Following government announcements last month on vulnerable workers’ policy, the CWU and Post Office have been working together to ensure that our members in these categories are fully supported as they return to their duties, reports CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey.
Joint Statements (one for Supply Chain and one for Crowns) setting out the protocols and procedures was agreed between the company and the union earlier this week and at workplace level, our reps are now in discussions with their respective management counterparts to carry this through on the front line.
“I’m really impressed by the way our reps have stepped up to make sure that our members in these categories are properly assisted,” said Andy. “And this has been the case throughout this Covid-19 crisis, during which members who have been on virus-related ‘shielding’ and ‘self-isolating’ precautionary absence have been kept in touch with and kept fully informed by their CWU representatives.
“So I want to take this opportunity to say a big ‘Thank You’ to the fantastic work our reps have been doing and are continuing to do in supporting our members.”
The return-to-work programme will proceed during this month and next, with the aim of everyone being back by September, according to the agreed process.
“Those in the ‘clinically vulnerable’ or ‘living with someone who is clinically vulnerable’ will be phased back into work this month, while those in the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ category will remain on special paid leave through July, with their return taking place during August,” Andy explains.
Full details of the return-to-work plan – including timetables, risk assessments and other information, which applies across the Post Office and also takes into account potential differences in the four countries of the UK – can be viewed in the letter to branches that Andy sent out yesterday.
As well as thanking our reps, Andy also has words of appreciation for Post Office management, who have, he says: “Shown compassion and understanding for the difficulties that staff have experienced during this awful time – and have worked well with this union over this period.”