No: 247/23 29th September 2023
For the Immediate Attention of All:
Royal Mail Divisional Representatives
Area Processing Representatives
Area Distribution/ RDC Representatives
BRT&G Agreement – Mail Centre Supernumeraries & Surpluses – Royal Mail Preference Exercise
Further to the updates given to Divisional Representatives and Area Processing Representatives and the content of LTB 245/23 circulated yesterday, the union has been made aware that Royal Mail intend to launch a Preference Exercise of all operational employees at Mail Centres or RDC’s where the business consider a surplus is likely as a result of the Midland Hub or BAU activity (including current Supernumerary or displaced employees).
As part of the Key Principles document, which was agreed with the Royal Mail negotiators and endorsed by the Postal Executive on the 25th September 2023, agreement had been reached on joint activity including the launch of a MtSF Preference Exercise at all affected sites. Of course the subsequent events, including the tabling by Royal Mail of a further revised Key Principles document which removed key protections and required the union to endorse the unacceptable unilateral Redeployment Process, was rejected by the Postal Executive.
This means we do not currently have an agreed position moving forward. In fact, Royal Mail have reverted to the unilateral Redeployment Process which is a breach of the MtSF Agreement. For the avoidance of doubt, without the relevant protections and safeguards integral to the Key Principles any Preference Exercise launched by Royal Mail at this juncture is NOT a joint activity endorsed by the CWU. Although we have not agreed the Preference Exercise, we are not advising members against participation.
We understand the preference exercise will be launched on the Royal Mail Peoples App. Where members do decide to participate in the Preference Exercise and although preferences are non-binding, we would advise members to exercise caution and only select preferences which meet their aspirations and individual requirements for VR or future employment, either in their current or alternative roles.
With over 15,000 agency workers being employed across the sites listed equating to 8,700 full-time equivalents, we are seeking firm commitments from RMG they will actively reduce the continued over-reliance on agency workers. Given these numbers it has to mean there is both work available and roles to perform for the OPG numbers RMG believe will be surplus. Paragraph 3.1.2 of the BRT&G agreement is clear in stating natural attrition, reduction in agency workers and temporary workers will be prioritised alongside voluntary redundancy.
Therefore, we will be asking how this has featured in the pre-planning conducted by RMG, as well as requesting figures about the potential impact at each site on agency and temporary workers they have explored, prior to OPG reductions being considered.
Finally, as there is still an unresolved surplus from the unagreed revision activity of last year, it is therefore difficult to support or accept the rationale being used for productivity uplifts against unconfirmed targets which can only exacerbate this position.
We will be also be raising this matter formally with RMG.
Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to
Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary,
email: firstname.lastname@example.org quoting reference 23LTB247.
A/Deputy General Secretary (Postal)