Blue Monday” – Samaritans “Brew Monday” National Rail Suicide Campaign Launched Today

Blue Monday” – Samaritans “Brew Monday” National Rail Suicide Campaign Launched Today:

More than 150 events are being held at railway stations across the UK today to encourage people to make “time to talk” on what has become known as ‘Blue Monday’, which is claimed to be the most depressing day of the year.

The Samaritans ’Brew Monday’ campaign hopes to spark conversations between family, friends and colleagues by handing out thousands of tea bags. The charity wants to turn the third Monday of the year – known by some as ‘Blue Monday’ – into a positive day.

The Government, Network Rail and Train Operators are supporting the Charity’s campaign and urging train commuters to look out for their fellow passengers in a bid to reduce the number of suicides on the rail network.

Around 4.4 per cent of all suicides in the UK take place on the railways, with figures from 2018-19 showing there were 279 suicides or suspected suicides on the network. Sadly this included a CWU member on his way to work last year.

The Government is supporting the Samaritans in an effort to rebrand ‘Blue Monday’ as ‘Brew Monday’, with commuters urged to spark up conversations with fellow passengers and get together with family, friends or colleagues to chat over a warming brew.

Any suicide on the rail network is tragic. It is the brave efforts of people who have stepped in to prevent tragedy on the railways and charities such as ‘Samaritans’ and ‘Calm’ which deserve recognition.

So far, the Samaritans have trained more than 20,000 railway employees in prevention techniques which is a tremendous achievement.

However, the charity and Government ministers are promoting the message that passengers too can help by just offering a friendly conversation, an opportunity to chat, which might be all the difference between suicide and being saved. To avoid rail suicides they are urging people to trust their instincts and help those in need.

Official figures show there were nearly 2,000 lifesaving interventions on the railways last year, meaning that six people were saved for every one that took their own life through suicide.

Please support Samaritans volunteers across the country as they hand out thousands of leaflets and tea bags to commuters.

The rail industry is working with the government to reach a target of a 10 per cent reduction in suicides by 2020-21.

See the Samaritans “Small Talk Saves Lives” Rail Suicide Prevention Video at this link:-

The Samaritans is a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, often through their telephone helpline.

Whatever people are going through, a Samaritan aim is to help people by facing it with them. They are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can be called any time, day or night. Whatever people are going through, they can call at any time, from any phone for FREE.

Call 116 123

Alternatively email:- – Response time: 24 hours

Or write to:-
PO Box 9090

Emotional support in Welsh is also available on the Samaritans’ free Welsh language line – Call 0808 164 0123

Yours sincerely


Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

20LTB032 Blue Monday – Samaritans Brew Monday National Rail Suicide Campaign Launched Today


Royal Mail Personal Injury Compensation Scheme (PICS)

Royal Mail Personal Injury Compensation Scheme (PICS)

Further to LTB 419/2017 regarding the above.

I have received a number of enquiries from members whose initial claim commenced prior to the 1st April 2017 and were, therefore, being processed under the previous Royal Mail Personal Accident Benefit Scheme (PABS).

A number of our members’ have received a provisional payment and were notified by Royal Mail Group if they subsequently received a life assessment, then under the terms of the original Scheme, they would be paid any outstanding balance, in line with the life assessment.

My original LTB stated that claims lodged prior to the changes (1st April 2017) would be dealt with under PABS and that was my understanding. Royal Mail agree that is the position. However, they continue to add the caveat that no additional payments will be made under either Scheme if the member receives compensation from any other source.

I have raised the issue with Royal Mail and they remain adamant that the overriding principle of the schemes is that no payment will be made under such circumstances.

I have subsequently obtained legal advice from our Solicitors and they are of the opinion, that as the basis of PABS and PICS, clearly states that the terms of the schemes are non-contractual, discretionary employee only compensation schemes, provided by Royal Mail, who reserve the right to withdraw, or vary the terms of the scheme, or cancel the scheme in its entirety, in its sole and absolute discretion at any time, this does not leave us any legal basis in which to challenge their position.

Royal Mail Group’s continued position is disappointing. I have held off sending out the LTB as we have been attempting to settle individual claims that have fallen foul of Royal Mail Group’s position but it is now clear that their position is final.

If you have any queries regarding the above please contact Tony Rupa, Head of Legal Services, Communication Workers Union, 150 The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19 1RX. Telephone 0208 971 7444 or via email

 Yours sincerely


Tony Rupa
Head of Legal Services



Re-entering Negotiations with Royal Mail Group 

Re-entering Negotiations with Royal Mail Group 

Further to LTB 712/19 published on 18th December 2019, further correspondence has been exchanged with the business, as well as communications and conversations, which have all indicated that both parties will endeavour to de-escalate tensions to create the space for positive negotiations to achieve a settlement on our dispute.

However, we entered those talks yesterday and discovered that management’s interpretation of a period of calm is for the union to not re-ballot and enter into negotiations whilst they take executive action by proceeding with trials on new technology without agreement, and take executive action on the circa 700 local disagreements concerning revision savings, with no introduction of the 2nd hour of the Shorter Working Week which was agreed as part of our 2019 pay award to the Four Pillars Agreement.

In effect management’s position is they will listen and talk to us but still go and do what they want.  It is a declaration of industrial war.

Against that backdrop we will now begin preparations for another national ballot for Industrial Action, whilst also supporting local ballot requests where management attempt to carry out their intended executive action.  Branches should immediately start to prepare for this by ensuring that their membership records are up to date so that they are in a position to respond instantly to the Senior DGS when his Department request such information in the coming days.

A video update has gone out today, link below:

Please ensure that this is given the widest possible publicity to our members and that all on-going communications are circulated to members ASAP.

The Postal Executive will be meeting with Senior Field Officials on Tuesday 21st January and will then determine our next steps.  Further updates will follow accordingly.


To be absolutely clear, we are now back into campaign mode for another massive yes vote.

We of course remain ready for resolution negotiations but these will have to be conducted at the same time as we defend our members, this great public service and our agreements.

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

Yours sincerely,


Terry Pullinger
Deputy General Secretary (Postal)      

20LTB30 Re-entering Negotiations with Royal Mail Group



Branches and representatives will be aware that following tender activity Royal Mail Specialist Services/Relay has been unsuccessful in their bid to retain the British Gas contract. The existing contract was due to expire in March 2020 however, following discussions with British Gas, the business has been able to secure a phased exit plan (Annex A) which will commence in April and be concluded by 2020.

The contract loss will require adjustments in respect of the Relay operation, which will vary on a unit by unit basis. Discussions have therefore been taking place with the business to conclude a Joint Statement to provide an update to members and a framework for timely local engagement to take place.

A copy of the Joint Statement, which has been endorsed by the Postal Executive, is attached for your information (Annex B).

Colleagues will note that PFW Regional Organisers and local RMSS/Relay representatives will be fully involved in discussions for the required changes and people issues, which will be progressed in line with National agreements, the IR Framework, MTSF and adhere to agreed principles. Equally, it has been confirmed that the transition will be achieved without recourse to compulsory redundancies.

The National Relay Joint Working Group will monitor the deployment throughout the phased exit plan and provide support where required.

Branches and representatives are requested to ensure that RMSS/Relay members are made aware of this LTB and the attached Joint Statement.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email:, quoting reference: 218.03.

Yours sincerely

Davie Robertson
Assistant Secretary




Depot – Last delivery day

Milton Keynes Saturday, 4th April

Peterborough Saturday, 18th April

Carlisle Saturday, 2nd May

Wednesbury Saturday, 2nd May

Exeter Saturday, 16th May

Swansea Saturday, 23rd May

Bristol Saturday, 6th June

Edinburgh Saturday, 20th June

Thurrock Saturday, 4th July

Gateshead Saturday, 18th July

Nottingham Saturday, 1st August

Leeds Saturday, 15th August

Southampton Saturday, 29th August

Epsom Saturday, 12th September

Manchester Saturday, 26th September





Royal Mail (RM) and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are working together in developing key business policies, mutual interest solutions and a new culture, which are at the core of the commitments in the Agenda for Growth, Stability and Long Term Success Agreement.

Both parties recognise that creating the right constructive joint working relationships is key to the success of the business and the commitment to provide sustainable employment across all functions of the business in an increasingly competitive and rapidly evolving environment.


Colleagues will be aware Relay were unsuccessful in retaining the British Gas contract in the recent tender process, with the contract moving to an alternate supplier. A phased exit plan of this contract has now been agreed with British Gas, which will commence in April and be concluded by September 2020.

National planning activity on the operational change required to accommodate the removal of the British Gas workload while ensuring that duty structures remain robust has been undertaken by the business and the outputs are now ready to be shared. To ensure all operational and any identified peoples issues relating to this change can be progressed in a timely manner, both parties agree that local engagement on a depot by depot basis should now commence.

Employee Impact/People Issues

It is anticipated that the impact of the change will vary across the Relay network, however it has been jointly recognised and accepted that in all cases the timely resolution of people issues will be a key priority. In line with our Nationally agreed commitments both parties confirm that the transition will be achieved without recourse to compulsory redundancies.

On a unit by unit basis local discussions and negotiations should consider all aspects of the impact and be progressed in line with National agreements, the IR Framework and MTSF and adhere to the following principles:

  • Prior to the application of the processes and policies contained within the MTSF agreement consideration will be given to:
  • The removal of all agency/casual resource
  • Where jointly agreed necessary, the cessation of Fixed Term Contracts.
  • No employee will be compelled to buy down their hours or convert to a part-time contract.
  • No part-time employee will be compelled to increase their contractual hours.
  • In all units where it is anticipated that there may be a surplus following the revision activity preference exercise activity will take place.
  • Wherever possible the aim will be to meet individual’s first preference and offer suitable alternative jobs that take into account individuals’ personal circumstances, including any additional travelling distances and time.
  • The movement of workload will be based on operational needs including the ability of gaining offices to maintain quality of service. When moving workload, people issues will also be considered in line with the existing National policies and procedures, including Managing the Surplus Framework (MTSF).
  • In addition to the terms of MTSF, support will be provided to help individuals so they can make realistic and appropriate choices for their future.

CWU Involvement

Both parties agree it is essential there is joint involvement in all activity associated to this change with all relevant information shared throughout the process.

The role of the CWU representatives within these processes is fully recognised, as is the requirement for appropriate release in order for them to meaningfully prepare, participate and obtain the views of their members. It is agreed that in line with the IR Framework, CWU representatives undertaking this work will not suffer financial loss. To this end it is agreed that local managers will facilitate this release and that all reasonable requests for release will be agreed.

Relay will ensure that management teams liaise with their local representatives and CWU Regional Organisers to resolve any outstanding people issues.

The National Relay Joint Working Group (JWG) will monitor the deployment throughout the phased exit plan and provide support where required.

Any questions of interpretation, implementation or application of this Joint Statement should be referred to the signatories for resolution.

Ian Simpson – Head of Relay Operations, Royal Mail

Davie Robertson – Assistant Secretary, Communication Workers Union

Date: 16th January 2020



Important update for the London Divisional Committee

Important update for the London Divisional Committee

Shortly after New Year , Terry Pullinger and Ray Ellis on behalf of the Union met Royal Mail to talk about agreeing the format for negotiations to resolve the dispute.

Royal Mail at this meeting stressed that the business were in a very poor financial position , much worse than expected and were under pressure from Shareholders to make change quicker in order to help turn around the companies financial position.

Interestingly, the companies position did not include December and the one off windfall of the General Election or Christmas.

Royal Mail also confirmed that the Dispute Resolution process had been completed on all issues associated with the dispute and that the company would now be taking executive action on selective issues.

This means regardless of whether your office is at stage 1 , 2,3 or 4 of the IR framework , the procedure is exhausted and they can take executive action on any office currently in the IR framework.

There are currently 716 separate disagreements within the IR framework.

It is understand that there first choice of executive action will be those offices who have disagreements registered regarding CSS machine closures or MPU closures as they believe it will weaken the union if they offer VRs to the CSS operators.

Additionally Royal Mail have stated they want to take executive action over the some trial activity which is the parcel separation trial in Swindon , AHDC and Resource Scheduler.

At a further meeting yesterday Royal Mail confirmed that selective executive action would take place.

Let’s be very clear , Royal Mail by their actions have chosen to virtually de-recognise the CWU.

The Postal Executuve at a meeting last Tuesday confirmed we would ballot Nationally if Royal Mail did not pull back from their chosen course of action. In addition we would recommend local offices also ballot if Royal Mail were taking executive action in their office or Branch.

There is a Joint PE and Field Official Meeting next Tuesday 21st January and than afterwards the Postal Executive will meet time discuss the timescales and plan for getting a yes vote.

The stakes have been raised by Royal Mail by their strategy to take executive action.

They are testing us to see whether we will respond and get as big a yes vote as last time.

Be in no doubt Royal Mail are out to destroy the industrial strength of the CWU.

There has never been a more important time to rise up and for the membership to back the CWU.

If Royal Mail succeed in their strategy , they will marginalise the CWU for ever !

Support our union and stand together!

We will provide you with further information after Tuesday.

A Statement from the London Divisional Committee

Don’t lose your right to vote for Labour’s Leader and Deputy Leader

Don’t lose your right to vote for Labour’s Leader and Deputy Leader

As a CWU member, you have the right to vote in the upcoming Labour Leadership election. In order to receive a ballot paper, CWU members must have opted in to the political levy supporting the Labour Party’s work by 5pm on the 20th January. To opt in to the levy you will need to contact the membership department by emailing them at, or calling them at 020 8971 7447.

If you have opted in to this levy by the deadline above, you will then need to register as an affiliated supporter of the Labour Party. The easiest way to do so is to visit the following website: You will need to register as an affiliated supporter by 5pm on the 3rd February. Please note that in doing so you will enter into a data sharing agreement so that the CWU are able to share your information with the Labour Party.

Yours sincerely,


Dave Ward
General Secretary  



Please find below the branch breakdown of CWU National Welfare Fund donations that were made in 2019.

Birmingham District Amalgamated Illness £1,000
Bootle Financial Services Bereavement £1,000
Bristol & District Amal Domestic £1,000
Bristol & District Amalgamated Illness £1,000
Croydon & Sutton Amalgamated Domestic £1,000
East London Postal Domestic £1,000
East London Postal Domestic £500
East London Postal Illness £1,000
Eastern No. 3 Domestic £750
Eastern No. 3 Domestic £1,000
Greater London Combined Domestic £1,000
London & West Illness £1,000
London Parcels & Stations Amal Illness £250
London Phoenix Illness £1,000
Newcastle Amalgamated Illness £500
Newcastle Amalgamated Domestic £1,000
Newcastle Amalgamated Illness £1,000
Newcastle Amalgamated Bereavement £1,000
North East Bereavement £700
Northern/North West London Domestic £1,000
Scotland No. 1 Domestic £1,000
Scotland No. 2 Domestic £1,000
Scotland No. 2 Domestic £750
South & East Thames Amalgamated Domestic £500
South Central Postal Bereavement £1,000
South Midlands Postal Bereavement £1,000
Tyne & Wear Clerical Illness £1,000
Worcester & Hereford Amalgamated Bereavement £1,000
Total £25,450


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


Yours sincerely,


Tony Kearns
Senior Deputy General Secretary


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