Latest from the Branch

Strike action on 16th / 17th February withdrawal

🚨 WE NEED THIS READ OUT IN EVERY OFFICE IN THE UK TOMORROW MORNING 🚨

NATIONAL GET THE VOTE OUT DAY

A Message to all CWU Members

Dear Members,

There is no doubt this has been the most bitter and complex dispute in our history. 3 ballots, 18 days of strike action and we have stood up against the most brutal attack on workers in the UK for many decades.

The ongoing ballot is the most important vote of your working lives. If we are able to deliver a massive yes vote and turnout, then we will go on to win this dispute – this has to be our absolute focus.

Over the weekend we received correspondence from Royal Mail Group’s legal representatives challenging the strike action we have called across the 16th/17th February. Having discussed this with our lawyers they have advised that we could defend our position in court.

However, they have also advised that given the laws in this country are heavily weighted against working people, the risks of losing in court may potentially impact on the re-ballot – we simply cannot allow this happen.

On this basis the Postal Executive do not believe it is worth risking the status of the new ballot to defend a ballot mandate that expires on 17th February. Instead, we have agreed the following steps:

  • We will not be taking strike action on 16th / 17th February
  • The focus of the whole union must remain on winning the ballot
  • We will re-enter negotiations with Royal Mail Group this week
  • If talks fail, we will significantly step up the programme of strike action
  • The union will shortly announce details of a formal strike fund

This rush to the courts by Royal Mail Group is the latest in a long list of deliberate, sustained and coordinated attacks on you:

  • Executive action in the workplace
  • Suspension and dismissal of CWU representatives and members
  • Relentless goading and intimidation online

You have risen above every single one of these actions and we know you will do the same now. We cannot allow Royal Mail Group’s blatant efforts to demoralise you and discredit the union, to distract us from the reality that the resolution to this long-running dispute will be determined and settled by the outcome of the current vote.

Voting for and taking strike action is never easy but we have to be crystal clear. If you do not vote in this ballot, then Royal Mail Group count you as on their side. This means they see you as endorsing a strategy which includes:

  • The removal of the right to negotiate at local level – executive action is being taken across the UK. If we do not win this ballot, it will become standard practise
  • Later starts in every function and business
  • Open attacks, suspensions, and dismissals of CWU members and representatives
  • Total flexibility – not knowing what you are doing on a daily basis
  • Outsourcing – this has already started in Fleet and will not stop there
  • Bringing back managers who received 2 years redundancy pay and handing them £40,000 for a 9-month contract
  • A senior management team assembled from union busting backgrounds
  • A company happy to openly mislead Parliament

You are better than this.

It is the duty of every single CWU member in the UK to vote yes and spend the next week encouraging every single colleague in the UK to do the same.

Win the ballot, win the dispute.

Solidarity,

Dave Ward
General Secretary

Andy Furey
Acting Deputy General Secretary (Postal)

DO NOT REPLY 🛑

Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY23 003 – Reporting Hazardous Corrosion Damage

Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY23 003 – Reporting Hazardous Corrosion Damage:

Background and Description: 

Royal Mail Group’s Safety Team have issued RMG SHE Safety Flash FY23 003 following a number of accidents and near misses on Royal Mail Group sites, in recent months, caused by the failure of seriously corroded, and unsafe items and components which should have been reported for remedial action, repair or replacement. Instead the various items were left to corrode and disintegrate, becoming a danger, leading to failure or collapse.

If evidence of corrosion is identified early enough, this can be repaired, preventing accidents and injuries to the workforce and third parties. Waiting until the structure of an item has decomposed and failed has the potential to cause serious injury and operational disruption. Complete failures may lead to prolonged disruption and temporary working arrangements whilst replacements are procured and repairs undertaken.

Two recent examples and photographs are detailed in the SHE Safety Flash FY23 003 (attached). These are;

  • A Delivery Office entrance doorcollapsed, falling onto a person who was standing nearby. The door hinge was extremely badly corroded which caused its failure due to it becoming weakened and no longer able to support the door.
  • A ‘Safety Barrier’ was extremely badly corroded, breaking away from the fixing point and so undermining its structure and the physical protection it offered. When the barrier was leaned on by a person it moved away instead of holding firm. Safety barriers are fundamental when it comes to keeping sites safe and complying with health and safety regulations and are designed to prevent and control accidents and events by maintaining safe routes, providing warnings of hazards, protecting workers and directing groups of people etc., and providing a visible warning for employees and the public.

Impact/Injuries: 

  • Employees injured by failed items and components plus near misses.

Key Messages, Learning Points and Actions: 

  • Any evidence of corrosion on a site should be documented in the PiCs routine workplace daily inspections and bi-monthly inspections (as per SHEMS 11.2) and raised to the RMP&FS National Service Centre immediately (0333 005 0312.)

PiCs Actions:

  • PiCs to record and report all corrosion for attention.
  • PiCs to brief all staff on this SHE Flash and deploy the above Key Messages, Learning Points and Actions.

CWU ASR/WSR Action:

  • Please ensure that this Safety Flash is communicated and brought to the attention of all appropriate members and that actions above are deployed.
  • WSRs/ASRs to report all incidents of hazardous corrosion.
  • ASRs to concentrate attention to this matter during Workplace Safety Inspections.

Attachment: 

  • Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY23 003 – Reporting Hazardous Corrosion Damage.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 029/23 – Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety Flash FY23 003 – Reporting Hazardous Corrosion Damage

Att: SHE Flash FY23 003 – Corrosion

View Online

Annual Conference 2023 – Submission of Motions/Rule Amendments

Annual Conference 2023 – Submission of Motions/Rule Amendments

Further to LTBs 494/22, 495/22 and 506/22 regarding the submission of Rule Amendments, Motions to the General conference and Postal Conference. Branches will have seen LTB 016/23 that gave information around the deferment of Conference from April until October. Accordingly discussions are currently taking place with the Standing Orders Committee with regard to a new date(s) regarding the submission of the above.

We can inform Branches therefore that the original dates published are deferred pending the above discussions. Once these have concluded new dates will publicised via LTB along with the relevant documentation.

Motions that were submitted prior to the postponement of conference will have to be resubmitted on the new forms issued and will not be carried forward to the new date.

Any queries regarding this Letter to Branches should be addressed to Angela Niven at Head Office on conferences@cwu.org or on 020 8971 7256.

Yours sincerely,

A P Kearns
Senior Deputy General Secretary

23LTB028 – Annual Conference 2023- Submission of Motions and Rule Amendments

View Online

If you do not vote then this is the future.

🚨URGENT PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO EVERY CWU MEMBER 🚨

If you do not vote then this is the future.

  • no negotiation at local level
  • Later start times in every function.
  • Executive action
  • Below inflation pay
  • Massive executive pay
  • Total flexibility
  • If they can suspend reps and colleagues on ‘fit ups’ then the same can happen to you

Royal Mail Group have been:

  • caught lying at the select committee
  • Removing posts from Workplace that expose their later start plans
  • Suspending reps and members daily
  • Senior executives voted to change their bonus arrangements as they imposed 2% on you.

There is no fence to sit on in this dispute. Your very future depends on this ballot.

Vote today. Vote YES.

End this reign of shame.

WeAreStillHere

ROYAL MAIL GROUP: CHANGE DISPUTE – STRIKE ACTION – 24-HOURS FROM 12.30PM THURSDAY 16TH FEBRUARY

ROYAL MAIL GROUP: CHANGE DISPUTE – STRIKE ACTION – 24-HOURS FROM 12.30PM THURSDAY 16TH FEBRUARY

We have today served the legal notice on RMG under the current Change ballot for a 24-hour strike action as follows:

The strike will cover all duties and scheduled attendance commencing between the period at or after12:30pm on Thursday 16th February 2023 and before 12:30pm on Friday 17th February 2023.

The Postal Executive has called this strike action as a consequence of RMG’s ongoing and planned Executive Action in local offices across the UK, whereby the company are implementing Revisions and unagreed change, whilst refusing to negotiate locally or apply the terms of the IR Framework.

This is in direct contravention to the unequivocal commitment given by the CEO Simon Thompson, in a letter to the Union of 6th January, stating “the IR Framework will apply in full”.  At that point, the CEO’s commitment was instrumental in the Union not calling further strike action up until 20thJanuary, to enable intensive talks to continue in a more constructive environment.

In a further attempt to avoid Executive Action, the CWU presented RMG with a proposal for re-engagement in Revisions at local level, which met the company’s timescales and included a fast-track process to resolve any disagreements over savings targets.  This was rejected by the company in their counter proposal, copies of both documents are attached. 

In making the decision to call further strike action under our existing Change ballot, we wish to make clear that the Postal Executive concluded that RMG’s actions to remove the right of negotiation at local level, has wider implications than the current Revisions and change activity and must now be viewed as a significant step towards de-recognising the Union and the voice of our members in the workplace. 

We must also take into account that the scale and severity of RMG’s Executive Action is increasing on a weekly basis and goes well beyond even their own guidelines.  This is about RMG deliberately accelerating their plans to change members’ attendance patterns and start & finish times in Delivery, in advance of their proposal for significant network changes later this year.  In Processing units, Executive Action on unagreed structural Revisions will impose unacceptable widespread change to duties, attendance patterns and earnings packages.  

Given the gravity of the situation, including the company’s refusal to discuss this matter further in Acas talks, the CWU has no alternative but to defend the principle of our Union having the right to negotiate on all aspects of change at local level.  This principle has been fundamental to how we represent and support our members throughout the history of our Union. 

We have made it clear to RMG in writing that to avoid this strike action the CEO needs to honour the commitment he made to apply the terms of the IR Framework in full, including applying this retrospectively to all units that have had change imposed upon them.  

The Union’s position remains that we want to negotiate an agreement and the best way of achieving this is to re-establish the IR Framework agreement so that joint re-engagement can take place locally, rather than managerial Executive Action, whilst national negotiations continue.  However, unfortunately what we are faced with is the company continuing to act in bad faith, displaying a total lack of integrity in their conduct.

Finally, Branches must convey the content of this LTB to all workplaces and encourage members to join our CWU Live session scheduled for 6pm tomorrow.  This will give us an opportunity to provide a full update on recent talks, and the need to do everything possible to maximise the turnout and Yes vote in the re-ballot.  

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           

LTB 027/23 ROYAL MAIL GROUP – CHANGE DISPUTE STRIKE ACTION 24-HOURS FROM 12.30PM THURSDAY 16TH FEBRUARY

Att: CWU Proposal

Att: RMG Counter Proposal

View Online

ROYAL MAIL PROPERTY & FACILITIES SERVICES LIMITED (RMPFSL) – PAY ANDASSOCIATED ISSUES DISPUTE UPDATE

ROYAL MAIL PROPERTY & FACILITIES SERVICES LIMITED (RMPFSL) – PAY AND
ASSOCIATED ISSUES DISPUTE UPDATE

Further to previous LTBs (Letters to Branches) updating Royal Mail Property & Facilities Services
Limited (RMPFSL) Members, Reps and Branches on the Pay and Associated Issues dispute

We met with RMPFSL on 26th January, where the Company set out an improved ‘without prejudice’
proposal for a two-year deal which represents some progress towards what we hope will be a final
negotiated settlement and one which can be put to members in a ballot.

The latest offer is being given further consideration, although we have sought clarification from
RMPFSL on what was received in writing, after the meeting. We are now awaiting this clarification
back from the Company and when this is received, we will update Branches, Representatives, and
members further.

Any queries regarding the content of this LTB should be addressed to the PTCS Department quoting
reference number 312 – email khay@cwu.org or the Outdoor Department, quoting reference 120.12
email address: njones@cwu.org.

Yours sincerely,                                                           Yours sincerely,
Carl Maden                                                                   Mark Baulch
Assistant Secretary                                                     Assistant Secretary

23LTB026

View Online

ROYAL MAIL PROPERTY & FACILITIES SERVICES LIMITED (RMPFSL) – PAY AND ASSOCIATED ISSUES DISPUTE UPDATE

ROYAL MAIL PROPERTY & FACILITIES SERVICES LIMITED (RMPFSL) – PAY AND ASSOCIATED ISSUES DISPUTE UPDATE

Further to previous LTBs (Letters to Branches) updating Royal Mail Property & Facilities Services Limited (RMPFSL) Members, Reps and Branches on the Pay and Associated Issues dispute.

We met with RMPFSL on 26thJanuary, where the Company set out an improved ‘without prejudice’ proposal for a two-year deal which represents some progress towards what we hope will be a final negotiated settlement and one which can be put to members in a ballot.

The latest offer is being given further consideration, although we have sought clarification from RMPFSL on what was received in writing, after the meeting.  We are now awaiting this clarification back from the Company and when this is received, we will update Branches, Representatives, and members further.

Any queries regarding the content of this LTB should be addressed to the PTCS Department quoting reference number 312 – email khay@cwu.org or the Outdoor Department, quoting reference 120.12 email address: njones@cwu.org.

Yours sincerely,                                

Carl Maden          

Assistant Secretary                               

Mark Baulch

Assistant Secretary                    

LTB 026/23

View Online

RMG’S EXECUTIVE ACTION ON REVISION/CHANGE PROGRAMME IN DELIVERY OFFICES & MAIL CENTRES

RMG’S EXECUTIVE ACTION ON REVISION/CHANGE PROGRAMME IN DELIVERY OFFICES & MAIL CENTRES

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.

Conclusion

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           

LTB 024/23 – RMG’S EXECUTIVE ACTION ON REVISIONCHANGE PROGRAMME IN DELIVERY OFFICES & MAIL CENTRES

Att: Table Top Revisions – Can and Cannot Guide file (RM)

View Online

Minor Repairs (Changing of Wheels) – CWU Advice to Members

Minor Repairs (Changing of Wheels) – CWU Advice to Members

Further to LTB (Letter to Branches) 461/22 entitled Minor Repairs Electric Vehicle – Initial CWU Advice to Members, copy attached for ease of reference.

It has recently come to the Outdoor Department’s attention that in some locations local managers are now informing members that they are able to change wheels on their vehicles outside of the Minor Repair Agreement set out in LTB (Letter To Branches) 088/13 and 171/14 respectively. We also understand that the same information is being given to members even in the case of Electric Vehicles (EVs) which to date, remain subject to further discussion as supported by the CWU National Health, Safety and Environment Officer.  For clarity, both departments have raised this matter at national level as changing tyres/wheels can be dangerous, particularly when on busy roads.  With corporate responsibility weighing ever more heavily on the shoulders of the business and senior directors, the safety of employees carrying out such maintenance at the roadside should be actively discouraged by both parties.

These reports further suggest that this information is being issued by some managers following a recent Royal Mail Roadshow event held in Birmingham.

Therefore, this LTB is being issued to confirm that no OPGs or Drivers should undertake the changing of a wheel on their vehicle (or any form of minor repair), either at the Delivery unit or whilst on their delivery route. Only these members which have been fully trained in line with the Minor Repair Agreement should undertake this activity and on site at the Delivery unit.  

 In the case of an EV, our view remains clear that no Minor Repair should be undertaken by OPGs or Drivers until such time as both the Outdoor Department and the Health, Safety & Environmental Departments have been provided with the opportunity to assess the dangers involved in this operation.  All Fleet Technicians are currently required to obtain the IMI Level 3 qualification before carrying out any maintenance on EVs with all Fleet Admin grades being required to obtain the lower qualification of IMI Level 1, before attempting to move an EV on site.  Members are therefore strongly advised to refrain from carrying out such minor repairs on all EVs until further notice.

In setting out this advice, it is necessary to again draw to the attention of Branches, Representatives and members alike, that the Minor Repair agreement stipulates that Drivers must not undertake minor repairs until they have been fully trained and once trained, only the repairs documented within the Minor Repairs Manual should be undertaken using the tools authorised and provided by RM Fleet. Even after training, however, the agreement makes it clear that the OPG will make the final decision on whether to tackle a minor repair or not. This principle is repeated in the Joint Statement on Deployment of Minor Repairs issued in 2013.

Where local managers seek to continue to issue this information, then Representatives are advised to use the IR Framework and in the absence of cooperation from the relevant managers, process the matter unilaterally.

Additionally, Area Safety Representatives are equally advised to have sight of any jointly agreed assessment of the potential dangers involved in carrying out any form of Minor Repairs on an Electric Vehicle.

Any enquiries regarding this LTB should be directed to the Outdoor Department, reference 300, email address: njones@cwu.org.  However, any issues received in connection with the above which are appropriate to the other CWU/HQ Departments, will be passed on to the appropriate National Officer.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baulch                                                                                         

CWU Assistant Secretary

LTB – 025-23 – Minor Repairs – CWU Advice to Members

LTB 461.22 – Minor Repairs Electric Vehicle Initial CWU Advice to Members

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: