashpoints’ and ‘ballot requests’. A terrible culture may also exist and remain undetected, particularly in units not always seen as high profile in the industrial relations sense. The outputs from this trial, together with the results of the Trust Survey will help to structure a final agreed package of nationally agreed measures, that can be used for joint pro-active intervention work and be moulded to suit the local circumstances in an increased number of agreed units.
Branches will also be aware that our desire to improve workplace culture was never going to be easy, but it is vitally important that momentum is not lost. The need to make improvements to culture has been raised over the last few years during National and Branch meetings, as well as at the Divisional and Regional briefings, and continues to attract the most feedback. This is not an issue that we are going to let drift away and we will strive to agree further join activity until we have succeeded in making Royal Mail Group a place that you would recommend as a place to work to your family and friends. This mutual interest trial activity is another joint initiative that will help us meet that aim.
I would also like to encourage all Branches and Reps to be pro-active in challenging poor culture by resolving such cases with positive interventions and support in the first instance or by highlighting them through our field structures when resistance is met. Culture and trust must be a priority for us all.
Further developments will be reported in due course. Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to the DGS(P) Department.
Deputy General Secretary (Postal)