Royal Mail’s Notification To Progress with the Deployment of Scan In/Scan Out in Deliveries
Branches and Representatives will recall Letter To Branches 110/22, dated the 9th of March regarding the Royal Mail & CWU National Joint Statement – Scan In/Scan Out (SISO) in the Delivery Function – Evaluation of PDA Solutions.
The LTB set out an agreed and limited activity which was designed to gather feedback on whether the PDA solution was fit for purpose and was believed to be a user-friendly application in relation to the deployment of SISO within the Delivery Function. Mail Centres and Regional Distribution Centres have already deployed Consoles as the equipment which are the preferred option, however the Consoles are viewed upon as unsuitable in Delivery Units due to a number of factors not least of which is space constraints.
The limited evaluation process to explore a possible mainly static PDA based solution within the Delivery operation did not highlight any direct issues within the six listed trial sites. The Specific Joint Statement covering the activity set out the following direct commitment: ‘Royal Mail and the CWU will review the feedback nationally from this evaluation exercise, which will determine any future equipment and deployment programme. Additionally, the evaluation will also determine the next steps and jointly agreed activities necessary, which may include future trials or pilots before consideration of any further or wider National roll out of SI/SO within delivery units.’
Against that agreed background as outlined within the Joint Statement, talks have remained ongoing with Royal Mail in relation to SISO in delivery with the recent tenor of our discussion focused on seeking to reach a joint agreed set of words around the undertaking of joint local level site surveys in each delivery unit, for the siting of the equipment only with the actual deployment and rollout of the concept being proper to further National Agreement.
However, alongside these recent talks and the wider commitments contained within the ‘Key Principles Framework (Pathway to Change) Agreement’ paragraph 2.5 Technology, which deals with the introduction of Scan In/Scan Out, this is to replace the manual signing in and out process, along with the commitment that SISO data will not be used for the automatic reduction of contractual pay or reduce overtime pay where a (verbal) contract has been agreed with the manager, prior to commencement. We have become increasingly aware and concerned that Royal Mail is now seeking to move beyond what is jointly set out in the National Agreement and use SISO technology as part of Royal Mail’s wider change demands around ‘yearly flexi hours/flexi time’ hours banking system arrangements.
On 12th of August, the Outdoor Department then received correspondence from Royal Mail which formally confirmed that the Company intend to progress with the deployment of SISO in the delivery Function. In summary, the notice of intention from Royal Mail confirms that SISO will be first deployed in a number of Sheffield Delivery units on 2nd of October, moving to a national rollout on 30th of October. Attached, as Appendix 1, is a Royal Mail document entitled the ‘Deployment of Scan In/Scan Out in the Delivery’. A response from the CWU Outdoor department was sent to Royal Mail on 22nd August which is also attached as Appendix 2.
The details of the attached response from the department are clear and we have requested that Royal Mail does not move ahead with the deployment of SISO within the delivery function at this time for the reasons stated. This move by Royal Mail should be seen as a further aggressive act in clear breach of our agreements. Moreover, it would further suggest that Royal Mail is seeking to adapt SISO to be a key component and facilitator of their ‘yearly flexi hours/flexi time’ change demands, despite claims to the contrary.
We have been very clear that from a CWU position we remain committed to the Pathway to Change and it is Royal Mail’s current unacceptable approach and change demands which are directly outside of the National Agreement, which is the issue and not the concept of a move to a technology based signing in/out system.
Whilst we will keep Branches and Representatives advised of developments, any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 540, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
CWU Assistant Secretary