During the recent two-week period of national talks to resolve the issues in dispute, it became clear that RMG intended to renege on Simon Thompson CEO’s letter of 6th January 2023, which stated:

“Revisions will be undertaken in line with the Pathway to Change Agreement and will be specifically based on workload and productivity targets, the IR Framework Agreement will apply in full.”

Against what are serious misgivings on the direct planning parameters, saving targets / productivity uplifts, our negotiators made a genuine attempt to agree functional guidelines and secure an agreement to support local level revision/change planning in all functions.  RMG rejected all attempts by the union to reach an agreed approach and continues to introduce revisions and change at local level by Executive Action.

RMG is now seeking to advance revision plans ahead of the timescales outlined to the union during the talks.  In Delivery Units, management are disguising them as so-called lapsing plans.  In some local units managers are seeking to impose local level change far beyond what RMG planned and communicated in the talks.  Controversially and provocatively this includes plans to remove innovative duty patterns and bring in later starts and finishing times.

Attached is a RMG document relating to Delivery Office Revision Activity entitled Table Top Revision – Can and Cannot Guide file, which RMG has advised is a high-level guide for local managers on key changes in terms of what the business say they ’can do/cannot do’ under their local revision/change plans, covering a number of areas including ‘Sunday Working’, ‘Start and Finishing Times’and ‘Working Patterns’.

In Mail Centres there are plans for full structural revisions removing agreed innovative duty patterns, earning packages and imposing significant and far reaching changes to attendance patterns.  Deployment activity including 1-2-1’s and forced re-sign activity has resumed in Mails Centres.

Advice for Branches, Representatives and Members

We recognise the very difficult position our Branches, Representatives and members now find themselves in.  Therefore, the following advice should be taken in terms of dealing with Executive Action and un-agreed revisions / change plans at local level.  From a CWU perspective, the IR Framework remains in place and should be used to address the collective impact of un-agreed revisions and change.   As such, consideration should be given to the actions below to challenge any revision or operational change planned at local level.

In all the circumstances described below, where local managers refuse to enter into the IR Framework, disagreement should be processed unilaterally

  • Movement of Individuals/Short Term Redeployment

Any short term redeployment or movement of members from selected and aligned duties should be addressed via WRMs (Weekly Resourcing Meetings).  In all cases, the aim should be to limit any impact and the need for the movement of individuals.  Furthermore, any required movement should reflect the individual attendance patterns and day off arrangements (unless otherwise agreed by the individual concerned).  There should also be a minimum notice period (reasonable) for these changes.  This was defined by RMG in the ‘Best and Final’ offer off 22ndNovember 2022, under its plans on Flexible Hours: ‘Individuals would get between four to ten weeks’ notice of your shifts to allow you to plan.

In the case of individuals with adjusted duty needs and arrangements covered under the Equality Act (e.g disability, family-friendly etc.) there is a direct requirement for the local manager or Person in Charge (PIC) to undertake a robust review of the reasonable adjustments and workplace adjustment to ensure the individual’s protective measures and workplace adjustment are maintained or improved. This should in all cases happen in advance of any changes being made.

Where there is no agreement or there is wider concern in terms of short term and continuous and unnecessary movement/redeployment of individuals, the IR Framework should be used.  It is vital to highlight all disagreements logged where local managers are seeking or have imposed change outside of RMG’s own guide or wider commitments issued to employees (e.g family-friendly duties).

  • MTSF: Redeployment of Individuals from their Selected Duties / Displaced / Surplus Staffing

MTSF should be applied in all cases of long term redeployment or individuals being displaced as a result of a surplus staffing situation or business-driven change.  As such, managers should advise in writing to the relevant Representative and individuals of the reasons and grounds for the decision.  Thereafter, the manager would need to apply the terms of the MTSF agreement, including the consultation timeline for such change, the application of Pay Protection (as applicable), and the actual Redeployment Process.  This should be in addition to the manager or PIC needing to review the redeployment against any required individual adjusted duty arrangements, family-friendly or Equality Act needs.

The IR Framework should be used in the case of local managers not adhering to or engaging with local Representatives in line MTSF in respect of long term redeployment resulting from a surplus staffing situation or business-driven change.

  • Enforced Re-Picks/Filling of Vacancies

The IR Framework should be used in the case of any un-agreed or enforced pick of duties, or the filling of vacancies which are not in line with Section 6 of the National Way Forward Agreement.

  • Industrial Relations/Employee Relations Review (Independent Mediation)

Where there are serious concerns in terms of local level relations and employee relations and standards of treatment and behaviours, applications should be made for a formal IR/ER review (supported by independent mediation) at the unit.  Such requests should formally outline all areas of concern and preferably be jointly submitted.

  • Lapsing Plans/Weekly Resourcing Meetings and General IR Matters

The IR Framework is still applicable in all regards, including imposed and un-agreed lapsing plans, Weekly Resourcing Meetings not taking place and general IR matters.  Where local managers refuse to engage in line with our collective agreements, the IR Framework should be used and disagreements should be processed unilaterally in the absence of meaningful engagement.

  • Individual Grievances Applications

LTB 039/18, dated 24th January 2018, Improved Grievance Procedure, set out the process for individual members to raise complaints or concerns either directly with their line manager or above.  Where there is and remains failure on the part of managers to ensure that grievances are dealt with in a supportive and timely manner and in line with the commitments set out in the Grievance Procedure, Branches and Representatives should use the IR Framework to raise and challenge this.


The advice above is designed to assist Branches and Representatives in dealing with management seeking to ignore all agreements and protocols in respect of revisions, attendance patterns and resultant people issues.  In all cases where management are acting outside of their own guidelines and our agreements, this must be challenged via the IR Framework and if disagreements are rejected, these should be registered unilaterally.

Finally, we fully recognise that given the scale of RMG’s unacceptable actions, the advice herein is not in itself going to resolve the principle of Royal Mail refusing to negotiate at local level.  Therefore, we can advise Branches that we intend to communicate further developments in the coming days in respect of how best to oppose management’s unacceptable Executive Action, alongside our wider communications to deliver another massive YES vote in the Re-Ballot.

Any enquiries on Managerial Executive Action/Revision Activity should be sent to the respective Assistant Secretaries responsible for the function where Executive Action is taking place.

Yours sincerely

Dave Ward
General Secretary

Andy Furey
Acting Deputy General Secretary (Postal)

Davie Robertson
Assistant Secretary      

Mark Baulch
Assistant Secretary

Carl Maden
Assistant Secretary           


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UN Anti-Racism Day – Resist Racism Demonstrations

UN Anti-Racism Day – Resist Racism Demonstrations

Branches should note that the next UN Anti-Racism Day rallies organised by the TUC and Stand Up To Racism are taking place on Saturday 18th March 2023 in London, Glasgow and Cardiff. 

The London meeting point will again be Portland Place by the BBC London HQ. Click here for map. Click here for info on all Anti-Racism marches.

The CWU are committed to combating racism and fascism, historically our union has had fantastic support at past events. We hope we can again demonstrate our solidarity as part of a global day of anti-racist protest. 

For now, we would be grateful if you could mark this date in your diary and begin to generate as much interest as possible with a view to trying to encourage grassroots members into coming along and engaging in this important event.

Any queries on this LTB should be directed to equality&education@cwu.org         

Yours sincerely,

Dave Ward
General Secretary       

Kate Hudson
Head of Equality, Education & Development

23LTB 023 – UN Anti-Racism Day – M18 Resist Racism Demonstrations

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Re: TUC Union Safety Reps Survey 2022/23

Re: TUC Union Safety Reps Survey 2022/23 – LTB 504/22

See attached LTB 504/22.

There is just one week left to complete the TUC Union Health and Safety Reps Survey for 2022/23.

If you haven’t completed it, please do so – it takes only a few minutes.



I would be grateful if you would complete it and help push it out and around to other Safety Reps again via any:

  • Email lists, WhatsApp groups or other lists and forums you have for contacting other safety reps.
  • Share the link on union social media channels.
  • Make use of the QR code (attached) which can be printed in union newsletters, websites magazines or any other relevant literature.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 022/23 – TUC Union Safety Reps Survey 2022-23 – LTB 504-22

LTB 504/22-TUC-Health-Safety-Reps-Survey-2022

Att: SurveyQRcode

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Re: Workplace Minimum Temperature & Workplace Thermometers

Re: Workplace Minimum Temperature & Workplace Thermometers:

Following a number of enquiries from CWU Representatives and members during the current cold weather regarding minimum workplace temperature and provision of workplace thermometers, we are re-issuing advice for the assistance of Branches and Health and Safety Representatives.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) and Guidance is that employers should maintain a minimum temperature in indoor workplaces of 16C/61F or 13C/55F where employees undertake physical work.

For an office workplace therefore the minimum would be 16C or 61F.

Generally speaking, informal guides suggest the acceptable area of comfort for most types of work lies between 16C – 24C or 61F – 72F. Recent research has shown that concentration is reduced and therefore productivity suffers when working in a workplace which is too hot or too cold. Lack of concentration may also lead to increased risk of accident. More commonly workers can become irritable, and feel tired.

The Chartered Institute of Building Services provide the following recommendations for ‘minimum’ temperatures in different work areas:

  • Light work in workplaces – 16C/61F
  • Office and dining rooms – 20C/68F
  • Heavy work in workplaces – 13C/55F
  • Hospital wards and shops – 18C/64F

Employers must stick to Health and Safety At Work Law. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, Regulation 7 requires employers to keep the temperature at a comfortable level.

Under this regulation, employers must also provide a sufficient number of thermometers to enable workers to be able to determine the temperature in any workplace/building.

Employers must also ensure there is clean, fresh air in the workplace under these Regulations.

Outdoor Work in Cold and Wet Weather

In respect of outdoor work in cold and wet weather, employers are required by Health and Safety Law to provide clothing to protect workers from extreme weather under the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulations 1992. These Regulations compel employers to ensure that suitable PPE is provided to ’employees’ who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety while at work including clothing and footwear affording protection against the weather which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work and which protects the person against one or more risks to that person’s health or safety, and any addition or accessory designed to meet that objective (e.g., storm-proof jackets and wet weather clothing etc.).

Maximum Working Temperature 

Although Health & Safety Regulations set no maximum working temperature, The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations require employers to provide a reasonable indoor temperature in the workplace. The law states that “During working hours, the temperature inside workplace buildings must be reasonable” and the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) to the regulations set out that “all reasonable steps should be taken to achieve a comfortable temperature”, this may be taken to include the provision of suitable fans, or portable air conditioning, air-cooling or climate control equipment. Suitable rest facilities should be provided in instances where local heating or cooling fails to give reasonable comfort. Where practical, there should be risk assessment and safe systems of work (e.g., task rotation, rest breaks) to ensure the amount of time individual workers are exposed to uncomfortable temperatures is limited. Employers must also ensure there is clean, fresh air in the workplace under these Regulations.

Outdoor Work in Hot Sunny Weather

Employers must also manage the risk of working outdoors in hot environments and extreme temperatures, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). When working outdoors, the weather can have a serious impact on a worker’s health, if the risks have not been properly managed. Working in the sun can be hazardous. Extreme heat can cause heat stress, heat stroke and fatigue. Too much sunlight can cause skin damage including sunburn, blistering and skin ageing. In the long term, it can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. Sun burn and dehydration are dangerous and must be avoided by covering up the skin with sunlight/UV Ray protection clothing and using high factor sunscreen on any exposed skin. The new Royal Mail Uniform Clothing is manufactured with textiles that provide nearly 100% sun protection, rated at UPF50+ for the life of the garments, which means it will never wash out. The active particles in the fabric absorbs UV light and are designed to also cool the wearer down when in hot weather. Also whilst working in hot weather and intense sunlight it’s important to seek shade, take breaks out of the sun and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 021/23 – Workplace Minimum Temperature & Workplace Thermometers

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Royal Mail Group Dispute – Voluntary Redundancy Taken Before 2nd March 2023

Royal Mail Group Dispute – Voluntary Redundancy Taken Before 2nd March 2023

Branches and Representatives will be aware of the re-ballot timetable for the International Distributions Services (previously Royal Mail Group) dispute for all CWU represented grades in Royal Mail Group.

Due to the unilateral decision by RMG to instigate an unagreed preference exercise seeking applicants for Voluntary Redundancy (VR) which closed on 27th November 2022, there may be members who, having been offered and accepted a VR package, will be leaving Royal Mail Group employment before the earliest possible date for taking strike action (2nd March 2023).

The Union has tried to obtain information from RMG about those that have accepted VR, more detailed information as to RMG’s plans regarding VR and any changes since their original announcement about this. RMG has failed to provide this information.

Due to RMG not providing the Union with sufficient information, we have to send this LTB as some members unknown to us may have accepted offers of VR and will receive a ballot paper despite their employment with RMG ceasing prior to when strike action could first be held (2nd March 2023).

This LTB is therefore to inform members of the following legal advice: 

Where members have accepted VR and will be leaving RMG employment before 2nd March 2023THEY SHOULD NOT VOTE in the re-ballot.

All Branches are instructed to ensure this LTB receives the widest possible circulation.

Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to the DGS(P) Department.

Yours sincerely

Dave Ward
General Secretary        

Andy Furey
Acting Deputy General Secretary (P)

LTB 019/23 – Royal Mail Group Dispute – Voluntary Redundancy Taken Before 2nd March 2023

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Please find below the branch breakdown of CWU National Welfare Fund donations that were made in 2022.BRANCHREASON

AMOUNTBournemouth & Dorset AmalDomestic£1,000Bournemouth & Dorset AmalDomestic£1,000Bristol & DistrictIllness£1,000Bristol & DistrictIllness£500Croydon & Sutton AmalIllness£500East London PostalDomestic£750Edinburgh, Dundee & BordersIllness£1,000Edinburgh, Dundee & BordersDomestic£250Edinburgh, Dundee & BordersDomestic£300Grampian & ShetlandIllness£750Greater Mersey AmalDomestic£300Harrow & DistrictIllness£500Lincolnshire & South YorksBereavement£1,000Northern Ireland CombinedDomestic£1,000Northern Ireland CombinedDomestic£500Northern Ireland CombinedDomestic£1,000Northern Ireland TelecomDomestic£100Northern Ireland TelecomDomestic£500Northern Ireland TelecomDomestic£200Northern Ireland TelecomDomestic£150Northern Ireland TelecomDomestic£105Northern Ireland TelecomDomestic£300Northern Ireland TelecomDomestic£200Preston Brook & Bury RetailIllness£500Preston Brook & Bury RetailIllness£1,000Scotland No. 1Domestic£500Shropshire & Mid WalesDomestic£300Shropshire & Mid WalesDomestic£400South Central PostalIllness£1,000South Central PostalDomestic£600South Central PostalIllness£1,000South East AngliaDomestic£500South East London Postal & CountersIllness£245South WalesIllness£500South WalesDomestic£500South WalesDomestic£350South WalesDomestic£200South WalesDomestic£300Total    £20,800

Any enquiries regarding this LTB 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


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We have obtained a copy of a temporary contract of employment issued to an OPG for the period from 28th December 2022 to 24th March 2023.

Branches and Representatives will be aware that, in the past, when Royal Mail has wanted to change particular aspects of the contract of employment, input has been sought from the Union, with the aim of reaching an agreement.

A comprehensive comparison has been made between the clauses in the previously agreed OPG contract, against those in the attached, and a number of major unagreed changes have been identified and unilaterally implemented.

It is evident that some of the alterations made relate directly to areas of the current dispute, which is more evidence of the need to vote YES in the re-ballot.  Moreover, these unagreed amendments clearly have significant ongoing implications and cannot be left unchallenged.

As a result, the attached correspondence has been sent to Zareena Brown, RMG Chief People Officer containing a firm request, seeking to open up dialogue on the changes to the contract.

If Branches are aware of any other variations of new contracts which differ to the one attached, they are urged to send these to fkelk@cwu.org

Yours sincerely

Dave Ward                                  Andy Furey
General Secretary                   Acting Deputy General Secretary (P)

LTB 017 – enclosure New Contracts of employment LTB 017 -18.1.23 – RMG DISPUTES – UNAGREED OPG CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT LTB017 – Letter to Zareena Brown – Unagreed Introduction of New Contracts of Employment (OPG) for CWU Represented Grades

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At an Emergency NEC meeting held today, Tuesday the 17th January 2023, the NEC have unanimously taken the decision to defer the above conferences until later in the year.

Conferences were due to take place Sunday 23rd to Thursday 27th April 2023as notified in LTB 326/2022, the conference will now take place Sunday 1stto Thursday 5th October 2023.  To be clear the Conference is being deferred and not cancelled.

There are a number of reasons for the NEC arriving at this decision.  As Branches will be aware the situation around our dispute with Royal Mail Group (RMG) is at a very crucial stage.  We have now served notice on RMG to ballot again on the issues in dispute, the ballot will open next Monday 23rd January.

At this point in time it is essential that our messaging is that everything (and we mean everything) that Postal Branches need to do to produce both a high turnout and yes vote in this ballot is essential. This means devoting every resource and every amount of possible time to achieving these aims.

Arising out of this ballot and the ongoing negotiations are two possible scenarios. Either we reach an agreement or we don’t.  If we don’t then at the time the conference is currently scheduled, we will be heavily involved in large scale and widespread industrial action that will be crucial to achieving a successful outcome to the dispute.

Should negotiations continue and we reach an agreement there will be a need for urgent consultation, meeting and general discussion with Branches around any potential outcome and the deployment of such. Again there is no timescale for this as there is currently no agreement, but either way Postal Branches will be required to concentrate all efforts on the ballot and the outcomes, whatever they may be.

In short, important as Annual Conference is, it is not and cannot be considered more important than what is in reality, a fight for our members’ futures in Royal Mail.

In addition to the position set out above there is the question of the closing date for motions to General, Rules and Postal Industrial Conference.  Respectively these are 9th, 2nd and 23rd February 2023.

For the NEC there is a linked issue. The closing dates set out above means that any motions and/or rule changes that the NEC needs to submit to conferences would need to go before the NEC scheduled for the 25th/26th January.  Given the involvement of the GS and other Senior Officers and Staff, as well as the PEC there is simply no time between now and then to discuss and present NEC motions and/or rule changes by that date.

Branches will be aware that there are a number of outstanding issues arising out of Redesign that the union needs to deal with in order to ensure we build a union fit for purpose in the future. This means developing a number of proposals around structures and subsequent discussions with Branches and Reps on these issues.

The same issue applies to the PEC, who would have to meet prior to the closing date to submit motions at a time when the industrial dispute with the employer remains unresolved and Officers and PE members are devoting all their time to dealing with this issue.

The deferring of Conference to later in the year allows us time to have the discussions required around those issues, consult widely within the union and place rule changes before conference 1st – 5thOctober. Clearly, with the ongoing dispute we are simply not in a position to do this and thus the deferment makes sense not just for the industrial reasons as set out above, but also for structural reasons regarding the future of the CWU.

The NEC understands that deferring these conferences may have some impact upon hotel bookings already made. However, the agreed new date for the Conference (01.10.23 – 05.10.23) is a time when Bournemouth hotels are operating out of season.  Most hotels should not have major issues with transferring bookings until the later date.  We will of course engage and discuss with any Branch that has difficulty in this area.

The NEC also understands that part of the focus of this debate is around industrial issues in the Postal constituency. The NEC are aware that there are a number of equally important issues being dealt with within the TFS constituency.  The TFSE are clear that, if required, a Policy Forum to discuss and debate matters with Branches will be utilised at the appropriate time.

The decision taken by the NEC is not taken lightly, however, as set out above, given both the industrial issues we face with a major employer, the demands on time and the need for the union to consider further restructuring issues the decision is taken in the best interests of the CWU both in the immediate and longer term.

Any enquiries regarding this LTB 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,Dave WardTony KearnsGeneral SecretarySenior Deputy General Secretary


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