Latest from the Branch

Media coverage of the CWU Strike Ballot

Here is a selection of the media coverage we have secured following the announcement today. Please share these links with members and on social media.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49441049

https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/more-100000-royal-mail-workers-18985629

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/aug/22/royal-mail-union-to-launch-strike-ballot-over-workers-rights

https://www.ft.com/content/5072ca4a-c4f0-11e9-a8e9-296ca66511c9

Over 100,000 Royal Mail workers to vote on strike action

#WeRiseAgain

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National Briefing report from Newcastle CWU

Thanks to Newcastle CWU for the following report. I urge you to read it

For all Royal Mail members, a ballot time table has been announced for a National Industrial Action Ballot!

You will hear plenty from the CWU over the coming weeks but just thought I would put something out myself to really drive home how important this coming National Dispute is.

We have had a number of CEO’s and Chairmen in my time in RM all of which have come in and tried to stamp their authority on the company, our members and the CWU as a trade union, all have been unsuccessful and everyone of them have understood that working with us is better than working against us. Moyà Green most recently went as far as enshrining some of our protections into legally binding agreements.

We now have a new CEO in Rico Back who is starting his tenure in the same manner, except this time it’s different, he is the first to do so during a full privatised company, with share holders to satisfy (him being a holder of a significant amount of shares), a regulator prepared to help and an Ego big enough to think that he has a chance of succeeding.

Rico has already shown his contempt for us and our national representatives by “leaking” a five year plan with a parcel strategy that would, if implemented as he intends rip thousands of jobs from this company and he has now pushed ahead with the separation of parcel force to a newly launched PLC and is wanting to bring forward the review of our legal protections contained within the four pillars national agreement.

Make no bones about it, this man intends to wreak havocs on this company to line his own pockets and those of all of the other share holders currently stripping this company for all they can carry!

So what does this mean for us..?

A parcel strategy which strips jobs from delivery units and Mail Centres, some of you on here have, like me been through Mail Centre closures and no first hand the impact this has had and the amount of good people that left this business, do you really want to go through this again??

Splitting Parcel Force to a separate PLC, if it happens once it’ll happen again before we know it we will have Logistics PLC, Distribution PLC, Processing PLC and Deliveries PLC.. All potentially owned by different people….. Divide and conquer is the aim of this game, you’ve only got to look at BT with the split to Openreach to see how that works in a fully privatised company!

A review of the legally binding protections within the Four Pillars agreement, we’ll that’s quite clear, he wants to rip up that agreement and attack our terms and conditions so he can’t strip them away again to line his and his share holders pockets!

The above is just what’s happening at the moment, can you imagine what his end game is, without the CWU to protect you???

This is where we come in. During the last dispute we returned a massive yes vote as well as a huge vote return, this time we need to deliver a higher return and a higher YES vote but we also need to be ready to back up that vote with action, action to protect this company, action to protect the USO, action to protect the CWU and action to protect US!! Our jobs, Our Livelihoods, Our Futures ….

I for one will not stand by and allow Rico Back to think he can try to take what is mine without a fight and I suggest that we all do the same in standing together and standing against Rico and telling him

#imwiththeCWU

Ballot timetable

Four Pillars – Honouring our Agreement: Industrial Action Ballot Timetable

Four Pillars – Honouring our Agreement: Industrial Action Ballot Timetable

Further to the updates provided in LTBs 454/19, 456/19 and 491/19 along with the National Briefings held in Liverpool on Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd August 2019, the Postal Executive met today to discuss a Ballot Timetable for Industrial Action to support the CWU’s policy as detailed in Emergency Motion 2, unanimously endorsed at the 2019’s Postal Industrial Conference held in April.

Working in close consultation with the SDGS Department, the Postal Executive endorsed the following ballot timetable for all appropriate CWU grades in the Royal Mail Group:

Membership Verification:  to commence and be completed by 3rd September 2019

Issue Industrial Action Notice to Ballot: 17th September 2019

Ballot Opens: 24th September 2019

Ballot Closes: 8th October 2019

Ballot Result: 8th October 2019

While the union has spelt out the above timetable, Branches will note that it still provides a period of weeks for further dialogue/external mediation to continue with the business to try and secure a final settlement on honouring the commitments detailed in the Four Pillars Agreement and all associated issues before the ballot process commences in late September.

It should be further noted that in setting this timetable we clearly believe that the business, in spite of their own media campaign, are not working within the spirit and intent of our National Agreements and are following their own agenda that will have long-term detrimental effects on our members’ terms and conditions of employment, job security and the future of RMG as a whole.

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)                                      

Dave Ward – General Secretary                     

Ray Ellis – Assistant Secretary

Andy Furey – Assistant Secretary                                              

Davie Robertson  – Assistant Secretary            

Mark Baulch – Assistant Secretary     

19LTB510 – Four Pillars – Honouring our Agreement Industrial Action Ballot Timetable



Royal Mail Fleet Maintenance – Territorial Reps Elections

Royal Mail Fleet Maintenance – Territorial Reps Elections

Due to the introduction of the new Fleet maintenance areas and our IR alignment, together with the 2 year election cycle, we are seeking nominations for the election of territorial reps in these areas.

There are 5 territorial rep’s positions due to be filled covering workshops in the following areas:

◦ Central, East & Midlands

◦ London & South East

◦ North of England & North Wales

◦ Scotland, Northern Ireland & Yorkshire Cluster

◦ South West, West Coast & South Wales

For ease of reference we have listed below the workshops covered by each area along with the corresponding CWU branches. All candidates must be supported by their own branch.

Area

Branches

Nomination forms for all of these positions are attached to this LTB. All candidates must have the nomination of their own Branch and completed nomination forms must be signed by the Branch Secretary and Branch Chair (or accredited deputies) and the nominee.

The time table for the submission of nominations is as follows:

Nominations Open:- Monday 9th September 2019

Nominations Close:- Monday 23rd September 2019

In the event that a ballot is required, a timetable will be notified in due course with all ballots being run in accordance with the CWU guidelines for Fleet Maintenance Territorial Representation which is attached for your information.

All enquiries regarding the content of this LTB should be addressed to the PTCS Department, quoting reference 220. Email address: khawkins@cwu.org

Ray Ellis

Assistant Secretary

19LTB508

BT Sell-off of BT Fleet Solutions Ltd

BT Sell-off of BT Fleet Solutions Ltd

Further to LTB 484/2019 and LTB 471/2019 I am writing to provide a further update on the progress of our negotiation with BT on the sale of Fleet Solutions to Aurelius.

We are pleased to inform branches that, following intensive lobbying by the CWU, a detailed agreement has been finalised that addresses all of the four key areas in which the union was seeking guarantees from the company.

Despite our resolute opposition to the sale, and our anger that BT has pursued a course of action that has caused considerable stress and anguish to employees throughout the division, the National Team is convinced that the safeguards we have secured provide crucial reassurances on our members’ future employment and terms & conditions with Fleet Solutions.

The key areas are:

A guarantee that all current contractual terms are transferred to the new company – all contractual terms and conditions of employment for team member (NewGrid) grades will not change as a result of Fleet Solutions being sold to Aurelius. Please see attached Annex A for all employment terms and conditions which are unchanged. 

Confirmation of noncontractual terms and agreement for transitional arrangements for those that are not able to transfer e.g. Broadband and BT Vision – Despite their non-contractual status, we have been able to secure an agreement that ensures most benefits will remain and you can find a list of these provided in Annex B. There are however a number of non-contractual terms which Fleet Solutions will not be able to replicate entirely and a resolution has been pressed for each benefit. One of these benefits is Broadband, BT Vision and BT Sport, as a consequence agreement has been reached on transitional arrangements for these benefits and details are attached as Annex C. There are a number of other non-contractual benefits which due to logistical reasons will need to be altered; these can be found in Annex D. 

An agreement on pension arrangements for all employees whether they are members of the BTRSS or BT Hybrid Scheme. All BTRSS members will join Fleet Solutions Retirement Saving Scheme and the contribution structure will remain the same. The BT Hybrid is a bespoke scheme for BT employees and therefore Fleet Solutions employees won’t be able to join it. For the small number of employees who have already joined the Hybrid scheme an alternative arrangement has been discussed with the CWU and Fleet Solutions have communicated directly to those employees. All those employees who were eligible to join the Hybrid have also been contacted directly. 

A full CWU recognition agreement with the new company which will ensure that collective bargaining rights including collective agreements will continue after the sale. Fleet Solutions had stated that they welcome an ongoing relationship with the CWU, therefore, current collective bargaining arrangements including collective agreements will continue after the sale. A full recognition agreement is agreed in principle, discussions will continue to finalise the detail. National facilities will continue until the end of the financial year with a commitment to discuss an appropriate set of arrangements going forward. 

We have made huge progress in the four key areas and significant progress in transitional arrangements in non-contractual areas, the agreement provides considerable safeguards for our members in a short space of time which provides stability and continuity for our members’ future job, pay, terms and conditions and we believe puts them in the best possible position when working for the new owners.

A communication has been sent to all of our BT Fleet members advising them of the above, which is attached. Branches should provide help, support and advice to their BT Fleet members through this transitional time, and seek help from the National Team, should they have any questions in relation to the final agreement.

Yours sincerely,

 

Andy Kerr – Deputy General Secretary (T&FS)                                             

Brendan O’Brien  – Assistant Secretary

LTB 507.2019

LTB 507.2019comms

LTB 507.2019annexA

LTB 507.2019annexB

LTB 507.2019annexC

LTB 507.2019annexD



JOINT STATEMENT BETWEEN ROYAL MAIL LOGISTICS (NETWORK) AND THE COMMUNICATION WORKERS UNION ON THE DEPLOYMENT OF POSTAL DIGITAL ASSISTANTS (PDA’S)

JOINT STATEMENT BETWEEN ROYAL MAIL LOGISTICS (NETWORK) AND THE COMMUNICATION WORKERS UNION ON THE DEPLOYMENT OF POSTAL DIGITAL ASSISTANTS (PDA’S)

Branches and representatives are advised that trial activity took place in 2015 in relation to the use of PDA’s by LGV drivers in a controlled trial in the National Distribution Centre (NDC), as a result of concerns that the business had in relation to revenue protection issues they had identified with major posting customers who are serviced by the Logistics LGV Fleet.

The trial finished in 2016 at which point it was believed that benefits had been achieved in relation to better controlling the access of mail and revenue protection, at that point next steps were to be considered.

There were however, no further developments until a recent request by the business to introduce the use of PDA’s into both the Logistics (Network) and Area Distribution functions. Royal Mail’s rationale for the proposal is that the introduction of the PDA’s will seek to build on the successes of the deployment of PDA’s in other functions and is also anticipated to provide benefits in relation to Revenue Protection, quality of service, customer service and assist the business in remaining competitive.

Discussions have therefore taken place in relation to agreements in both functions to enable the PDA to be deployed and attached for information is the Joint Statement which has now been concluded and endorsed by the Postal Executive in relation to Network.

Colleagues will note that we have achieved the usual safeguards around the use of the equipment in regard to conduct and performance management and H&S and have ensured appropriate release to enable full local CWU involvement in the deployment activity.

In addition, it has been agreed that drivers will be fully trained prior to full deployment taking place.

Training and deployment activity will be supported and monitored by the Network Working Group.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: dwyatt@cwu.org or shayman@cwu.orgquoting reference number: 231.06.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Davie Robertson
Assistant Secretary

LTB 506-19

Att LTB 506 Joint Statement PDA Deployment Network 21.08.19

JOINT STATEMENT BETWEEN ROYAL MAIL AREA DISTRIBUTION AND THE COMMUNICATION WORKERS UNION ON THE DEPLOYMENT OF POSTAL DIGITAL ASSISTANTS (PDA’S)

JOINT STATEMENT BETWEEN ROYAL MAIL AREA DISTRIBUTION AND THE COMMUNICATION WORKERS UNION ON THE DEPLOYMENT OF POSTAL DIGITAL ASSISTANTS (PDA’S)

 

Branches and representatives are advised that trial activity took place in 2015 in relation to the use of PDA’s by LGV drivers in a controlled trial in the National Distribution Centre (NDC), as a result of concerns that the business had in relation to revenue protection issues they had identified with major posting customers who are serviced by the Logistics LGV Fleet.

 

The trial finished in 2016 at which point it was believed that benefits had been achieved in relation to better controlling the access of mail and revenue protection, at that point next steps were to be considered.

There were however, no further developments until a recent request by the business to introduce the use of PDA’s into both the Logistics (Network) and Area Distribution functions. Royal Mail’s rationale for the proposal is that the introduction of the PDA’s will seek to build on the successes of the deployment of PDA’s in other functions and is also anticipated to provide benefits in relation to Revenue Protection, quality of service, customer service and assist the business in remaining competitive.

 

Discussions have therefore taken place in relation to agreements in both functions to enable the PDA to be deployed and attached for information is the Joint Statement which has now been concluded and endorsed by the Postal Executive in relation to Area Distribution.

 

Colleagues will note that we have achieved the usual safeguards around the use of the equipment in regard to conduct and performance management and H&S and have ensured appropriate release to enable full local CWU involvement in the deployment activity.

 

In addition, it has been agreed that drivers will be fully trained prior to full deployment taking place.

 

Training and deployment activity will be supported and monitored by the Area Distribution Working Group.

 

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: dwyatt@cwu.org or shayman@cwu.org quoting reference number: 528.02.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Davie Robertson
Assistant Secretary

19LTB505

Att LTB 505 Joint Statement PDA Deployment Area Distribution 20.08.19



Royal Mail Group Trial of the ‘Whole Office’ Stress Risk Assessments – Using the HSE Work-Stress Survey Tool – Joint Statement/Communication:

Re: Royal Mail Group Trial of the ‘Whole Office’ Stress Risk Assessments – Using the HSE Work-Stress Survey Tool – Joint Statement/Communication:

Mental health problems are widespread, at times disabling, yet often hidden. Research as part of a 2018 study by the mental health charity the “Mental Health Foundation” found that three quarters of UK adults had felt ‘overwhelmed or unable to cope’ in the previous year, with one in three having suicidal feelings as a result of stress.

In line with Motion 37(2015), LTBs 166/16 and 595/2016 (copy attached) reported on the conclusion of negotiations between Royal Mail Group and the CWU for the introduction of a new revised Royal Mail Group, Work Stress, Safety, Health and Environment Standard, Guidance and Stress Risk Assessment Process as part of a new RMG ‘Stress Toolkit.’

As detailed in previous reports to Regional Health and Safety Forums and ASRs, after pressing for a review and overhaul of Royal Mail Group’s Stress Policy and Stress Risk Assessment process for some considerable time, in October 2016, RMG agreed with the CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department to jointly launch the Royal Mail Stress Toolkit, which included an individual Stress Risk Assessment (guided conversation) process and the online Stress Tool (available via the Royal Mail Group Feeling First Class Intranet site).

The HSE Stress Indicator Tool, Risk Assessment Questionnaire or Survey form which was also agreed to be part of the ‘RMG Stress Toolkit’ has not been utilised and so the Health, Safety & Environment Department has been vigorously pursuing a revised process for Stress Risk Assessing “Whole Workplaces/Offices/Depots/Plants/Groups of workers etc.”, utilising the HSE stress survey and analysis tool.

Motion 70(2017) and Motion 34(2019) carried at this year’s CWU Conference in fact endorsed our current approach and called for ‘a stress risk assessment/survey to be used in every workplace.

Building on the work done to date, Royal Mail has agreed with the CWU Health, Safety & Environment Department to now move to the next stage and to trial the introduction of a Stress Risk Assessment Survey Tool, developed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as part of the HSE Stress Management Standards, which can be used to measure the workplace/workforce stress of groups of employees, teams or whole workplaces, including all staff in order to get a general picture of stress levels across all the workforce. This will be done using the HSE Stress Indicator Tool Risk Assessment Questionnaire (see copy attached).

HSE’s Work Stress Management Standards represent a set of conditions that, if present:

  • demonstrate good practice through a step-by-step risk assessment approach
  • allow assessment of the current situation using the survey tool and other techniques
  • promote active discussion and working in partnership with employees and the trade union representatives, to help decide on practical improvements that can be made
  • help simplify risk assessment for work-related stress by:
    • identifying the main risk factors,
    • helping employers identify and focus on the underlying causes and their prevention,
    • help employers to tackle the key causes of stress.

Through the Royal Mail Group five-year strategy ‘Because Healthy Minds Matter’ launched in 2017, Royal Mail Group (RMG) have committed to implement effective support strategies and tools that can make a positive difference to the workforce who are directly or indirectly affected by mental ill-health. Royal Mail Group has also committed to protect the health, safety and welfare of employees, recognising that workplace stress is a health and safety issue and acknowledge the importance of identifying and reducing workplace stressors. (See attached copy of Joint Statement).

The Royal Mail Group (RMG) 5-Year Mental Health Strategy to date has included:-

  • The signing of the Time to Change Pledge – jointly signed by RMG and CWU;
  • Development of 5 mental health support videos with the Mental Health Foundation;
  • Introduction of the Mental Health First Aid Awareness one day course for all Managers, Physical First Aiders and CWU Health & Safety Reps;
  • Launch of the Stress Toolkit;
  • Launch of the five-year strategy and underpinning plan ‘Because Healthy Minds Matter;
  • Creation of the ‘Because Healthy Minds Matter’ mental health e-learning;
  • Mental health support ‘z-cards’ with CWU sent into all units;
  • Launched a Mental Health Ambassador Pilot with CWU of 160 Mental Health Ambassadors;
  • Agreed with CWU an approach to upskilling 5,500 physical first aiders to include mental health first aid;
  • Increased promotion of RMG’s “Feeling First Class” and “Employee Assistance” programmes;
  • Continued activity through mental health charity partnerships including the ‘Everyday People’ video.

During July a ‘Joint Statement and Communication’ signed by Royal Mail Group, CWU and Unite/CMA plus a ‘Power-Point Slide Pack’ (copies attached), were sent to all managers and CWU Area Health and Safety Representatives in the agreed trial offices. Dan Clarke, Royal Mail Group Health & Wellbeing Development and Systems Manager invited those involved to participate in a series of conference calls which outlined the trial scope, approach and process as well as a question and answer session.

ASRs were requested to brief all IR Rep colleagues in trial offices, both Area Reps and Unit/Shift Reps about the trial details and invite them to participate in the conference calls if they so wished. Additionally, all Reps working together are requested to ensure we get maximum participation and survey form returns from the membership in order to get the most meaningful assessment and picture of stress levels and identification of the stressors and causes of stress.

The following offices nominated by CWU (6 DOs/MPUs, 3 Mail Centres and 2 PWW LDs) and nominated by Unite/CMA (1 Mail Centre and 2 Delivery Sectors) are participating in the three month trial of the Stress Risk Assessment Survey Tool concluding in September/October following which a joint national review will take place prior to national roll-out. The trial offices are:-

Nominated by CWU:

  • Taunton MPU (TA)
  • Crewe DO (CW)
  • Newcastle Under Lyme DO (ST)
  • Cheadle DO (ST)
  • Lincoln DO (LN)
  • Blair Gowrie DO (PH)
  • Cardiff Mail Centre (CF)
  • Northern Ireland Mail Centre (BT)
  • Exeter Mail Centre (EX)
  • Exeter LD (Parcelforce Worldwide) (EX)
  • Medway LD (Parcelforce Worldwide) (ME)

Nominated by Unite/CMA

  • Swindon Mail Centre Nights (Management team)
  • Manchester Delivery Sector (Management team)
  • ML/KA Glasgow Delivery Sector (Management team)

Attachments:

  • Joint Statement/Communication
  • HSE Stress Indicator Tool Risk Assessment Questionnaire
  • Stress Risk Assessment Power-Point Slide Pack
  • LTB 595/16 New Royal Mail Group Stress Risk Assessment Process and Guidance – Royal Mail Stress Toolkit:

A further report following the trial conclusion will be made in due course.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

19LTB504 Royal Mail Group Trial of the ‘WholeOffice’ Stress Risk Assessments

Trial of the Stress Risk Assessment Survey Tool Joint Statement-Communic.._

Stress – HSE Stress Indicator Tool – Risk Assessment Questionnaire

Trial of the HSE Stress Risk Assessment Survey Tool

16LTB595 New Royal Mail Group Stress Risk Assessment Process and Guidanc.._

 



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