JOINT STATEMENT – PAY AND SHORTER WORKING WEEK
Last week the National Postal Officers seized the first opportunity to call together Senior Field Officials and Postal Executive members in a carefully planned legally compliant face-to-face briefing to update them on the national negotiations, whilst also attempting to progress the Joint Statement signed with the employer at the start of July 2020.
The information exchanged at our meeting in Liverpool with our leaders in the field should by now have filtered down through our field structure via Area/Local Representatives and Branch meetings.
However since our briefing and after Royal Mail Group’s presentation on their financial results and the publicity surrounding it, we have been inundated with questions and requests for more information which can be used in the field to brief members. This LTB is therefore designed to help Branches and Representatives close any knowledge gap that may exist with members and assist colleagues in dealing with enquires.
The Joint Statement was signed by the CWU and RMG at the start of July 2020 and published in LTB 352/20.
The Joint Statement represents a logical flightpath of progress and seeks to deal with all of the significant issues and challenges faced.
The talks have been conducted in a reasonable manner with both parties trying hard to repair relationships whilst under considerable pressure to deliver and deal with the day to day operation under COVID-19 arrangements.
Timeline and Scope of Talks
This section of the Joint Statement (copy attached) defines the logical sequence of events whilst also discussing issues requiring agreement. The five sections of progress were defined as follows:
To discuss the financial position of the company.
Clearly there has been much publicity about this and despite the continuing challenges of COVID-19 costs, the situation is improving and the CWU is convinced that Royal Mail Group with the right ambition and growth plan can build on this difficult time and still emerge as the most trusted doorstep connector in this country and the only provider that guarantees delivery to every address in the country with total equality.
To agree (in accordance with the second bullet point under the heading ‘Rebuilding Trust’) a deployment plan for the local revision and deployment of change activity required to address the immediate operational and financial challenges facing the UK business.
This section dealt with how we address the 600 plus local disagreements hanging over from our dispute and the imminent threat at that time of managerial executive action. It acknowledged that there was a need for light touch revisions in all units to re-align operations to improve operational arrangements and adjust to the challenge of the COVID-19 impact. There has been positive progress on what this should look like and we have also made significant progress on machine moves and trials with final sign off on negotiator agreements imminent.
Trials: In respect of trials we have been discussing the issues of ‘Automated Hours Data Capture’, ‘Resource Scheduler’, Dedicated Parcel Van Delivery Duties’, ‘2 Bundle Delivery Approach on D2D products’.
Resource Scheduler has already been the subject of an agreed joint trial which management ceased because it did not work. The business now claim that they have modified it and believe it will now work. They have agreed to give the Union (and those involved with the original joint trial) a full presentation on the changes made which have now given confidence that the system can work. Once confidence is restored a further trial is warranted, the original terms of reference will hold the field and an agreed joint trial will be moved forward.
Automated Hours Data Capture (AHDC) was described by the Royal Mail Group AGM 2020 Trading Statement as:
‘dispensing with old, outdated ways of working such as handwritten sign in sheets, moving to automated clock-in, clock-out systems as used by other businesses for decades’
Statements like that giv