POST OFFICE: CROWN VR PROGRAMME
Further to LTB 300 dated 19th July.
Branches are advised we have continued to engage with Post Office management with regards to the agreed VR exercise under MTSF, for a maximum of 120 VRs which is linked to Post Office’s commitment to a moratorium on Crown Office franchising/closures until the end of the year.
The closing date for the preference exercise was 4th August and in total 314 forms were returned from 104 Crowns. Subsequently, we met with Lee Kelly, Employee Relations & Policy Director, along with Steve Blampied, Head of DMB Network, Ian Woollon, Operations Analyst and Jo Stammers, IR Manager on Monday 9th August to discuss the prioritisation of who would be offered VR. Our initial focus was on the Crown offices where there has been the most acute decline in customer footfall since the start of the pandemic. This approach meant that the Crowns that were able to lose the most amount of hours were prioritised for VR offers. Consequently we have agreed for Phase 1 that 42 VR offers will be made from across 19 Crowns. This consists of 23 full time and 19 part time duties and all of these VR offers have been identified in strict seniority order.
Two Joint Statements (attached) have now been agreed as follows:
- One specifically aimed at the 19 Crowns where the 42 VR offers will be made – the offers are due to be sent to members on the afternoon of Friday 20th August
- A slightly different version for the other 95 Crowns which don’t at this point in time have any VR offers agreed.
We have agreed that new duties will be introduced in the 19 Crowns that will lose jobs via the VR process and that crucially 4 weeks’ notice will be given of new attendance patterns. In this regard, our Reps will be heavily involved in the duty construction and will be engaging with the members to ensure the best possible set of duties. There is an anticipation that these new duties will commence from Monday 18th October. With PILON applying in full, we have agreed the Last Day of Service for the 42 members offered VR will be 16th October.
A Phase 2 meeting has been arranged for Monday 23rd August to discuss the next group of Crowns where consideration will be given to identifying more VR offers. In keeping with Phase 1, the emphasis will be on those Crowns that have seen the biggest customer decline (beyond the original 19 in Phase 1). Further VR offers will arise from this analysis and we would expect these to be in seniority order once again in accordance with MTSF.
Finally, our Reps are being kept up to date with all developments as they occur in regard to this VR exercise.