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Delivery of Material for May 6th 2021 Elections – National Agreement

No. 111/21

18th March 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Delivery of Material for May 6th 2021 Elections – National Agreement

Branches will recall that LTB 166/19 detailed the arrangements for the delivery of Election Material and the increase to the Unit Payments in that regard. Also included in the letter from the Royal Mail National Delivery Director was a commitment to further review the payments going forward.

Branches will obviously be only too aware of the magnitude of events over the two years since that agreement was made. We have of course seen an unprecedented pandemic that has resulted in the way we all work and live being very much turned on its head.

Whilst in recent weeks we have seen some letter volume return, overall there has been an advanced reduction in letter traffic and a seismic increase in parcels which has had the effect of changing the dynamic of the content of daily workloads, along with the current Covid operational arrangements in place, rendering it almost unrecognisable from those which were in place just two short years ago.

Additionally, we are now at the beginning of a period of significant change in Delivery Offices, whereupon all units will be undergoing revision activity leading to a reduction in the working week by October this year. Taking forward the significant commitments within the Pathway to Change Agreement and the discussions relating to this, have contributed in a major way to the ability to conduct a review of Election Material Payments being undertaken, notwithstanding the question of whether now is actually the correct time to do so in view of those aspects as outlined above.

That position will of course be kept under review going forward, upon the very much hoped for road to recovery from the pandemic and in the longer term, once the effect of the impact on the operation also begins to settle.

We have discussed with Royal Mail the major Election events due to take place on May 6th and attach for Branches the appropriate information.

The details of such are contained within the letter from Royal Mail.

In addition, we also attach the National Agreement on the Delivery of Election Material for your continued information.

The below elections are taking place as follows:

  • Scottish Parliament (Electing 129 MSPs (73 Constituents and 56 Regional Representatives)

  • Welsh Assembly (Electing 60 MSs (40 Constituents and 20 Regional Representatives)

  • London Assembly (Electing 25 AMs (14 Constituents and 11 Regional Representatives)

  • London Mayor

  • Regional Mayors (12 in total) Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley, West Midlands, Bristol, Liverpool, Salford, Cambridge and Peterborough, West of England, West Yorkshire, Doncaster and North Tyneside

  • Local Elections (154 in total including 119 postponed from 2020)

  • Police and Crime Commissioners (41 Police Authorities in England and Wales)

To assist Branches with any questions on what ‘does and does not’ attract payment, the department have summarised the following:

  • All Poll Cards attract the Unit Payments

  • D2D items do not attract the payments

  • Postal Ballot Packs do not attract the payments

  • Candidate literature both addressed and unaddressed, which is identified accordingly will attract the payments – Candidate mail is expected in Scotland and Wales only

  • Materials attracting unit payments and posted in traffic streams such as Retail/ DSA/wholesale should be delivered in line with normal delivery product specification standards, although where this is not possible due to local circumstances, sensible conversations should take place between the individual and their manager (with CWU Local Rep if required) to agree alternative solutions inclusive of other means of delivery or carrying over to the next day etc.

  • Claiming of pressure overtime is not permitted for delivery of Election Material. This does not detract from claiming of overtime for normal excess mails on delivery

Hopefully the confirmation of these arrangements will be timely for the commencement of despatching arrangements for the materials linked to the forthcoming elections.

Any enquiries should be addressed to

the Outdoor Department reference number 535.09, email address –

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baulch CWU Assistant Secretary


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