Christmas/Peak and New Year’s Operational Arrangements

Christmas/Peak and New Year’s Operational Arrangements

We are receiving numerous enquiries into both departments in regards to this year’s Christmas/Peak and New year’s operational arrangements.

The purpose of this LTB is therefore to clarify the current position with regard to discussions with the business, as Royal Mail have issued a Christmas 2021 & New Year 2022 Document into the operation.

Discussions have taken place between RM/CWU regarding Christmas Arrangements for some months now and after presenting them with a draft document some weeks ago, we have today, received an unacceptable response document from Royal Mail, which will require further discussions to take place.

Given the timescales involved and the proximity to Christmas it is understandable that Branches, Representatives and members will want to know what their working and attendance arrangements will be over the Christmas and New Year Festive period to allow them to plan accordingly.

Unfortunately, there are several issues which still remain unresolved, including the attendance arrangements for the weekend of Saturday 1st January 2022(New Year’s Day) and the resultant Bank Holiday in England on Monday the 3rd January (Scotland 3rd and 4thJanuary) and the associated issues which flow from that.

We have made it clear to Royal Mail that we do not accept that our members should be compelled to work on either Saturday the 1st of January or Monday the 3rd (3rd/4th in Scotland). The Company have now, very late in the day, encouraged and requested that Ofcom should conduct a published consultation process, which states;

Royal Mail has requested that Ofcom issue a direction to make 1 January 2022 an ‘exception’ because this date falls on a Saturday. 1 January is generally a public holiday. However, in 2022, when this date falls on a Saturday, the following Monday has been designated as the official public holiday. This would mean that, in the absence of a direction from Ofcom, Saturday 1 January 2022 would be a normal working day on which Royal Mail would be required to deliver and collect letters. Royal Mail’s request is that Ofcom grants this exception in addition to it observing the non-working day on Monday 3 January 2022.

Offcom has stated they support granting the exception for USO deliveries and collections and a decision is due to be announced on the 13th December.

Notwithstanding the above, we have made it clear to Royal Mail that we are not in agreement and supportive of the Companies’ approach to the New Year Bank Holiday(s) and that they have failed to deal with the issue in good time with the Regulator despite the fact the precedent was set and the dispensation was granted in 2010/11. We have also made it clear that we cannot wait until the 13th of December which is just over a week before Christmas to deal with the issue and this needs to be reflected in any agreed set of National Guidelines. Further to this and should the regulator not grant the dispensation for the USO, the CWU will not agree a position which would entail mandatory attendance of our members who are covered by this agreement on either Saturday 1st January or Monday 3rdJanuary (Tuesday 4th January in Scotland) 2022 and that in the event of this happening, there will need to be agreed contingency arrangements which may include incentives for any individuals who may wish to volunteer to attend on those days.

We have requested that an urgent meeting with Royal Mail is arranged early next week and further developments will be reported to Branches in due course.

Any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 170, email address: njones@cwu.org

Yours sincerely, 

Mark Baulch

CWU Assistant Secretary

Davie Robertson         

CWU Assistant Secretary                                                              

LTB 512/21 – Christmas and NYE Operational Arrangements 26-11-21

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