Branches will be aware that the North West Hub in Warrington is scheduled to move to operational deployment in May 2022. An update on the latest position was presented to the Postal Executive on the 6th October as a result of which the Executive endorsed a recommendation instructing the department to conclude discussions on next steps: 

As a matter of urgency negotiations progress to an agreement on the operational and peoples impact of the opening of the NW Hub.

Following the PE meeting on the 6th October 2021 an update was subsequently provided to Senior Field Officials in Liverpool on the 13th October 2021, during which a request was made for an update to Representatives at the sites within the NW Hub Catchment area. For the information of Branches the proposed catchment area is: 

 North West RDC 

 Yorkshire DC 

 Warrington Mail Centre 

 Preston Mail Centre 

 Manchester Mail Centre 

 Chester Mail Centre 

 Sheffield Mail Centre 

 Leeds Mail Centre 

 Tyneside Mail Centre 

 North West Midlands Mail Centre 

A joint event for Divisional and Area Representatives and SDL and Plant managers in Warrington, to review the proposal and the projected workload and peoples impacts of the opening of the NW Hub took place on the 21st October 2021. That event included a tour of the NW Hub. 

Since that time, the department has been in discussions with the business on a Framework document to guide local discussions on the migration of workload and the creation of a Peoples plan for each affected site, to ensure that the operational plans support the people’s process rather than dictate it.

These discussions have now concluded with an agreed Framework agreement which was endorsed by the Postal Executive on the 15th November 2021 and is attached for the information of Branches. 

The approach defined in the document builds on the tried and tested Mail Centre Catchment Area Joint Working Group (CAJWG) approach with local groups reviewing and agreeing transition arrangements in line with agreed aims and objectives, which include:

 To ensure the Mail Centre/RDC network and infrastructure is robust. 

 To ensure that the dispatch and arrival patterns to/from the NW Hub support workplan, whilst also providing the capacity for a greater and more dynamic range of products and services. 

 To ensure that there is a meaningful and collective process at both National and local level that creates the opportunity for genuine input and influence on any proposed changes and ensures that the views of representatives can be gained in order to inform any outcomes. 

 To take account of, manage, and wherever possible, minimise disruption and mitigate the impact on employees from any changes. 

 To ensure that a plan is in place to deal with temporary workload shock within the Mail Centre/RDC network and that stable, robust resourcing arrangements remain in place across the 7-day operation, providing attractive attendance patterns and earnings opportunities. 

In addition to the aims and objectives discussions will focus on the migration plans for workload within which the People’s plan and the retention of a stable resourcing plan at the Mail Centre/RDC remains the primary consideration. As such the CAJWG’s will provide recommendations to the National Processing Group (NPG) on:

 The best format to migrate the appropriate work to the NW Hubs, this will consider all impacts on the operation and resourcing at the site that the work is moving from. 

 A review of the proposed phasing arrangements to ensure that the movement of work allows the retention of robust resourcing at the site and meets the needs and timeline of the Peoples plan. 

 Any immediate resourcing issues that are identified and how these may be remedied in line with National agreements, including MTSF. 

 The maintenance and/or creation of attractive duty patterns and earning packages at the sites impacted. 

 Arrangements to address Inward Workload impacts. 

The document also addresses future National discussions on the impact on Inward Workload across the Mail Centre Network from the opening of the Hub. Distribution issues are also covered and it has been accepted that any changes will be accommodated within the 2022 Network Review or PAD Revision activity.

The usual paragraphs have been included referring discussions on Health & Safety and Engineering issues to the respective National leads have been included in the document and it has been agreed that where possible local comms will be jointly agreed.

Understandably the department has been receiving numerous enquiries around a framework for discussions and we believe that the document will be welcomed by our Representatives as it is imperative that Representatives are in a position to commence the necessary dialogues in line

with the agreed structure to ensure that robust plans are in place to deal with the workload transition ahead of the opening of the Hub.

It will be the intention of the department to launch the agreement and discussions have commenced with the business on the release of site specific data packs to inform initial discussions. The department is making arrangements for a further briefing for Representatives of sites in the Catchment Area.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: dwyatt@cwu.orgquoting reference: 231.01.

Yours sincerely

Davie Robertson

Assistant Secretary

LTB 505/21 – Framework Agreement for NW Hub 23.11.21

Att: Framework Agreement NW Hub 22.11.21

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