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2019 National Pay Agreement - National Living Wage Foundation Rate For Cleaners

No. 137/22

24th March 2022

Dear Colleagues,

2019 National Pay Agreement – National Living Wage Foundation Rate For Cleaners

We were contacted by RMPFSL National Management some weeks ago in relation to the company informing us that they were uplifting salaries from April 2022 for the monthly pay run to those cleaners who will be below the National minimum pay rate of (£ 9.50 per hour) as this is a basic legal requirement.

However, during discussions with PFSL we reminded them that in fact the National Pay Agreement struck between PFSL and ourselves in 2019 committed the company over a 3-year period to annual yearly pay increases and to also more importantly track the pay of our cleaners to that of the real Living Wage Foundation recommended levels. In addition, the National Agreement also contained a further commitment that at the end of the 3-year lifetime cycle of the pay deal, cleaners would receive the real Living Wage Foundation rate if the incremental increases had not matched this rate by April 2022.

As a consequence, we have been in discussions with RMPFSL, outside of the formal pay talks which have yet to commence for this year’s pay, in order to ensure that the commitment as outline above is implemented and have jointly constructed the joint National Joint Statement which has been endorsed by the Postal Executive and is attached.

As you will note the National Joint Statement covers a number of areas and in particular that the monthly salary run should uplift the pay of our cleaning members from April to those hourly pay rates as recommended by the real Living Wage Foundation. However, due to difficulties within the payroll system the RLWF rates will be introduced in May but backdated to April. What this means from April 2022, is as follows:

Living Wage Foundation Rates & implementation

£9.90 (ph.) National – Static cleaner + 5.9%

£11.05 (ph.) London Weighting area + 1.9% (outer London)

What are the Current Rates?

£ 9.35 (ph.) National – Static cleaner

£ 10.20 (ph.) National – Mobile Cleaner

£ 1.49 (ph.) Outer London weighting

£ 2.47 (ph.) Inner London weighting

As you will note from the current figures as outlined above, there is currently a defined separate boundary and rate for inner and outer London Weighting pay, which is a defined radius historically established, and is similar to that which is applied to the uniform grades in Royal Mail. However, in establishing that pay is determined by the RLWF rate, it has now become a complex situation (as the RLWF do not differentiate between the inner and outer boundaries and have one rate for all of the areas covered by the London Borough Councils).

This is slightly higher than the current outer London Rate, but lower than the current inner London rate. In addition to the individuals outlined above within London, there are also currently a number of mobile cleaners who receive an hourly rate above that of the RLWF rate set from April 2022.

In total from both of these groups this amounts to 93 Cleaners. As the implementation is outside of the formal pay talks and pay round and is a simple uplift which has arisen from the 2019 commitment, these 93 members will not receive the uplift in pay which the overwhelming majority of cleaners will do from the 1st April, but will have their hourly rates protected.

In addition to the above, the joint Statement also ensures that;

  • The RLWF rates will be introduced outside of the formal pay talks, which have yet to start and are without prejudice to the outcome of these national discussions.

  • The complication in payroll means that this will be done in two stages but with backdating to April.

  • The current practice of 24 months for new entrant’s static cleaners to achieve max pay is ceased and they will now receive max pay on entry.

  • Annual Review of RLWF rates and these to be applied each April to pay rates as a minimum, outside and without prejudice to those formal annual pay talks.

  • Commitment that this year’s pay discussions will commence in April.

  • Commitment that the impact of the RLWF rates along with the individuals which are pay protected will be monitored and reviewed.

Although RMPFSL are a separate bargaining unit within the RMG, the discussions have been difficult with the company as they have had to reluctantly accept the commitment they signed up to jointly within the pay deal in 2019, resulting in having to increase pay outside of the formal pay talks. In addition, they have been slow to commence the formal talks as they are very likely to have been given a steer from the Royal Mail Group in advance of the overall pay talks.

Further, and from our perspective, when we signed up to the National Pay Agreement in 2019, we did not know what the full impact of inflation would be, along with the current cost of living rises which are currently soaring. We were also unaware of how the impact of the RLWF rates would affect rates within London and the complication that this would initially cause with the one boundary impact and set level.

We will table a number of other increased pay and associated benefits which will take into account the current cost of living crisis and impact on our members, which will also include the group outlined in protected pay, and this will be placed before the Postal Executive and communicated to Branches in due course.

Any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 120.12, email address:

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baulch

CWU Assistant Secretary

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