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A new process for talks between Royal Mail Group and the CWU: Joint Statement by Royal Mail Group and CWU

In recognising the seriousness of the ongoing dispute between Royal Mail and the CWU both parties have now agreed to enter into a new process of talks between the senior leadership of both RMG and the CWU facilitated by Brendan Barber (former TUC General Secretary and ACAS Chair) supported by Marina Glasgow (Chief Conciliator of ACAS). Maria da Cunha and Shashi Verma (Non-Executive Directors) will support the talks process and provide Board oversight.

Both parties recognise that for these fresh talks to reach a successful resolution by 12th March every effort needs to be made to urgently address and minimise the current tensions across Royal Mail Group workplaces, arising from the long-lasting dispute.

The talks will focus on and work at pace on all the issues that have given rise to the dispute, or arisen during the dispute, including the pay and changes required to secure the future of RMG, the most constructive way to work together in local revision activity, and an appropriate independent process for reviewing any issues regarding fair treatment of employees and/or TU representatives arising out of the dispute.

A programme of workstreams has started on all issues mentioned above and will conclude Sunday 12th March to secure an agreement.

Both parties recognise that the business faces the most seriously challenging financial, economic and market conditions in its history and that the best way to meet these challenges is to reach a national agreement that aligns the interests of all, including the workforce and customers and key stakeholders, in building a positive future for Royal Mail Group.


Appendix to National Joint Statement

To support the wellbeing of all employees and to create the right environment for the new process of national talks to succeed, RMG and CWU have agreed to urgently address and minimise tensions in all workplaces and across business and union structures. The practical steps required to achieve this are set out below.

1. RMG and CWU Re-engagement on Joint Revision Activity

Given the serious financial and economic challenges facing the business, Royal Mail and CWU will now commit to work together to re-engage in local revision activity and deploy all revisions by the end of the financial year. This joint activity is designed to deal with exceptional circumstances and is without prejudice to our existing IR Framework Agreement and future RM / CWU relationships.

The re-engagement activity will be carried out in accordance with the following principles:

1. These revisions are designed to align hours to workload and improve productivity, recognising that there has been significant overall volume decline. These revisions are not designed to deal with the wider changes involved in national negotiations covering the Royal Mail proposals on the network window and associated changes to start & finish times.

2. In Delivery Revisions there will be no changes to attendance patterns unless agreed locally. Where there are managerial proposals to change start times these must be subject to local circumstances, such as changes to arrival patterns or indoor workload. Where this is the case this will be restricted to a maximum of 30 minutes. Changes to start and finish times will be subject to local agreement, where agreement cannot be reached on this issue this will be escalated in line with para. 8.

3. In Mail Centres revision activity will take place on the established key principle of the efficient alignment of resource to workload and workplan while minimising disruption to employees. In all change due consideration will be given to current attendance patterns, and movement of people between shifts will be on a voluntary basis.

4. There will be no Compulsory Redundancies arising from any of these revisions. Any Voluntary Redundancies will be carried out on a seniority basis, in accordance with the MTSF process. All information relating to the revision including Voluntary Redundancies will be shared locally.

5. Given the above timescales, these revisions will be carried out through a Table-Top Unit led process in Delivery and Mail Centre Realignments.

6. Where a Delivery Revision or Mail Centre Realignment has already been deployed, a joint review will take place locally to ensure the unit is achieving the deployed efficiency levels, MTSF process has been applied and all resourcing issues resolved. The outcomes of the review must be consistent with the full terms of this Joint Statement and where this is not the case, remedial action should take place.

7. In operational units where Revisions & Realignments have still to be deployed the Local manager and CWU Representatives will reengage to validate, review, and seek to reach agreement on the revision. The outputs will not be restricted to managerial proposals and both parties commit to meaningful negotiations which secure an agreed deployment by the end of the financial year.

Where agreement cannot be reached by Friday 10th March 2023 the Unit will move into a fast-track escalation process outlined in section 8 of this joint statement.

8. As part of a joint commitment to progress at pace to achieve the proposed timescales, there will be a fast-track IR escalation process overseen by Royal Mail Group RODS / GMs and equivalents plus CWU Senior Field Officials, designed to support the local and area parties to find pragmatic solutions. However, there is joint aspiration that the vast majority of units will be able to reach local agreement by Friday 10th March 2023.

Exceptionally, this revised escalation process will conclude within the timeframe from the point of escalation and at the latest by 22nd March 2023. If no resolution is reached following the fast-track IR process the national parties will inform each other of their intentions.

9. Revision activity and re-engagement in Parcelforce and other functions will be in line with the spirit and intent of this statement and will be subject to urgent separate discussion with the respective CWU national officers and Royal Mail functional directors.

10. Revision outcomes, including those already deployed, must achieve USO compliance, office clearance and the maintenance of all quality-of-service targets.

11. Royal Mail have confirmed that in achieving savings targets they will prioritise the removal of agency hours where regular and reliable cover is available from the core team. Discussions will take place locally on reasonable earnings opportunities for existing employees.

12. Any re-sign of re-picks of duties resulting from the revision deployment will be carried out in line with existing national agreements. Where revisions have been deployed a joint review will take place on the re-sign activity. Where remedial action is required this may take place post deployment of the revision.


  1. Independent Review of Suspensions, Conduct Cases and Dismissals

As part of the workstreams to resolve all issues referred to in the joint statement, there will be an independent review of conduct cases involving CWU members and representatives, arising from the dispute. As a result, the discussion will cover the detailed approach to conduct cases including suspensions and dismissals.

The independent review process will be facilitated by Brendan Barber (Former TUC General Secretary) and Marina Glasgow (ACAS Chief conciliator). The aim will be for the full process to be agreed by the 6th March 2023 and will run in parallel with the national talks.

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