Royal Mail – Peak/Christmas Arrangements 2021
Further to the update provided in LTB 512/21 circulated on the 26thNovember 2021, Branches will be aware that the Christmas Arrangements document has been delayed due to the uncertainty over the arrangements for the New Year Bank Holiday(s).
Despite the fact that the precedent for the granting of non USO days by the Regulator was set in 2010/11, the last time that Christmas and New Year’s Day fell on Saturdays, Royal Mail’s application to Ofcom to seek the dispensation not to run a service on New Year’s Day 2022, which is not a Bank Holiday was unnecessarily late and has created a great deal of uncertainty.
While Ofcom has published an intention to grant the additional Non USO day for the 1st January 2022, the matter is currently the subject of a public consultation which will not close until the 13th December 2021with a decision announced by the 16th December 2021.
Given the ongoing enquiries on Christmas Arrangements, while there is no way to speed up the Ofcom consultation process further meetings have taken place with the business which have resulted in an agreed Peak/ Christmas Arrangements Document which has been endorsed by the Postal Executive.
This agreement covers the period until the resumptions following the Christmas Bank Holidays. A commitment has been received from Royal Mail to further talks to look at contingency arrangements for the New Year’s Bank Holiday weekend should the expected outcome of the Ofcom consultation not be realised. The CWU position in these talks remains as described in LTB 521/21. Additional Guidelines will be issued in relation to the New Year Bank Holiday following the closure of the Ofcom consultation.
Branches will recall that in 2020, following release of the Christmas Arrangements document, additional lump sum payments were agreed for voluntary attendance on Saturday 26th December 2020 in addition to the Scheduled Attendance hourly rate. It has been agreed that these arrangements will flow through to Sunday 26th December 2021. The scope and value of the lump sum payments will mirror the 2020 agreement which was circulated in LTB 597/20.
You will note that the attached document broadly mirrors prior agreements and retains all of the elements and safeguards achieved in previous years and includes an enhanced section on Sunday Delivery activity during the Peak Period which has become a new and growing element of workload during peak.
As in previous years, in anticipation of the expected traffic levels the agreement covers, temporary workplan changes, early and late supplementary parcel deliveries, night opening for DO’s, and Sunday operational arrangements and provides clarity on Customer Service Point (CSP) opening times.
The overall situation remains far from ideal, however both departments believe that the arrangements will be welcomed by our Branches and Representatives and will provide guidance on ensuring that resourcing for the Peak/Christmas Pressure period is conducted in line with Nationally agreed standards. On that basis representatives are now encouraged to engage with managers in relation to agreeing arrangements.
Further updates will be provided on the arrangements for the New Year’s Weekend when the talks have concluded and the outcome of the Ofcom consultation is known.
Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to:
Processing/Distribution: Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: email@example.com quoting reference 706A.14
Deliveries/Collections: Mark Baulch, Assistant Secretary, email: firstname.lastname@example.org quoting reference 170.
Davie Robertson Mick Kavanagh
Assistant Secretary Acting Assistant Secretary