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LTB 008/24 - Joint Communication Network Window & Changes to Mail Circulation for Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides Islands Postcodes

No: 008/24

8th January 2024

For the Immediate Attention of All:

Postal Branches

Divisional Representatives

Dear Colleagues

Joint Communication Network Window & Changes to Mail Circulation for Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides Islands Postcodes

In June 2023, Royal Mail and the CWU shared the indicative modelling for Delivery Office start and finish times before CWU members participated in the ballot on the RM/CWU Business Recovery, Transformation and Growth Negotiators Agreement.  Given the complex nature of mail circulation from the mainland to the island postcodes for ZE, HS and KW no information for these locations was shared at this time.

In line with the commitments set out in Appendix 2 of the Business Recovery, Transformation & Growth Agreement, both parties embarked on a joint programme of work designed to achieve the necessary pipeline, workflow and mail centre cycle time improvements required to limit the change to start and finish times up to a maximum of 60 minutes in Deliveries.

During this joint activity a potential significant impact on the Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides islands with the onward flight connections for these locations, which are currently processed at Inverness and Aberdeen mail centres, was exposed.  Highlighting the revised Network would result in significantly reduced connectivity with the islands with mails missing the connecting flights.

The National Joint Working Group and the Local Joint Working Group for the Scotland region have jointly looked for solutions which meet the needs of customers in these remote communities, delivers on our Quality of Service/USO commitments and limits the impact on start and finish times in Delivery.

Following this activity, the proposed solution is to process mail destined for Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides at Glasgow Mail Centre with flights departing from Glasgow Airport instead of the current operation whereby mail is processed at Aberdeen and Inverness Mail Centres with flights from Aberdeen and Inverness airports to the islands. 

This recirculation maximises the potential to maintain or improve connectivity and service provision to the islands following the Network Window changes.

For clarity this activity is separate to the phased removal of the inland flight sectors from Aberdeen and Inverness Air Hub which remains unchanged i.e. Inverness Air Hub remains open until April 2025 in line with the commitments contained within the BRT&G Agreement.

It is recognised there will be a loss of workload in Aberdeen and Inverness Mail Centres, based on Royal Mail’s provisional modelling both parties anticipate any frontline headcount reduction can be addressed through the reduction in external and flexible resource, though there will be a reduction in Mail Screener roles at both plants.

Both Parties reaffirm that in line with the commitment at Section 3.1.3 of the Business Recovery, Transformation and Growth Agreement, with the exception of VR compensation terms, the full terms of the existing MTSF process for voluntary redundancies will apply, including how surpluses and redeployments are managed.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: quoting reference: 233.16. or Mark Baulch, the Outdoor Department, email: quoting reference number: 580.

Yours sincerely

Davie Robertson                                                       

Assistant Secretary   


Mark Baulch

Assistant Secretary

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