ROYAL MAIL GROUP: UNAGREED PREFERENCE EXERCISE
Further to LTBs 452/22 and 450/22 dated 16th November, Royal Mail Group has today unilaterally commenced a preference exercise amongst our operational members, primarily in delivery and processing units via their People App. This activity contravenes the MTSF and Pathway to Change National Agreements and in particular the agreed Voluntary Redundancy terms.
Royal Mail are claiming our agreed terms are no longer affordable because of the financial position within the company, which they have created.
As explained in yesterday’s communication, RMG’s decision to go ahead with a unilateral preference exercise was deliberately timed to coincide with the presentation of their half yearly results announced to the markets today. This was because the CEO had told us that unless the company demonstrated that they were taking action to turn the financial position of the company around, they would not “remain a going concern”.
The issue of both Compulsory and Voluntary Redundancies has featured throughout our recent negotiations and the union had put forward the following requirements as being crucial to reaching an agreement.
- There will be no compulsory redundancies, this guarantee will be subject to review at agreed milestones.
- The full terms of the MTSF agreement will apply.
- The overall reduction in headcount will be determined by agreed methodology, workload and revision activity.The implementation of the headcount reduction programme will be achieved through a prioritisation of removal of agency/casuals, natural attrition and voluntary redundancy.
The CEO’s response to our position was that he was fine with this, apart from the fact that the company would only be able to afford a 9 months maximum and 8 weeks minimum compensation. The union rejected this offer and have been pushing the company to increase this amount. Late last night the company confirmed that they would increase the amount with a £6,000 enhancement.
The maximum compensation being offered by the company for those seeking VR who qualify, based on age and length of service, is 9 month’s pay coupled with an enhanced one-off payment of £6k (pro-rata for part-timers). These terms are on offer for anyone who indicates they want VR by 27th November. The threat-based approach by Royal Mail states that after this date, the £6k won’t be available.
Following a Postal Executive meeting this morning the position adopted by the union is as follows:-
- The union cannot support an unagreed VR process on compensation terms that are significantly inferior to our agreements.
- It will always be the case that individual members are entitled to make their choice based on their own personal circumstances as to whether or not they are prepared to accept RMG’s redundancy terms.
- As a consequence of this managerial action Branches and Representatives are instructed not to engage with management concerning any associated revision activity.
The union’s priority must be no compulsory redundancies and to ensure that such a commitment is included in any final agreement.
As we said yesterday, we would give our field officials, branches, reps and members a fuller update on negotiations later this week. We can now confirm that this will take place in a live Facebook session at 7 p.m. this evening.
Dave Ward Andy Furey
General Secretary Acting Deputy General Secretary (Postal)