BRT&G Agreement – RM/CWU Joint Statement – Section 2.5 (Improving Quality of Service) and RM/CWU Joint Communication on Seasonal Variation
Branches and members will be aware of the commitments contained in the Business Transformation, Recovery and Growth Agreement and the fact that despite the agreement, actions by the business has seen a number of joint commitments stagnate and progress in relation to a number of Joint Statements had not been forthcoming.
As part of recent communications I have issued, I made it clear that in my role as the DGS(P) I would hold the business to account and provide a different style of leadership.
As such, last week a RM/CWU National IR meeting took place in which all outstanding issues were jointly discussed and a progressive foundation was put in place to make progress on all those areas. Following intense meetings and exchanges of drafts, we have now agreed a Joint Statement in relation to Section 2.5 Improving Quality of Service and a Joint Communication on Changes to Seasonal Variation.
Branches, representatives, and members will no doubt note the positive progress with caution. This is entirely understandable. My style of leadership will be to never overplay a moment. That said, there does feel like there has been a noticeable shift in how we are working together and changes in leadership on both sides has given us a chance for a fresh start. I know this is irrelevant to members unless it is felt locally. That has to happen off the back of these statements or the company has no prospect of rebuilding.
Attached to the LTB are full copies of the Joint Statement/Communication, the salient points are as follows:
RESTORING QUALITY OF SERVICE – Key areas of progress and change
A key principle in reaching this Joint Statement is that both RMG and CWU agree it’s in everybody’s interest to move forward in the spirit of joint problem solving and a revised way of working in 2024 which reaffirms that adherence to Joint Statements will be honoured across all levels.
We have agreed to cease 250 planned table top revisions in Delivery Offices to focus on restoring quality of service and overall unit performance.
We have agreed a far more robust process for solving quality issues with engagement at every level of the company and CWU and regular meetings with the signatories of the statement.
There will now be far more focus on local, area and divisional interventions and resolutions.
We have identified 24 units for national support. We will use the outputs from this work to improve all offices.
SEASONAL VARIATIONS – Key areas of progress and change
FT Members will work 5 weeks at 35 hours from 22nd January 2024 until 25th February 2024. This will mean Delivery employees will start 14 minutes later and finish 10 minutes earlier during this period. This will return 2 hours of owed annual leave from the high period in 2023 to employees prior to the end of the financial year (end of March) and pro-rata for PT members.
The 15 weeks of 35 hours in the summer will mean members will finish 10 minutes earlier each day. This will help to partially mitigate any later starts that are being deployed as a result of network changes. At this point our members will owe Royal Mail hours for the first time.
We have managed to reduce the peak increased hours from 15 weeks to just 5 weeks in late November 2024. Both parties will jointly agree the dates for the 5-week period by 31st January 2024.
Both parties also recognise the initial 15-week period for high and low seasons can be a reduced number of weeks going forwards as such we will finalise this reduction for seasonal variation to be applied in 2025/2026 by no later than 31st March 2024.
It has been agreed that Seasonal Variation will have no impact on annual leave deductions in the financial year 2023/24. As a result of Seasonal Variation commencing in the ‘high-period’ of its cycle, there is a need to address the misalignment of hours in the PSP system during the 2023 High Season period (from 4th September to 17th December 2023)
Accordingly, Royal Mail (Human Resource Services) will make adjustments to the PSP system to issue back the extra hours worked for all employees whose attendance patterns were varied under Seasonal Variation. Employees should see the realignment in hours to their personal leave entitlement before the end of the Annual Leave year (24th March).
Concluding the above position has only been possible due to the positive talks with the business and I want to thank Postal Officers, Davie Robertson and Mark Baulch in helping to secure the Joint Statements.
In the next few days, we will fully brief our representatives on these developments and Davie Robertson and Mark Baulch will continue discussions with the business on finalising the activity linked to the future revision activity in Upstream Areas and future revision activity & indoor preparation methods in Delivery as well as issuing additional communications as required to support the Joint Statements.
In addition, wider negotiations with the company continue and we now believe we have the platform to speedily resolve several outstanding issues including:
Sick Pay Calculations
The outstanding issues from the Lord Falconer review
Revisiting the Dispute Resolution Process and gaining absolute commitment to the Industrial Relations Framework and the agreed achieving agreement process.
Thank you for your support and we will issue wider communications later this week which will hopefully further signal a new relationship is being developed and that 2024 will bring about a tangible change in Industrial Relations, culture and actions in the workplace.
Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to the DGS(P) Department.
Deputy General Secretary (Postal)