Resourcing Across Royal Mail

Resourcing Across Royal Mail

It is unbelievable after everything that people working for Royal Mail during one of the most testing times in our history hear that the field managerial structure are out there claiming they are reporting a National message that notice will be given on all fixed term contracts and Scheduled Attendance.

It beggars belief after all the problems you have had at local level recruiting and retaining urgently needed staff and struggling with our Quality of Service in some areas (much maligned in the national press) that such an approach should be taking place at all times, the day before Christmas Eve.

To be absolutely clear none of this has been agreed at National level and we have received no written proposal on the approach therefore we consider this Executive Action which breaches many of our national agreements.

We will be making representation at national level to resolve this and change the managerial position but in the meantime any local approaches to cease fixed term contracts (other than extra Christmas resource which is agreed locally as no longer required) or to give notice on agreed Scheduled Attendance as part of normal agreed duty structures and earnings packages, should be the subject of an immediate disagreement in line with the IR Framework.

This is a brief message due to the alleged threat of people being given notice today and we will of course give further information from our national intervention as and when we have it.

I apologise again for having to report this to you, it is an incredibly insensitive and strategically naïve piece of management, totally at odds with the trust culture we have been trying to build and the many other initiatives we have been jointly deploying to empower decision making locally and not nationally driven diktat.

On behalf of the Union we thank our representatives and members for everything you have done, you deserve much better than this and we will make the strongest possible representation to ensure you do. 

The Postal Executive and all senior field officials have been fully briefed earlier today so please contact your Area, Divisional and Branch Representatives for assistance in line with the IR Framework if you encounter an aggressive managerial activity in this regard.

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 581-21 Resourcing Across Royal Mail

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JOINT STATEMENT BETWEEN PARCELFORCE WORLDWIDE AND THE CWU ON THE INTRODUCTION OF DRIVER BUDDIES

JOINT STATEMENT BETWEEN PARCELFORCE WORLDWIDE AND THE CWU ON THE INTRODUCTION OF DRIVER BUDDIES

Much like other areas of RMG, Parcelforce have been experiencing issues with regard to attracting new employees in what is an extremely competitive market place. Even where the company is able to attract new drivers there have been issues relating to retention with some new recruits deciding to leave shortly after being employed.

Given this, the Table of Success, Transport Working Group (TWG) has been looking at initiatives which could improve the on-boarding experience for new recruits and provide additional support for new entrants on a peer to peer basis.

Discussions have now concluded with a Joint Statement on a “Driver Buddie” scheme to provide a further opportunity for a new recruit to be supported by an experienced colleague after the initial induction training has been completed. This Joint Statement has now been endorsed by the Postal Executive and is attached for the information of Branches.

As with most parcel carriers the on the road aspect of the job is the simplest, however the Under the Roof (UTR) activity, including vehicle prep, loading and in particular the various options now available with regard to route setting (REX) can be daunting and additional one to one support could be extremely beneficial in assisting new employees to familiarise themselves with the necessary processes.

Driver Buddies will be volunteers and adjustments will be made to their daily workload to ensure that they are not disadvantaged where they agree to support a colleague. Participating will have no impact on earning packages including allowances or Scheduled Attendance. Driver Buddies would be on hand to meet the new recruit and answer questions or provide guidance.

Volunteers will be sought in each depot and more than one Buddy position may be deployed especially in high recruitment areas.

In the view of the TWG and the department this development may provide invaluable support for new recruits and make the early experience in the Depot more rewarding.

The department would ask that the contents of this LTB are brought to the attention of PFW Representatives and members.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: dwyatt@cwu.org quoting reference: 116.01.

Yours sincerely

Davie Robertson
Assistant Secretary

LTB 579-21

JOINT STATEMENT BETWEEN PARCELFORCE WORLDWIDE AND THE CWU ON THE INTRODUCTION OF DRIVER BUDDIES

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POST OFFICE – PAY 2021/22: TRADE DISPUTE – MEETING WITH ACAS 5TH JANUARY

POST OFFICE – PAY 2021/22: TRADE DISPUTE – MEETING WITH ACAS 5TH JANUARY

Further to LTB564 dated 20thDecember.

Branches will be aware a trade dispute now exists between the Union and Post Office due to Nick Read, CEO’s pay freeze position for 2021/22.

Both parties have now engaged with David Prince, Chief Conciliator, Acas and a meeting has been arranged for Wednesday 5th January during which we hope Post Office will adopt a more reasonable approach and progress can be made towards an agreement.

The reaction of our members to the pay freeze attitude of Post Office is one of complete dismay.  There is a strong feeling of being disrespected by Nick Read, especially as our members, as key workers, have continued to deliver an amazing service throughout the pandemic, yet senior Directors are failing to recognise in a tangible way their efforts, which are often performed against the backdrop of very difficult circumstances.

Two CWU web articles highlighting Post Office’s unacceptable position and the resultant Acas meeting can be accessed via the following links:

Further developments will be reported.

Yours sincerely

Andy Furey
Assistant Secretary

Attachment 1: 21LTB580 Post Office – Pay 2021-22 – Trade Dispute – Meeting with ACAS 5th January

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POST OFFICE – GOVERNMENT AMENDMENTS TO SICK ABSENCE REPORTING

POST OFFICE – GOVERNMENT AMENDMENTS TO SICK ABSENCE REPORTING

Branches and our Post Office members are advised that Government guidance regarding sick absence reporting has been amended as a consequence of the current wave of Covid-19 and the associated pressure on GP surgeries.  The Government announcement, which was made last week, can be accessed via the following link:

In essence, employees are now only required to provide an official certificate for sick absence if they are off work for more than 28 days (compared with the previous arrangement of 7 days).  Essentially, this means our members, for absences of 28 days or less will be required to complete a Self-Certification form rather than visit their GP for a “fit note” for sick absences longer than 7 days.

Absences prior to 10thDecember, still require a GP “fit note” from day 8 and those post that date fall under the new 28-day rule.

Post Office has advised us the People Hub advice and guidance is being updated in recognition of these changes, with clear signposting for members about the new rules.  Additionally, line managers will be provided with the appropriate information to share with members reporting sick.

Any membership queries in relation to this change should be referred to the relevant Representative.

Further developments will be reported if changes to these arrangements occur.

Yours sincerely

Andy Furey
Assistant Secretary

21LTB578 Post Office – Government Amendments to Sick Absence Reporting

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Re: Changes to Sickness Reporting – Latest Government Advice

Re: Changes to Sickness Reporting – Latest Government Advice

Members will probably be aware the Government have change the rules for sickness reporting and self-certification. The link to the Government advice is https://www.gov.uk/taking-sick-leave

Normally, members will provide a ‘self-certificate’ for the first seven days and after this period, members who are still off on sick leave will be required to provide a ‘fit note’ from a GP or other medical professional. However, to support the booster programme, the Government have changed this.

Temporary change to fit notes.

If members have been on sick leave from or after 10 December 2021, the self-certificate, normally for seven days, can now be used for 28 days of sickness (including non-working days). Any absence over 28 days will require a fit-note.

If your sickness absence started prior to 10 December 2021, you continue to provide a fit note after 7 days (including non-working days).

These changes are to give GP’s more time to work on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) booster programme.

If you are concerned about your health condition, you should continue to contact / see your GP.

Changes to Self-Isolation – ENGLAND ONLY

The Government have recently announced changes to the self-isolation process. At the time of writing, this is for ENGLAND ONLY, however, other devolved Governments may follow suit.

The change is a move from 10 days’ self-isolation to 7 days’ self-isolation as long as on the final two days of the seven, you have negative lateral flow test results.

We know in some areas Management have refused to allow members back to work who have qualified for the shorter isolation period. As it is part of the Government advice, we do not expect anyone to be refused returning to work, subject to meeting the criteria.

We wanted to get a joint statement with Royal Mail on this issue, however this has not been possible.

Any enquiries regarding the content of this LTB should be addressed to Kerry Hay khay@cwu.org for the PTCS department quoting reference number 420.

Yours sincerely,

Carl Maden
Assistant Secretary

21LTB576

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FRANK BOLGER – CWU AREA PROCESSING REP

FRANK BOLGER – CWU AREA PROCESSING REP

It is with deep sadness that I write to advise you that Frank Bolger Area Processing Rep from the Nottingham and District Amal Branch, passed away last Sunday following a sudden illness.

Frank was an ex-miner who joined Royal Mail in 1989 and held various positions within the Branch before being elected Area Processing Rep in 2009. This was a position he held unopposed until his untimely death last weekend.

Frank was totally committed to representing our members and the CWU and as Branches may have seen from the lovely tributes already posted on Facebook, he was so well regarded by the members in Nottingham Mail Centre and Representatives across the union. 

I know I speak on behalf of everybody who knew Frank; in saying, he was a thoroughly decent man and a great trade unionist who will be sorely missed.

We offer our sincere condolences to all his family, friends and colleagues.

Details of Frank’s funeral will be circulated in due course.

Any enquiries on the above LTB should be addressed to the General Secretary at jdunn@cwu.org.

Yours sincerely

Dave Ward

General Secretary

LTB 574/21 – FRANK BOLGER – CWU AREA PROCESSING REP

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YOUNG WORKERS CONFERENCE 27 JANUARY 2022

YOUNG WORKERS CONFERENCE 27 JANUARY 2022

Branches will be aware that LTB 515/21, dated 29 November 2021 advised of the arrangements for the 2022 Young Workers Conference and that the Conference would be taking place in Birmingham on 27 January 2022.

In view of the current Covid 19 circumstances the NEC (Emergency Committee) believe that it is appropriate to review the decision to hold a physical face to face Conference as a result of the recent developments particularly around the new Omicron variant of the Covid19 virus that have occurred subsequent to this decision being made.

As it stands rates of Covid infection are rising exponentially and according to Government and SAGE Scientists will continue to do so into the New Year. At the time of publishing this LTB there are various rumours circulating about whether or not the country will face more severe restrictions (described by some as Plan C or further lockdowns) before or after Christmas.

This is a difficult situation for the CWU to manage both as an employer and especially in this case where we have planned for a national event where CWU representatives would be required to travel from all parts of the UK.

In respect of our employees, we have a duty of care to those employees who would be expected to travel and attend the Young Workers Conference. We are responsible for their health and safety during this pandemic and we have to exercise our responsibilities here in good faith.

Additionally, it is also not possible to simply defer the YW Conference until a date later in the year where we may have a clearer picture in respect of the ongoing impact of Covid 19 due to the issue of a fixed deadline that cannot be changed for the submission of motions from the Young Workers conference to the General Conference. The closing date for motions to General Conference is at midnight on Sunday the 30th January 2022.

Subsequently after consideration the NEC (Emergency Committee) have now agreed that the 2022 Young Workers Conference will now be held on 28 January 2022and that it will be an Online Virtual Conference. 

Following the above decision discussion will take place with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the SOC and the Chair and Secretary of the Young Workers Committee regarding the impact of moving from a physical to a Virtual Conference.

There will not be a need to alter or change any of the arrangements (previously published in LTB 535/21 dated 7 December 2021) in relation to the arrangements and deadlines for the submission of motions etc therefore branches should continue to follow the information as set out in the LTB.

Further information will be published in due course regarding the registration of delegates to the online Virtual Conference.

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 sdgs@cwu.org.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Kearns

Senior Deputy General Secretary

LTB 573/21

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HSE Publishes Annual Work-Related Injuries, Ill-health and Enforcement Statistics for 2020/21

HSE Publishes Annual Work-Related Injuries, Ill-health and Enforcement Statistics for 2020/21

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published statistics that cover work-related ill health, non-fatal workplace injuries and enforcement action taken by HSE, in the 2020/21 period.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. Their role is to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses and enforcement action through Fee For Intervention Charges, Improvement Notices, Prohibition Notices and prosecution through the courts. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. (HSE Website http://www.hse.gov.uk).

Key Facts from the report:

Work-related ill health

  • 7 million workers suffering from a work-related ill-health – around half of these were stress, depression or anxiety.
  • 850,000 workers suffering from a new case of work-related ill health in 2020/21.
  • 13,000 deaths each year estimated to be linked to past exposure at work, primarily to chemicals or dust.

Work-related stress, depression or anxiety

  • 822,000 workers suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety.
  • 451,000 workers suffering from a new case of work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2020/21.

It’s significant that the number of cases of work-related ill health continues to climb and has risen higher yet again this past year.

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders

  • 470,000 workers suffering from work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
  • 162,000 workers suffering from a new case of work-related musculoskeletal disorder in 2020/21.

Occupational lung disease

  • 12,000 lung disease deaths each year estimated to be linked to past exposures at work.
  • 2,369 Mesothelioma deaths in 2019, with a similar number of lung cancer deaths linked to past exposures to asbestos.
  • 17,000 estimated new cases of breathing or lung problems caused or made worse by work each year on average over the last three years.

Workplace injury

  • 142 workers killed at work in 2020/21.
  • 441,000 workers sustaining a non-fatal injury.
  • 51,211 employee non-fatal injuries reported by employers under RIDDOR in 2020/21.

Coronavirus pandemic

  • 93,000 workers suffering with COVID-19 in 2020/21 which they believe may have been from exposure to coronavirus at work. 52,000 of these worked in the human health and social work sector.
  • 645,000 workers suffering from a work-related illness caused or made worse by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. 70 per cent of these were cases of stress, depression or anxiety.

These two new estimates have been developed and added to the Report this year to measure the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic at work.

HSE Launch Statement

In their statement launching the 2020/21 Statistics Report the HSE’s Chief Executive, Sarah Albon, commented that thee pandemic has affected certain data collection and impacted on assessment of trends, therefore there is no new data on working days lost and the associated economic cost for 2021. It’s not known whether some of the people reporting a coronavirus-related ill health condition would have developed and reported an ill health condition if pre-pandemic working practices had continued. It is therefore not possible to assess the scale of work-related ill health independent of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

These annual statistics are important to give a clear picture of the health and safety risks faced by workers in the Great Britain and help to inform the measures HSE, employers, policy-makers and workers themselves need to take to ensure everyone can go home from work safe and well.

The 12-month period in question coincides with the first national lockdown and the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic. There have been significant impacts on the labour market, which is reflected in our reporting.

HSE have worked differently too in responding to the challenges posed by the pandemic, advising across Government, helping to shape guidance for businesses and implementing the Covid Spot Check programme to ensure workplaces were kept as safe as possible through inspection spot checks.

Of the 1.7 million workers who suffered from a work-related illness (new or long standing) in 2020/21, 800,000 were stress, depression or anxiety, and 28% were musculoskeletal disorders (500,000 workers).

The latest figures on work-related stress reinforce HSE’s previous concerns around the scale of this issue in workplaces. Last month HSE announced the launch of their new Working Minds Campaign, in partnership with a number of key organisations, to help employers make recognising the signs of work-related stress a routine process.

HSE add that they continue to act as a proportionate and enabling regulator taking the most appropriate actions to achieve the best and quickest result. However, where employers fall short of expected standards, HSE will not hesitate to hold those responsible to account and prosecute.

Because of the discontinuity presented by furlough and other impacts on data collection, no statistics on working days lost and the associated economic costs are included in this year’s statistics.

Enforcement

A total of 185 health and safety cases were prosecuted in 2020/21 by HSE which resulted in a conviction, down from 325 the previous year. This could be attributed to disruption in the court system during the pandemic period. The amount taken in fines fell to £26.9 million in 2020/21, although the average fine per case issued was higher compared to 2019/20. Due to COVID-19 the number of enforcement notices issued by Local Authorities is not available for 2020/21. However, HSE issued 2,929 enforcement notices in 2020/21, a decrease of 58% from the previous year.

The number of prosecutions is at an historical low – almost half as many as last year, and a 91% reduction in the last twenty years. There have been fewer than half as many enforcement notices served this past year compared to the previous year.

Attachment

Copy of the HSE Annual Work-Related Injuries, Ill-health and Enforcement Statistics Report for 2020/21.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 572/21 – HSE Publishes Annual Work-Related Injuries, Ill-health and Enforcement Statistics for 2020-21

HSE-Health-and-Safety-at-Work-Statistics-For-GB-2021

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Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY21 020 – Safe Operation of Dock Levellers on Loading Banks – Serious Fractured Foot Accident

Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY21 020 – Safe Operation of Dock Levellers on Loading Banks – Serious Fractured Foot Accident:

Overview:

An MGV driver suffered a serious fractured bone in his foot after stepping on an uneven surface on a dock leveller.

Description, Issue and Impact/Effect:

An MGV driver was operating a dock leveller at a mail centre. The dock leveller extends and drops into the back of the vehicle. The driver was operating the controls to the dock leveller and his left foot was overhanging the leveller plate, as the leveller dropped into the vehicle the weight from his overhanging foot gave way and he rolled his ankle breaking a bone in his foot.

Operating dock levellers should only be operated whilst in a position of safety ensuring that feet and all equipment is kept clear of moving dock levellers whilst being operated. The result of this accident was a painful fractured foot bone.

Learning Points

  • When operating dock levellers, drivers and dock staff must ensure feet are on solid ground not on the moving dock leveller.
  • Ensure the dock leveller is completely installed in vehicle before moving towards the vehicle.

Key Management Activities and Messages to Drivers and Staff Working On Loading Docks:

  • Brief all drivers and staff on the Dock Leveller Safe System of Work.
  • Drivers and staff to ‘stay clear of moving dock levellers’ and be aware of the potential hazards.
  • Monitor compliance to dock leveller use and feedback using your Safety Conversations.

Area Health and Safety Reps 

Would all CWU Area Health and Safety Reps please note and communicate the content of the Safety Flash, supporting the key messages and learning points, reminding members of the importance of looking after their own safety as well as the safety of work colleagues when operating dock levellers. Carry out spot safety inspections and report any non-compliance or other issues.

Attachment:

RMG SHE Safety Flash FY21 020 – Safe Operation of Dock Levellers on Loading Banks

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 571/21 – Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY21 020 – Safe Operation of Dock Levellers on Loading Banks – Serious Fractured Foot Accident

SHE Flash FY21 020 – Use of Dock Levellers

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