From Cwu Scotland division please read full report from yesterday's cwu meeting.
Not every member will have access to a local Union Rep so we are sharing this report from yesterday’s briefing. It reports the issues that can be reported in a public domain. There are other tactical matters which we do not want RM to catch sight of but can be reported verbally.
The Report was written by the Sub Divisional Rep for Scotland elected yesterday George Ross
National Briefing (London) 11/10/22
Pay & Changes Dispute
Jane Loftus President, opened the briefing and thanked all who were in attendance as well at the massive support shown by all branches during the Industrial Action, who have stood shoulder to shoulder and shown Royal Mail we won’t accept their plans for imposed pay or the changes they want to make via Executive Action (EA).
HQ released the 19 days of action to be taken because of the actions of RMG who are hellbent on making the Pathway To Change (PTC) Agreement redundant.
We as workers, not just CWU members but workers throughout the UK should not be paying the price for the cost-of-living crisis.
Jane then relayed a message from Terry Pullinger (DGS;P). He thanked all for messages sent to him and the well-wishing. He needs to recuperate a get well before a return to work. Terry’s message went onto say we need to keep going, keep fighting & we’ll get the agreement we want, need & deserve. We are on the side of the right and that should never be forgotten.
Dave Ward General Secretary (DW) was then introduced to the forum. He thanked all for the massive show of solidarity the members have shown during the previous days of Industrial Action (IA). He also went onto say we must continue with the Action to concentrate the mind of the employer and keep them in the room. We can’t afford to take our foot off the gas.
This is the biggest dispute in terms of people taking action over the UK and in their workplace.
No union can match our numbers or resolve and the numbers on the picket line show that.
This is a tough dispute, probably the toughest we’re ever likely to face & we will get the best deal for the members in our industry.
The toughest thing we are dealing with, the biggest barrier seems to be the lack of honesty & transparency of the CEO. He seems to struggle with the reality of the situation and any cuts or savings always end in attacking our members wages and their Terms & Conditions when confronted with any challenges the business faces.
Even when we have them in the room, they can’t explain their actions or their decisions.
Neither he or his board can understand that the PTC is the agreement that would address their concerns and deal with the issues out there. The state of the company lies squarely at their door & nowhere else.
If you look closely at their Change Agenda, the CEO wants to bypass the CWU at National level and take their message, their mantra to the membership. The members have seen through this and have giving him right pounding on Workplace.
Modernisation: It’s sickening for them to suggest that the changes that may need to be made are the only ones that will turn the company around. They want all these changes, these impositions & have no explanation for why they think the changes would be a benefit to the business or our members. Totally bizarre situation.
Their business plan is flawed. They want to down-dial the fact we go to every door, every day, 6 days a week, the USO & they want to abandon that?????
We have the strategy. The fundamentals are there, the parcel market is growing and we must capture that work and get it into the core business.
We will not abandon our position & we will fight for as long as it takes to get the deal we deserve.
Their Executive Action (EA) is a declaration of war on us. They are attacking the CWU & every member. This is their end goal, the derecognition of the CWU in the workplace.
LTB 400/22 explained our position and our response to the CEO letter from 22/9/22.
The letter from the CEO was basically a prescription of removing our agreements, attacking our members, and threatening to change the contracts of those who work for RMG.
We won’t accept their levelling down agenda & they are definitely going to have to shift their position if they want to get a deal done.
We will and we must continue to with the IA.
We are trying to get the best deal possible and taking our foot of the gas would be a huge mistake.
We’re also moving the dispute on the political front. We’re talking to Labour in England & Wales. We want their take on how RMG is moving and what they are doing to support our agenda on sustainability of the core business.
We are also going to talk to the SNP on the same matters.
The USO is key to our plan and the geographical challenges Scotland, Wales, as well as some part of England face, the must recognise that this is fundamental to an affordable postal service.
We are in a good place in terms of where we are with our strategy, but we need to keep going.
Andy Furey Acting Deputy General Secretary Postal (AF) then spoke. He mentioned in his opening statement that DW comprehensive in its content. We know where we are in terms of discussions and where we were. The position was light years apart, but we’ve now got them in the room.
Initially this can be seen as a good step, but we mustn’t get carried away, there is a long way to go in these talks.
Our plan simple, we lay out the agenda & flush put their position.
We can only do this because of the resolve & solidarity the members have and are showing.
We understand the hardship and the sacrifice the members are having to give & make but this is the reason they are back in the room, because of each & every one of our members and we thank you for that.
Now they are in the room, this is slowing down their narrative. Breaking the CWU in the workplace was key to their strategy & agenda and that’s been pushed back.
The Facebook live session was huge and gave a level of support and a mandate from the membership that was unseen previously. This told us we were/are doing the right thing and we should continue until there’s a deal we can put to the membership.
Functional action was something that was suggested and supported by branches. This will cause a maximum impact with minimal loss in terms of wages to our members.
We also recognise the timing to change the name of the company.
We see this as more sinister them symbolic & a way of attempting to dismantle & break-up the company.
We have our red lines and we’ve set them out. This is clear to all and have been made clear to the business.
If we need to take IA during the Christmas period, then we will. We need to remember Christmas isn’t just the four weeks as it’s been previously. We have Black Friday, Cyber Monday and everything that comes with that.
This coming Thursday (13/10/22) is massive and we need to maximise the lines, we need every rep, no matter the shift, every member in every workplace supporting the pickets on our lines.
Mark Baulch Outdoor Secretary (MB) restated the key points.
He went onto mention the aggressive behaviour of RMG as they attempted to raise the ante with the amount of EA they have or plan to take. This action is the vehicle for removing parts of the PTC and do as they want to, to make money for the shareholders. This will not be allowed to happen.
The want to make every workplace a continuous improvement site and use a more robust plan of shape up or be shipped out if they feel you don’t cut the mustard in terms of performance.
Although we are in the room with them, and as previously mentioned in, it’s down to your actions and our members actions we are still a long, long way of a satisfactory conclusion for our members.
We will remain in the position of non-cooperation in the revisions they want to deploy. The slides and data shared is all unagreed and falls outside our agreement. They have set unagreed savings targets are extreme at best and if they are allowed to continue will decimate many units. We have seen what their plan is first-hand. During our days of IA, parcel delivery only. Their forecasting is poor at best, negligent at worst. The PDA OA data they want to use falls outside the terms of our technology agreement. This shows and tells us that any engagement is meaningless.
Unless they accept proper engagement & negotiation happens, carnage will ensue.
We won’t walk onto any punches and unless we are using the Agreement, we won’t be taking part in meaningless talks.
The CEO’s position seems to be ignore everything that involves the CWU, tough this out and we’ll break them.
We won’t let this happen. In closing, a word of warning. It looks like they are coming for reps and members who voice their opinions on RMG position, and this is leading to suspensions.
Don’t fall into the trap, keep calm and do what you’ve been doing. Don’t let them antagonise you or the members into reacting.
We are on the side of the right and we will previail.
Davie Robertson Network, Processing Distribution (DR) recapped our position.
He stated that this is a different kind of dispute we are in. their stance has been extreme in nature and hostile across the board.
Serving notice on agreements & part agreements doesn’t show a company that’s ready to make a deal.
Our discipline and focus have got us back in the room and this is the only place resolution and agreement can be found. Slowly and surely our action has gained traction and they have had to come to the table.
We are in the room & we are engaging but we won’t accept anything on their wishlist.
They want to dismantle agreements fought for and won over many decades.
They’ve spent millions on trying to smash the union, agency, vans, buying off managers with bonuses and shopping vouchers. They’ve tried to enforce lesser terms on new entrants, attack our Attendance Agreement, IHR Agreement, compulsory Sunday working and so much more in a race to the bottom. They’re stopping many of our members doing OT during IA.
We must combat using the grievance process. They may want to ignore that, but they can’t ignore ACAS and ET’s.
We’re still here and we aren’t going away.
Although in the room, we need to change their mindset and get them to understand and agree a path of mutual interest.
Parcelforce; although PF management are stating this is a Royal Mail Letters dispute and it’s nothing to do with PF, the members there have had the 2% pay imposition, the same attacks on agreements, the attacks on terms on T&C’s as well as the threat of all new employees being owner drivers.
The members in PF have been brilliant and it’s great to see all of the members in that business unit on the picket lines, long may it continue.
The company has no commitment to PF and we need to and must change that.
PF is built into the PTC and is protected as is all other small business units and minority grades.
But we need to see your resolve and your faces on the picket lines.
Carl Maden Assistant Secretary (CM) discussed fleet, engineering, policy & our agreements.
He said that managers were touring the country telling all who would listen to management mantra that the smaller grades are not part of this dispute.
Management is saying (without having the authority to do so) there’s a deal to be had and it’s there waiting. A total lie.
An LTB will follow to quash all that’s being said and again, these businesses lie firmly contained within the PTC.
They have served notice on the Legally Binding Agreement (Agenda for Growth) and this is an attack on minority grades with the threat of outsourcing now out there in the field.
They want to attack the Attendance Agreement, accelerate to the Consideration of Dismissal (Stage 3).
They want to attack the Sick Pay policy and dilute it so Statutory Sick Pay plays a much more prominent part of the policy and either push our members back to work when still ill because of affordability concerns or starve us back to work.
Attack the IHR (Ill-Health Retirement) policy where many would leave with only their PILON (pay in lieu of notice) and any outstanding leave.
Management Performance, which is basically to manage people out of the business they decide aren’t competent. Some people have been in RM all of their working life and are suddenly no use to the business so get rid of them. This will not be allowed to happen.
They have the psychology of the inevitable but this is something we will not allow to happen.
We’re aware they’re attacking our reps and this is something we will address directly with them.
Andy Hopping Assistant Secretary POL (AH) opened by asking the forum to acknowledge the IA taken by members in POL. Their fight is no less important, and they are now at a point where they will be reballoted to continue their struggle to get a pay deal.
On RMG dispute, what they need reminding of is the two ballot results. Close on 98% YES in both, a massive mandate and huge support has been shown so they know this is a real fight and you are all backing your team of negotiators.
We are seeing the worst attack ever seen on our National Agreements, imposition on pay and of course EA seemingly taken at the drop of a hat.
We worked through the pandemic when most workers were advised to stay at home and work from there and any pay deal must reflect that.
They need to move away from “the CWU can’t or won’t deal with change” mantra.
They only need to look at the last seven National Agreements, all deal with change and the CWU & members agreed to those deals.
What will be interesting is circa 6/11/22 when they must reveal their 6 monthly figures and how that reflects on what they’ve been spouting on huge losses.
And in closing my contribution make sure you keep all in admin and in minority grades in the loop in this dispute.
They served notice on the legally binging agreement and outsourcing may be or will be a real threat to our members who work in those functions & business units.
The contributions were followed by a Q&A session where points, issues & concerns were raised to the National Officers.
Many of the replies were in confidence and not to be made public until we are further on in the negotiations.
This is how I heard the discussions & contributions at the briefing.
George Ross. Sub Divisional Rep. Scotland Division