Assistance Request for St Vincent and the Grenadines
As you know the activities at the La Soufriere volcano in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have become a matter of serious concern and that the Prime Minister issued an evacuation order for people living around the area of the volcano. That order affected in excess of 20,000 people. In less than 24 hours more than 2,000 people entered shelters provided by the Government. This number will inevitably increase. These shelters are schools, churches, community centres and hotels.
The evacuation process will increase depending on the intensity of the volcanic eruption.
Three cruise ships from Royal Caribbean and two from Carnival have offered their assistance for evacuation. The ships started to arrive last night and will continue to do so. Assistance have been offered to take persons, if the need arise, by several countries of CARICOM.
The resources of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are very limited and any assistance you can give will be greatly appreciated
Thank you for your interest in our small nation and for your usual co-operation.
The bank details for the official charity we are working with are given below:
ACCOUNT NAME UK – SVG Friendship Trust
ACCOUNT NUMBER 67153523
SORT CODE: 23-14-70
IBAN (to receive GBP from UK only) GB20 TRWI 2314 7067 1535 23#
Alternatively, there is a website which you may use to contribute
GoFundMe – https://gofund.me/90dbdc94
The High Commission for St Vincent and the Grenadines is with working closely with the UK-SVG Friendship Trust and SVGDRIP-UK
POST OFFICE: FORMAL SUBMISSION OF PAY CLAIM – 1ST APRIL 2021
Following our Post Office members’ 97% Yes vote in favour of the one year pay agreement from 1st April 2020 (refer to LTB 139/21), the Postal Executive has now formally endorsed this year’s pay claim letter. The pay claim, covering all Post Office members, is for a single year from 1st April 2021 and has a number of key elements as follows:
- 3% pay increase to basic pensionable pay flowing through to all elements of pay-bill
- A one hour reduction in the working week from 35 to 34 hours net
- Improvements to Employer Contributions to the DC pension scheme and a proposal to set up a Working Group with the aim of establishing a CDC pension scheme for the future (in line with conference policy)
- Harmonisation of annual leave entitlements.
A balanced package of benefits would make for a better settlement and will be more attractive to our members than just a standard pay increase, hence the inclusion of the various elements above.
In order to make early progress, we have offered Post Office management a number of meeting dates in late April as our aspiration on behalf of our members is to reach an early settlement if possible.
Branches are urged to bring this LTB to the attention of our Post Office members. Further developments will be reported.
RM/CWU Joint Communication – Covid-19 Delivery of T24 Test Kits & Sunday Delivery Developments Update
Branches will be aware of the above contained within LTB 091/21 issued on March 3rd which provided a detailed Joint Statement regarding COVID19 Test Kits and Sunday Delivery Developments, including the introduction of commercial Sunday Direct Injection contracts.
Since then numerous discussions have taken place with Royal Mail regarding what both Departments felt was information that had been circulated by Royal Mail which was not in line with the Joint Statement. In particular concerns were raised in relation to the later arrivals into Hubs, the reduced number of Hubs and the number of Hubs needing to deliver beyond 7pmas an exception. In addition, the number of new contracts coming on line, the forecasted volumes and the fall to ground, have meant the resourcing numbers for each Hub need to be reviewed.
Discussions with the Royal Mail managerial team dealing directly with the Sunday contracts proved extremely difficult. Both Departments raised significant concerns that the business was reverting to previous thinking around a later, cheaper pipeline which was driving an unacceptable operational model based on the Monday to Saturday LAT Network, that was never designed to handle high volumes of traffic. The CWU position throughout these discussions was that the business should invest upstream to ensure that items move through the pipeline earlier and reach Delivery Hubs in time to meet the operational specification described in the March Joint Statement.
Concurrently it was clear that despite the range of resourcing options included in the March Joint Statement, which is designed to recognise the voluntary nature of resourcing for Sunday Deliveries and promoting inventive duty structures, the business was actively seeking to recruit new staff to cover the work. This issue had led to discussions between the DGSP and Matthew Newman, HR Director.
As a result of the impasse on both issues, it was agreed the matter would be escalated to the Main Negotiating Group and measures were being taken for that to be progressed.
However, Royal Mail has considered the points put forward by the CWU and as a result they have revised their position in relation to the upstream operation and additional investment to support the principles agreed within the Joint Statement.
Further discussions have taken place this week and have now concluded with the attached Joint Communication which details a number of high level changes to the operational plan being agreed, which are as follows:
- To support the Sunday Delivery products a 03:30 despatch network will be put in place from each of the English RDC sites from Sunday, 25th April. This network will provide a single service on each route and introduce a total of 56 Network Road Services between RDCs.
- Inward Mail Centre’s will move to a 1-hour processing window from the final arrivals to ensure items are dispatched by Distribution Services as soon as possible to each of the planned Sunday Delivery Hubs in order to advance the commencement for deliveries.
- The revised provisional plans outline circa 349 Sunday Parcel Hubs, of which 313 Hubs are planned to deliver once over the ground and 36 Hubs are planned to deliver twice over the ground. In addition, due to the introduction of new additional road services, 258 (74%) of Hubs now have a start time before 12:00 and 36 (10%) of Hubs have a potential finish time after 19:00.
- Each Inward Mail Centre will now have a new arrival profile which will need to be reviewed by the Local JWG to understand what the impact means for the catchment area, the total number of Hubs which are needed and also whether local knowledge means further measures can be introduced; for example, direct services to neighbouring Mail Centres to support earlier arrivals into distant Mail Centres.
- Recommit to the parameters of the Resourcing Menu of Options agreed as outlined within the Joint Statement and these remain in place. The Local JWG are encouraged to find solutions to mitigate and eradicate any requirement for the use of Agency/Casual resource.
On the final point regarding Sunday Resourcing we have made it clear to Royal Mail that all of the principles hold the field and if for example a unit agrees the need for external resource on Sundays that duty structure and hours would have been agreed as part of the resourcing meetings or revision proposals. In addition, we have made it clear that we also have examples of when innovative duty patterns have been vetoed by managers locally and therefore the Joint Communication also enforces this point and that any issues in relation to the interpretation or application and deployment will be raised with the signatories for resolution at National Level.
As such both departments are now confident that the attached Joint Communication fully supports the previous Joint Statement and will allow the Local JWG’s to meet and review all of the operational plans and ensure we continue to win growth and provide the best possible attendance patterns for our members.
Both departments would like to place on record thanks to Tony Bouch, PEC member, for his ongoing work in these talks and the support and guidance provided to the local JWG’s in dealing with the Sunday Delivery issues.
Any queries to the content of the above please contact: Deliveries: Outdoor Department email address: email@example.com, quoting reference: 600 or
Processing/Area Distribution: Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary email: firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting reference: 014.14
PATHWAY TO CHANGE AGREEMENT – JOINT STATEMENT BETWEEN ROYAL MAIL LOGISTICS AND THE CWU ON REALIGNMENT ACTIVITY AND THE DEPLOYMENT OF THE 2ND HOUR SWW AT AIR HUBS
Branches and representatives are informed that in line with the commitments contained within the Pathway to Change Agreement discussions have been taking place with the business in relation to revision activity within Air Hubs to release the 2nd hour of the SWW. Discussions have focused on a streamlined process, based on the principles of the Processing Realignment processes.
Those discussions have now concluded with an agreed Joint Statement, which has been endorsed by the Postal Executive and a copy is attached for your information.
In summary the Joint Statement outlines the following:
The intention of this local activity at each Air Hub is to address resourcing imbalances across all shifts, resource to demand and other associated challenges in relation to efficiency in line with National agreements and ensure that the business is able to respond and adapt to customer demands and enable growth.
Reviews will be undertaken on the basis of a table top approach designed to improve efficiency and reduce reliance on external resource.
The realignment review will be conducted based on current actual data, in line with existing National workplan and agreements.
The realignment review will be based on standard working methods and equipment type in line with National agreements. Where Covid-19 mitigation/social distancing arrangements are in place they will be factored into agreed outputs for as long as they remain required.
The realignment will be jointly progressed in line with the principles of the National Processing Resource Realignment Joint Statement and will aim to minimise the disruption to employees. Agreed change will be deployed in line with the IR Framework and relevant National agreements, including MTSF.
Where one shift is in resource surplus and another shift in resourcing shortfall, locally a transitional plan should be agreed to ensure all movement of staff from one shift to the other is voluntary. In case of a lack of volunteers, existing National agreements and MTSF will be applied, to ensure the ‘correct alignment of hours against the workload’.
The impact of the 2nd Hour SWW must be understood. Local discussions will have autonomy to agree the appropriate solution to efficiently deploy the SWW, which should be built into the duty structures to ensure no negative impact on performance.
The department understands that preliminary discussions have already taken place with our Representatives at the Air Hubs, however the formal activity should commence immediately with the deployment of revised duties targeted to be in place Monday, 7th June 2021, at which point the SWW for all Air Hub employees will be released.
It is jointly believed that the above process will secure robust resourcing, including through the Covid-19 period, reduce the reliance on external resource and allow space for longer-term discussions to progress in line with the commitments contained within the Pathway to Change agreement.
Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: email@example.com reference 054.06.
CWU Virtual Special Rules Revision Conference 2021– Mock Conference
Further to LTB 129/21 dated 26th March 2021.
The reason why we have taken this decision is that we understand how important it is for branches to get the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the arrangements for the conference including the voting system that will be used on the day.
For this reason we want to ensure that the providers and developers of the software that we will be using during the “mock conference” and “Virtual Special Rules Revision Conference” are in attendance for support and assistance if required. However due to their availability the only date that the mock conference can be held is on Tuesday 20th April 2021.
Further information regarding the above including the details for logging in and participating in the mock conference will be sent to branches and those delegates that have already registered for the CWU Special Rules Revision Conference on Monday 19th April 2021
Senior Deputy General Secretary
Royal Mail Group – Latest Updated Coronavirus/Covid-19 – Frequently Asked Questions and Answers Guidance Document (Version 86)
I attach for your information Version 86 of the Royal Mail Group, Managers’ Coronavirus/Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers Guidance document, issued by the business on 14 April 2021.
At the commencement of the Coronavirus/Covid-19 outbreak, Royal Mail Group established a ‘Business Pandemic Team’ which includes all national heads of department and this team meets regularly to review the situation across Royal Mail Group and to issue update Questions and Answers information communications to all managers, which is cascaded throughout the business.
The Coronavirus Guidance, version 86 Q&A document has been shared with the Union’s Health, Safety & Environment Department and is hereby circulated for information and reference purposes for CWU Regions, Health and Safety Reps, Branch Reps, Divisional IR Reps and members.
The Q&A documents are circulated to all RMG managers and are also available to access through a link on the Royal Mail Group ‘Intranet’, in the ‘Managers Update Messages’ section.
Update Changes and Additions From Previous Version:
Please note that when update changes and additions are made from the previous version, they are normally highlighted in ‘Yellow’ and the update changes in this version No 86 are on page 13 and are in relation to questions regarding Covid-19 Lateral Flow Device Rapid Tests and the sterilisation process which used ‘Ethylene Oxide’. In summary the two questions and answers are (full answer on P13):
- Q: Lateral Flow Devices are sterilised using ethylene oxide. What tests have been completed to check that they are safe for regular use?
Lateral flow tests have been rigorously tested and are safe to use on a regular basis. LFD tests are approved for use by the MHRA, the UK’s regulator of medicines and medical devices, responsible for ensuring their safety, quality and effectiveness.
- Q: Is ethylene oxide used in the sterilisation of LFD tests and is this safe?
Lateral flow tests have been certified safe to use both in the EU and UK. Ethylene oxide is used in the sterilisation of swabs only. Ethylene oxide is one of the most commonly used sterilisation methods in the healthcare industry.
RMG Covid-19 FAQ’s V86 Contents List:
- Self-isolation, testing and reporting
- Cleaning and consumables
- Support and advice
- General guidance
- Travel/and annual holiday
- Caring for dependants
- Sick pay
- Attendance process
- Vulnerable employees
- General Ops advice
- NHS testing kits
- Operational processes and reporting changes
- Delivering and collecting from customers
- Fleet and vehicles
4.ADVICE FOR CUSTOMERS
Any enquiries regarding this LTB or feedback on the RMG Q&A document should be directed to Dave Joyce CWU National Health, Safety & Environment Officer. Issues received in connection with the attached which are appropriate to other CWU/HQ Departments will be passed on the appropriate National Officer.
- Coronavirus Guidance Questions and Answers V86
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer
JOINT STATEMENT BETWEEN ROYAL MAIL NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION AND THE CWU ON THE 2021 NATIONAL RECRUITMENT EXERCISE OF LGV DRIVERS
Branches and representatives will be aware that the Joint Statement between RM National Distribution and the CWU on the Deployment of the 2020/21 National Network Revision (LTB 115/21) contained the following commitment in relation to recruitment:
In line with the commitment in the Pathway to Change agreement both parties are committed to fast track discussions on the terms of a Driver Recruitment and development program to reduce reliance on external resource and restore agreed resourcing arrangements.
Discussions with the business have been taking place for some time in relation to maximising the opportunities for internal candidates to progress in future recruitment campaigns.
During previous campaigns it had become apparent while individuals may hold the required licence the lack of CPC at the time of application for vacancies was creating a barrier to progression, which is contrary to the terms of the 2018 National agreements on Resourcing LGV and MGV Recruitment and Future Resourcing Principles. We have therefore been seeking to establish a commitment from Royal Mail that they will provide the opportunity for individuals to complete their CPC where it is required.
To support those discussions colleagues will be aware that a survey has recently been undertaken by Royal Mail to establish what vocational (LGV) licences are held and CPC status (LTB 090/21 refers).
The survey was well received with over 760 responses. The results have provided insight as to how many individuals are looking to develop their driving career and are ready to apply now, or still need to complete their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) to get their DQC.
Discussions have therefore continued with the business on options available to provide support and training to the affected individuals, to enable them to apply for upcoming vacancies and allow them opportunity to progress where they wish to do so. It has now been agreed that Royal Mail will provide an online CPC training course utilising Advance Driver Coaches, for those individuals who hold the required licence but no CPC. The details are being finalised with the business in relation to the course at present and will be communicated when available. We can inform you however that the CPC training will be provided free of charge to individuals who wish to voluntarily participate but they will have to attend in their own time, release will not be given.
In advance of the courses taking place there will still however be a requirement to advertise vacancies in line with the Network Review activity. In this regard it has been agreed to recruit c464 drivers across two campaigns/waves at 29 VOC’s. Selection for all vacancies will be in line with the Nationally agreed process.
Adverts for Wave 1 are planned to go live on the 14th April 2021 inviting applications from internal candidates holding both an LGV (C+E) licence and valid DCPC (272 vacancies). Wave 2 adverts (c192 vacancies) will be released on the 14th June 2021, which will enable time for those individuals who wish to take the CPC course to do so. It should be noted that Wave 2 recruitment numbers may be flexed based on future workload volumes and this will be agreed with the CWU prior to the recruitment campaign commencing.
A Joint Statement in respect of the recruitment activity has been concluded and is attached for your information.
The department believes that the Joint Statement outlines a positive position in relation to commitments that have been obtained from the business in respect of maximising internal recruitment opportunities.
Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: firstname.lastname@example.org reference: 211.07
As part of the ongoing work on changing the culture, DGSP Terry Pullinger and Royal Mail Group CEO Simon Thompson visited Bridgwater DO today. Below you can watch a short video message from Terry.
Also, keep an eye out for a big joint session we will be holding on this issue next week.
Post Office: Pension Scheme – Increasing Contributions
As part of the recently endorsed pay agreement a new top tier of pension contributions was introduced for our Post Office members. This important element of the pay agreement allows for members to increase their contribution to 8% and, in return for this, the employer will pay 12% into the scheme.
At the weekend it was being reported by members on social media that they were experiencing technical difficulties with the system in place to allow for increases to pension contributions. As a consequence, I made urgent representations to Lisa Cherry, the Group Chief People Officer, who has today responded positively. I am extremely grateful for Lisa’s prompt and helpful attention to this matter.
Whilst the cut-off for increasing pensions contributions is ordinarily linked to payroll cut-off, Lisa Cherry has exceptionally put in place an extension this month as follows: “we can honour requests received by midday on the 15th April at the absolute latest, due to our payroll timescales”.
To aid the above, the following temporary arrangements have been put in place on this occasion:
Colleagues who are unable to send requests through either their POL e-mail, or an e-mail address that they have previously registered on SuccessFactors as their private e-mail (for security reasons), can request changes by letter to the Bolton office, quoting their full name, payroll number and date of birth for verification. All requests must be in writing for audit purposes.
The address for the Bolton office is:
People Shared Service Centre
Post Office Ltd
Alternatively, the way to normally increase pension contributions is via the dedicated email address: POL.Pensions@Postoffice.co.uk
Lisa Cherry has also provided some excellent news in respect of members being proactive by increasing their pension contributions. In particular, I’m pleased to report the following: “We have had over 300 requests for colleagues to change their pension contributions since the result of the CWU ballot was announced and over 100 after the initial joint statement regarding the pay issue was first released pre-ballot.”
I am delighted so many members have responded to the opportunity to enhance their pension. Hopefully these numbers will continue to rise in the coming weeks. Indeed, it is imperative that we encourage members at every opportunity to have 20% of pay put into their pension (8% employee and 12% employer).
Branches and Representatives are urged to bring this LTB to the attention of our Post Office members.