POST OFFICE: CROWN VR PROGRAMME – PHASE 3
Further to LTB 361/21 dated 31stAugust.
Branches are advised that face to face negotiations were held with Post Office management on 12thOctober in Wimbledon in respect of Phase 3 of the Crown Office VR Programme and we have now agreed there will be a further 13 VR offers. We naturally took into consideration those Crowns with high levels of customer decline. Also, as was the case previously, in line with MTSF those members selected for VR from each Crown are without exception the most senior applicants.
During our negotiations, management advised us that some Crowns were holding vacancies that had been lapsed due to the ongoing decline in customer footfall. Accordingly these vacant hours have been removed in line with MTSF as part of the overall VR/headcount reduction exercise. If all members in Phase 3 accept their VR offer, in total the headcount reduction will be 117, which is a mixture of VR offers and the cessation of vacancies. This means we have broadly achieved the agreed c.120 headcount savings and both parties are satisfied we have reached a positive conclusion to these negotiations. As a consequence we are not anticipating or expecting any more VR offers at this stage.
The following Joint Statement has been agreed:
Voluntary Redundancy: Phase 3 Update
Following the Joint Statement on 31st August we wish to provide you with a further update regarding voluntary redundancy offers and the cessation of vacancies.
New Voluntary Redundancy Offers
We have jointly reviewed next steps and as a result we have agreed to make further VR offers to 13 individuals. As was the case previously, in line with MTSF those selected for VR are without exception the most senior applicants. Over the two previous phases we have made a total of 65 VR offers from 37 branches. The new offers will be sent out to individuals via email to the address they stated on their preference form by 2pm on Friday 22nd October. The last day of service for the individuals accepting a VR offer will be 9th January and new duties will now be designed to go live from Monday 10th January.
Cessation of Vacancies within the Branch
As part of the overall review it was highlighted that in some branches there were also a number of vacancies that had not been filled due to customer decline. In those branches where we needed to reduce hourage, we also took into consideration those vacant hours as part of the headcount reduction exercise. This approach was necessary as the MTSF agreement, stipulates the cessation of any vacant hours as a priority over VR’s.
If all individuals in phase 3 accept their VR offer, then in total we will have reduced overall headcount across the network by 117, via a mixture of VR offers and the cessation of vacancies across 61 branches. Therefore we are not anticipating any more offers to be made after this phase, however we will continue to jointly monitory the ongoing situation and will update you if we plan any further changes.
We are committed to meeting on a regular basis to discuss progress and operational factors such as duty reviews. For those that have recently had new duties introduced, or are about to, we thank you for your support and cooperation in helping to deliver these changes. If you have any further questions, we would encourage you to contact either your line manager or CWU Rep.
Head of Directly Managed Branch Network
CWU Assistant Secretary
Details of the arrangements above have been shared with our full-time Reps who will now get into local negotiations in respect of duty construction for new duties to be introduced simultaneously to the VRs in Phase 3.
Further developments will be reported.