Joint Statement Parcelforce Worldwide – Autumn Pressure Plan for Resourcing Customer Experience 2021

Joint Statement Parcelforce Worldwide – Autumn Pressure Plan for Resourcing Customer Experience 2021

Branches and representatives will be aware that for a number of years the department has agreed Autumn Pressure arrangements for the coverage of the Parcelforce Customer Service provision.

Colleagues will recall that prior to 2020 proposals have included the outsourcing of workload to a third party to relieve pressure on the PFW Depot based operations. This practice was ceased in the 2020 agreement (LTB 518/20 refers).

Discussions have taken place in respect of the arrangements for 2021 and attached for information is a Joint statement to cover this year’s activity, which has been endorsed by the Postal Executive.

Since the 2020 agreement, PFW has established a Customer Experience unit at Dearne. This unit, along with the existing sites at Wakefield and Milton Keynes, will provide the necessary support to the Depot based operations during the 2021 Autumn pressure period.

While the plan is designed to take pressure off of Depots, it should be noted that within the Depots arrangements will not adversely affect earnings opportunities and part time staff will have the opportunity to increase their hours in line with the normal peak arrangements.

Local discussions at all sites will agree the required resourcing arrangements using all resourcing options and we have ensured that there is a fast track referral to the Regional Operations Manager and Regional Organiser should agreement not be reached at any site.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: quoting reference; 106A.12.

Yours sincerely

Davie Robertson

Assistant Secretary

LTB 413/21

Att: JS CE Autumn Pressure Arrangements – 28.09.21

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PFW Depots – Technology Roadmap – Improving Service, Restoring Trust

Branches and representatives will be aware of the consistent and persistent issues with the Vehicle Routing Technology used by Parcelforce, which have been causing significant problems in the field. The department has been seeking significant changes for some months and had embarked on a major consultation exercise involving a series of site visits, a number of which were joint visits with senior PFW and RMG managers including the CEO. In addition, a National Representative’s briefing was also held in Birmingham last month.

The Geoplan Route Excellence (REX) system, has been in use in various forms since 2015 and provides the basis for PFW to offer and sell the enhanced customer pre advice demanded at the premium end of the parcels market. Up until the advent of the Covid pandemic the agreed REX methodology included the provision that the driver could control or influence the route order through what is known as the “draw the line” process.

With the introduction of social distancing the “draw the line” process, that involved the use of shared IT equipment, became untenable and as a matter of expediency REX was switched to the auto setting. The introduction of Auto REX immediately highlighted what were viewed as illogical routing anomalies. Reports of drivers being directed up and down the same street were commonplace and have caused real frustration and loss of morale.

In the view of the business at that time the routing issues were as a result of the outdated Planning Values being used in the system and unsuitable support systems. As a result, discussions in line with the Pathway to Change commitments focused on the introduction of additional measures designed to address the issues with REX. This resulted in the Joint Statement on the Technology Roadmap and the SWW, contained in LTB 109/21.

Colleagues will recall that this introduced not only the revised Planning Values, which had been agreed in 2019 but also two additional technology updates in the form of Parcelforce Route Balancer (PRB) and Parcelforce Route Analytics (PRA) (LTB 110/21 refers).

PRA has proved to be extremely effective in identifying route problems and enabling resolutions and the aspirations for PRB were the right ones.

“PRB will remove the current frustration associated with legacy BSI “targets” and stop C&D drivers being scheduled beyond normal duty times. It will provide a standard non-optional National process for workload management, which is jointly owned by local CWU Representatives and PFW Managers.”

In reality though, the system has been shown to be incapable of delivering those aspirations and has created daily conflict over workload rather than remove it. In reality, experience has shown that the PRB system as purchased was a planning rather than dynamic tool and was incapable of performing the task that it had been set.

In the opinion of the department there has been a real change in attitude and a willingness to adopt fresh thinking from the PFW leadership in recent weeks in relation to the issues highlighted and a two-day session was arranged on the 21st and 22nd September 2021 at the request of the department. This session was attended by not only our respective senior teams but also the CWU PFW Regional Organisers (RO’s) and the PFW Regional Operations Managers (ROM’s). 

This session focussed on the feedback received through the joint and respective consultation exercises and has resulted in the agreement of the attached Joint Statement, which has been endorsed by the Postal Executive. A copy of the Joint Statement, which details immediate actions deigned to begin to improve performance and morale and restore trust, is attached for information.

The measures included in the Joint Statement have been the subject of Proof of Concept activity at a number of Depots where they have produced positive results.

In summary the Joint Statement outlines that the immediate actions are in four areas, all of which align entirely with the feedback received from our representatives and members:

Driver Autonomy

The immediate priority is to give drivers the freedom to use their local knowledge and experience to determine the best order to deliver their route, rather than technology being allowed to dictate their working day. Drivers will be able to choose from the following menu of manifest options on the Geoplan console to enable them to set the stop order on their routes prior to departure from the Depot:

  • Auto
  • Auto Modified
  • Historic
  • Driver Line – Daily
  • Driver Line – Historic

Effectively drivers will have the ability to decide how to structure their route. PFW is in the process of procuring 400 laptops to enable the restoration of “draw the line”.

Dynamic Live Report

PFW have agreed to remove PRB as a dynamic tool with immediate effect accepting the department’s view that it is not fit for purpose. It will be replaced by a new Dynamic Live Report (DLR) which has been developed for the task and is being jointly tested and amended. This tool will be utilised as a guide to support discussions rather than define the answer.

The “computer says yes” approach should be removed and replaced by meaningful, adult to adult conversations on workload involving the driver, the manager and the local representative to determine the workload on any given day, which is exactly the approach defined in the 2005 Depot Blueprint agreement.

Road Speeds

Based on consistent feedback that there is a problem with the road speeds included in the REX agreement has now been reached to reduce those. The approach will be two pronged:

 Interdrop speeds will be reduced by a defined level Nationally to provide significant additional time on route. 

 Stem times will be reduced on a depot by depot basis based on an analysis of the varying operational circumstances, i.e. Rural/Rural Urban/ City Centre. 

ETA Time Windows

Representatives and Drivers had consistently asked if the optimised ETA time set by the system could be moved forward in the hour. Currently REX sets the ETA at the middle of the hour window provided to the customer. However, as the day progresses almost all failures are due to late arrival. It has therefore been agreed to reset the time earlier in the window for delivery to enhance the ability of drivers to hit the ETA windows through the day.

In addition, and in light of the above changes in relation to Driver Autonomy it has been agreed to remove the gateway for the drivers Interim Bonus Scheme, which was previously based on the use of Auto REX. We have also agreed to rebalance the targetry from sequence to ETA to enhance the level of payment.

The Joint Statement also defines the onward programme of work that includes discussions on the optimum loading practice, Depot Revisions which had previously been rejected by the business and further discussions on a customer service target to replace sequence within the bonus scheme. A communications and review process has also been included.

In the view of the department the Joint Statement is a major breakthrough in discussions with the business. The elements of the agreement are in line with the feedback we have received and we believe will be welcomed by our Representatives and members.

This will not be the end of the journey but the department believes that it is a positive first step in addressing the issues and restoring morale.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: dwyatt@cwu.orgquoting reference: 054.06.

Yours sincerely

Davie Robertson

Assistant Secretary

LTB 410/21

Att: JS PFW CWU Focus on Improving Service – 27.09.21

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Pathway to Change Agreement – Deployment of the SWW in PFW Hubs and Processing Centres

Branches and representatives are advised that further to LTB 109/21 Joint Statement – Parcelforce Worldwide and the Communication Workers Union: Pathway to Change Agreement – Agreed National Change Agenda for the Technology Roadmap and Indoor and Admin Revision Activity in Depots and the Deployment of the SWW, discussions have been continuing with the business in relation to arrangements for the SWW in PFW Hubs and Processing Centres. 

Discussions have taken longer than anticipated and have focused on the Coventry Hub operations and centered on revision activity designed to improve efficiency and reduce agency resource. A Joint Statement has now been concluded, which confirms deployment of the SWW at all four sites. The Joint Statement, which has been endorsed by the Postal Executive, is attached for your information.

The Joint Statement confirms:

The approach applied to the completed Revision Activity

 Working practices. 

 Layout and equipment. 

 Mapping and aligning Day and Night shift coverage and attendance times to the workload profile to meet quality and efficiency targets. 

 Creative shift patterns across the 7-day working week. 

 Consideration to the introduction of reserves. 

Labour Model Review

Activity had taken place previously that led to an extensive recruitment campaign and significantly reduced agency utilisation. However, agency use had started to increase and the attached Joint Statement reaffirms the 2017 commitments and sets a process for agency reduction. The recruitment activity referenced has already commenced.

Reward and Productivity

Following extensive discussions an agreement has been reached to defer a final decision on a new bonus scheme whilst further activity continues, which will ensure both parties have further time to explore options for a viable scheme in both Hubs. This activity will form part of year 2 productivity improvement activity. The joint aspiration is to deliver new bonus scheme arrangements at the Hubs by August 2022.

Annual Leave Review

A review of Annual Leave Arrangements will take place to ensure that they are consistent with the National agreement.

Network Redesign

PFW proposed to retard the Network despatches in outlying depots to increase the processing window and reduce Network costs. The department believed that tangible gains could be made through the Hubs revision activity to ensure more volume connected with existing services. The business have now largely accepted that position and the Joint Statement confirms that there will be no further Network changes at this time.

Productivity Flightpath

Discussions have centred on the establishment of an agreed baseline based on a Parcels Per Hour (PPH) measure which PFW use at the Hubs. Progress against the base line measure will be jointly monitored along with the phased reduction in agency staff and will be jointly monitored locally and through the National parties on a monthly basis.


In line with the agreed commitments the SWW benefit will be released for all Hub Operative roles on the deployment date of the Hubs revision 4th October 2021. 

The above principles and same process will be applied to the deployment of the SWW benefit in the International Hub, NWPC and SEPC sites.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: dwyatt@cwu.orgquoting reference: 054.06.

Yours sincerely

Davie Robertson

Assistant Secretary

LTB 411/21

Att: JS Deployment of SWW at PFW Hubs and Processing Centres – 28.09.21

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Average Pay on Annual Leave (Holiday Pay) in Royal Mail Group – Joint Statement for Back Pay Arrangements

Average Pay on Annual Leave (Holiday Pay) in Royal Mail Group – Joint Statement for Back Pay Arrangements

Further to LTB 370/21 that was circulated on 6th September 2021, Branches and Representatives will be aware of the ongoing talks to agree with Royal Mail Group the definitive dates for back pay for those members who are weekly paid as well as those who receive a monthly salary.

Branches will recall that back pay is dependent on individual members having withdrawn their Employment Tribunal cases and meeting the agreed qualifying criteria as contained in the national agreement.  To put this into context, there were over 6,000 Employment Tribunal cases in England and Wales alone as well as the additional claims in Scotland and Northern Ireland which related to average pay on annual leave.

Following the endorsement of the national agreement and in line with the Court order, every member who had submitted an Employment Tribunal claim was written to by the Legal Services Department.  The letter asked them to indicate whether they wish to withdraw their case and therefore be included in the back pay calculation or whether they would rather proceed with the case on their own.

Following the initial letter, circa 2,500 members agreed to withdraw their claims with a small minority indicating that they wished to continue.  There were around 2,400 that failed to respond plus approximately 1,200 people who could not be identified as they had been included in multiple claims by the Employment Tribunal in Bristol to help with administration.  The latter group did not receive this first communication.

As part of the dialogue with the business, the DGS(P) Department made it clear that we could not support a scenario where the overwhelming majority of members’ back pay was delayed due to a minority who had either not responded or could not be identified. Following further work with the Membership and Legal Services Departments as well as assistance from the North Lancs and Cumbria Branch and the Worcester and Hereford Branch, the number of unidentified Employment Tribunal claimants was vastly reduced. This undoubtedly helped in concluding the attached Joint Statement that was unanimously endorsed by the Postal Executive at a meeting on 27th September 2021.

In advance of this agreement being reached, a further letter was sent from the Legal Services Department to those members who failed to respond to the first correspondence and those previously unidentified claimants.  This provided these members with a further chance to withdraw their individual Employment Tribunal cases and therefore be included in the arrangements for the payment dates as clarified in the Joint Statement.

Branches and Representatives will recall that all back pay had to be calculated manually by Royal Mail Group. As a result, the cut-off date for information to be included in the PSP system in order to meet the 8th October 2021 deadline for the weekly paid members was 9am on Friday 24thSeptember 2021. Those who did not return confirmation of their Employment Tribunal withdrawal by this time will not be included in the pay run for 8th October 2021. Those members who still respond positively to withdrawing their Employment Tribunal cases but return forms after this time will be included at a later payment date of 22nd October 2021 and the deadline for meeting this date is 3pm on Friday 8th October 2021. Monthly paid members will receive their payments as part of their October salaries on 30thOctober 2021.

In the future, there are likely to be a number of additional agreed dates for back pay as it is obvious that the withdrawal of Employment Tribunal claims will not all be at once.  Branches will note that the proposed Joint Statement crucially contains a clause that individuals who do not meet the above mentioned deadlines will still receive a back payment after this time, once they have withdrawn their individual claim.  These future dates will need to be agreed but will depend to an extent on the volumes and Royal Mail Group being able to process these throughout the peak period.

The back pay has cost Royal Mail Group a significant amount of new money. Branches will appreciate that it has been a long journey to get to this point but at last many of our members will now see some real recompense for the additional hours of non-contractual overtime that they have performed. Coupled with this, Branches and Representatives will also see that the dates for the first interim payments for the 29th March to 26th September 2021 qualifying period have now also been confirmed as being 26thNovember 2021 for the weekly paid and 30th November 2021 for those on monthly salaries.  These interim payments apply to everyone who meets the qualifying threshold and are not dependent on the withdrawal of Employment Tribunal claims.

The back pay will be a new payment for many thousands of members and there are likely to be substantial enquiries regarding individual calculations.  The national agreement stated that these should be initially made to HR Services and the proposed Joint Statement builds upon this with other more defined options including the use of the People App and the My HR Help web form on PSP.  Branches receiving enquiries about back pay should direct members to these.

In closing, I would like to record my thanks to Tony Rupa and the Legal Services Department for their help in resolving what became an incredibly complicated matter.

Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to the DGS(P) Department.

Yours sincerely,

Terry Pullinger

Deputy General Secretary (Postal)

LTB 412/21 – Average Pay on Annual Leave (Holiday Pay) in Royal Mail Group – Joint Statement for Back Pay Arrangements

Attachment to LTB 412/21 – Joint Statement between the CWU and RMG – Update on Average Pay on Annual Leave (Holiday Pay) Back Pay Arrangements

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Royal Mail Road Traffic Accident/Collision Procedure

Royal Mail Road Traffic Accident/Collision Procedure

Branches will be aware we have been in negotiations with Royal Mail to introduce a new agreement for road traffic accidents / collisions which will replace the current agreement.

We have now concluded a negotiator’s agreement. For a number of reasons, the negotiations have taken longer than we expected, however we wanted to ensure we concluded the best agreement we could through negotiation and not allow frustrations to get in the way.

Our concerns over the current process have been well documented with our primary concern being Royal Mail moving to the Conduct Code too early in the accident investigation instead of the remedial/re-training approach.

This procedure is clearer and less ambiguous for those unfortunate occasions when our members are involved in an accident/collision.

The shared principles emphasise the joint commitment to:

  • Keeping drivers driving
  • Safety
  • A detailed investigation
  • Training
  • Improving driving standards

This is a very welcome move away from the blame and punishment approach Royal Mail have adopted through the current process.

We believe our Branches and Representatives will welcome this new agreement. The new agreement simplifies the process and includes:

  • The definition of a road traffic accident / collision
  • Acceptance accidents can and will happen
  • Full involvement of CWU Area Safety Representatives
  • Explaining precautionary removal from driving is not a standard or punitive approach
  • Ensuring vehicles involved in accidents / collisions will be presented to the Fleet workshop to be checked to see whether there was any contributing factor to the accident
  • Clarity of when and at what point in the agreement the conduct code can be used
  • A precise stepped approach to conclude the investigation into the road traffic accident / collision before moving to conduct, if appropriate
  • A number of supportive interventions
  • Our members being able to request temporary reassignment to non-driving duties after an accident

The agreement will now be the subject of a branch ballot. In advance of the ballot it will be our intention to hold a National Briefing on the agreement, further details of the briefings will be published to branches in due course.

Any enquiries regarding the content of this LTB should be addressed to:

PTCS department quoting ref 320e-mail address or;
Outdoor department quoting ref 300 e-mail address
National & Area Distribution department quoting ref 202.11email address

Yours sincerely                                               
Carl Maden                                                
Assistant Secretary  

Yours sincerely  
Mark Baulch
Assistant Secretary   

Yours sincerely 
Davie Robertson
Assistant Secretary

LTB 395/21

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We are pleased to announce that on Tuesday 28th September at 6:30pm, the CWU will be hosting an online discussion between General Secretary Dave Ward and the US politician Nina Turner. Branches and representatives will also have the chance to put questions directly to Nina.

The CWU has been instrumental in organising Nina’s first official visit to Britain, where she will visit Labour Party conference and speak at the Tribune Rally on Monday 27th. Nina has agreed to undertake a number of CWU engagements and we felt it was important for Branches to have the opportunity to engage directly with such a high profile figure.

Nina has served as a City Councillor and a State Senator in her home state of Ohio and was a senior national figure in both of the Bernie Sanders presidential nomination campaigns.

She is also the leader of Our Revolution, a grassroots organisation campaigning to overturn corporate influence in American politics and to put more trade unionists and progressives into national political positions.

As a union, we are very happy that as a result of our work with Tribune, members will have an exclusive opportunity to engage with one of America’s most important progressive figures. 

We hope it will be a unique and inspiring opportunity for members and branches to engage with someone who has been vital in fighting for a pro-working class agenda in America.

You can see an example of her powerful speaking here:

You can register for the session via this link

We urge all Branches to be represented on the call and look forward to seeing you on the 28th.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Ward

General Secretary


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Royal Mail Fleet Vehicle Replacement Plan Update

Royal Mail Fleet Vehicle Replacement Plan Update

Branches will recall LTB 509/19 advising the Joint Statement on Optimise Prime – Road to Zero Emissions.  The whole issue of pollution and the impact on health, the environment and global warming have been increasingly coming into focus and continues to hold the international centre of attention.

As previously reported, Royal Mail Fleet have secured increased funding for new vehicles in their 5-year plan which is higher than normally provided. The clear intention of Fleet will be to address the rise in Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and increased costs of vehicle access across the UK. Royal Mail continues to be involved in what is considered the world’s biggest trial of commercial EVs that brings together leading companies in Hitachi technology giants, UK electricity distribution partners and key household operators Centrica, Uber and Royal Mail.

The purpose of the trial in 2019 was to understand what impact a mass migration of EVs will have on the grid infrastructure and its capacity, including software management utilising a smart charging interface and management tool. The consortium-led trial covers the following streams; Public Charging, Home Based Charging and Depot Based Charging. Royal Mail will participate in the Depot Based Charging.  The key data that Royal Mail requires to be provided daily from the Electric vehicles is the battery state of charge and fluctuations in the current draw along with distance travelled for the route to build the smart charging depot optimisation tool. A number of various EVs are now deployed into the fleet which include Mercedes eVitos, Peugeot Experts & Partners, Renault Kangoo’s and Nissan. Royal Mail will obtain the daily battery life status and current draw profile to enable Hitachi to build the smart charging depot tool.

For this project, the data from these vehicles will be recorded and shared with drivers if required, for coaching purposes only. As such, the Joint Statement reaffirms driver performance data will continue to remain confidential to the individual and will not be displayed on notice boards or in league tables, nor will it form part of performance management. It is also reaffirmed that this technology is not being deployed for use as a disciplinary tool or a source of information to be used in conduct cases.

The key benefits to Royal Mail include fuel savings, reduction in vehicle maintenance costs, avoidance of Congestion Zone and Clean Air Zone Charge as well as road tax and first registration fees. Such benefits may lead to increased opportunities for final mile consolidation in Clean Air Zones to secure additional revenues from parcels. The garage network in Fleet will become the first UK network of scale to offer EV services which will include full exposure to the technical learning and the potential for further commercial opportunities.

Branches are reminded that as further EVs are deployed, they will be part of the yearly activity associated with the vehicle replacement plan alongside diesel and petrol vehicles.  Whilst the ongoing EV replacement is considered as Business As Usual (BAU) there remains an absolute need for full CWU IR and ASR involvement to determine and agree safe installation of charging posts in all new sites including all relevant documentation, Risk Assessments and subsequent Safe System of Works. There is an additional 3,000 new EVs to be deployed into the Light Commercial Vehicle fleet (LCV) across 29 sites, of which 11 are considered as a priority.  Branches within these localities will of course be invited to attend scoping sessions to address any such concern in advance of the new EV arrival which is scheduled to be completed by March 2022.

Any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 300, email address:

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baulch 

CWU Assistant Secretary

LTB 407/21 – Royal Mail Fleet Vehicle Replacement Plan Update

Att: Copy of Phase 1a prepeak EV sites with reserves

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Election of: Capita Territorial and Substitute Territorial Representatives (TVL Contract) – 2021

Election of: Capita Territorial and Substitute Territorial Representatives (TVL Contract) – 2021

Further to LTB 362/21 dated 1stSeptember 2021, please find detailed below the results of the ballot.

NORTHERN TERRITORYCapita RepresentativeBryan Cossar48*ElectedRobert Ferrier12Spoilt Ballot Papers-no vote0Spoilt Ballot Papers0Total Ballot Papers Received60Total Ballot Papers Dispatched108Capita Substitute RepresentativeGraham Pllu25Wilhelmus Van Mierlo32*ElectedSpoilt Ballot Papers-no vote3Spoilt Ballot Papers0Total Ballot Papers Received60Total Ballot Papers Dispatched108

Any enquiries regarding this Letter to Branches should be addressed to the Senior Deputy General Secretary’s Department on telephone number 020 8971 7237, or email address

Yours sincerely,

Tony Kearns

Senior Deputy General Secretary

LTB 408/21

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Affiliate – the CWU App: Download Now

Affiliate – the CWU App: Download Now

Following your feedback we are delighted to today launch a new App for members and the wider trade union movement. You will now be able to access the best of our online communications in one place. No more searching Facebook for videos, Soundcloud for podcasts or Twitter for statements. 

The App is free for all members and you can download it by simply searching for ‘Affiliate the CWU App’ in your App Store or via the links below. 

App Store for Apple devices

Google Play Store for Android devices

Please note, the app download and sign up process must be completed on your phone and not on a desktop computer. To access a download guide and further information on your system requirements for download, please visit:

It is absolutely crucial that as many members as possible download and use the App. We’ll have exclusive content, polls, podcast, videos and articles in the coming weeks. 

Download it now and ask your colleagues to do the same. If you have any issues with the downloading process simply email and we will help you out. 

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Yours sincerely,

Dave Ward
General Secretary

Chris Webb
Head of Communications, Engagement & Media

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