Pathway to Change Agreement – Culture and the Interim Trust Survey Headline Results
Further to LTB 319/21 that was circulated on 4th August 2021 Branches will recall that the next phase of the interim Trust Survey commenced on 16th August 2021 for the North West England, Home Counties North, East and North Scotland and South Wales SDL areas. Two small managerial areas also took part in the survey.
The headline results were supplied to the DGS(P) Department on 31st August 2021 following the closure of the interim survey the day before and are attached for the information of Branches and Representatives. These were also shared and discussed at the Culture Main Negotiating Group meeting on 1st September 2021 and at the Postal Executive on 7th September 2021. The overall return rate for this interim survey was 66% compared to the previous Big Trust Survey of 48%. In terms of the actual trust score which is based on five particular questions, this was 70%.
Branches will be aware that as a move towards improving culture and the working environment, the Union has highlighted the need for action plans to be agreed in each workplace in order to address the issues that have been raised together with agreed definitive timelines for resolution. To date the feedback from the field has been mixed in relation to the number of action plans that have been agreed by SDL (or equivalent) area. In an attempt to address this matter Branches will recall that two questions were asked as part of the interim Trust Survey regarding the level of awareness that agreed action plans exist as well as how many people thought progress was being made against the action plan. The headline results from the first interim survey illustrate that this is 67% and 87% respectively across the returns from the areas that took part.
Whilst the level of consciousness about agreed action plans may be seen as a positive, this figure means that around a third of those who took part in the survey are not aware of an action plan in their unit or on their particular shift. There is also an obvious lack of information from those who didn’t return the survey.
The detailed unit by unit figures within the four SDL areas that took part in the interim trust survey have been received in the DGS(P) Department. These will now be circulated to the relevant Divisional Representatives and the Postal Executive member attached to each of the Divisions in question. This data will be able to be used to inform meetings at a Divisional level and can then be broken down and supplied to the appropriate Area Representatives to use in talks with their managerial counterpart. The provision of these figures will help to ensure that joint remedial action can be planned for those units who have no agreed action plan or are failing to make progress in meeting the timelines for resolving issues that have been raised.
In line with our current policies this will then start to provide a structured approach towards ensuring that local CWU Representatives are empowered to conclude agreements that improve the workplace culture.
The DGS(P) Department is currently in dialogue with the company in order to arrange a presentation to the Divisional Representatives who cover the four SDL areas where the interim survey was held together with their managerial interfaces. Both parties then have the relevant background headline material to enable them to shape their own joint initiatives in the field. The intention will be to repeat this after future interim survey results are returned from additional SDL areas and Business units.
The next interim survey is to commence on 13th September 2021 to those in Northern Ireland and West Scotland, Yorkshire, Essex and Anglia, Home Counties South and Fleet and Engineering. It will be interesting to see how the results from these areas and business units compare to the previous Big Trust Survey when considering the overall picture and strategy going forward.
Branches will be aware that the Trust Survey by itself is not the panacea to resolving every cultural issue. The results do however provide an indicator as to what is wrong in each particular workplace or shift and in tandem with an agreed action plan can help in the process of making things better.
As previously advised, Postal Executive members Shelley Banbury and Katrina Quirke continue to meet with management on a weekly basis and are currently in discussions around additional function specific questions that can be asked concerning the correct implementation of our national agreements. Once such questions have been agreed and incorporated this will also provide useful additional information that can then be utilised to drive further improvements to culture and the working environment in line with the joint commitments in our national agreements.
There is also time for the Union to jointly shape the question set for the next national Big Trust Survey that is due to be launched towards the end of March 2022.
Finally, I would like to thank all Representatives for ensuring that our members have become involved in the Trust Survey questionnaires and please be assured that the matters raised will be addressed.
Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to the DGS(P) Department.
Deputy General Secretary (Postal)