18th January 2024
Royal Mail/CWU Joint Communication Covering The Review Of The 30-Minutes Flexibility Agreement (RMG/CWU Business Recovery, Transformation and Growth Agreement – Appendix 1)
Branches and Representatives will be aware of the commitments contained in the Business Transformation, Recovery and Growth Agreement in relation to Appendix 1, section 2, 30-Minutes Flexibility Agreement, meeting customers’ needs, outlined here: –
In parallel with the seasonal variation approach the Joint Agreement between Royal Mail and the CWU committed to Jointly Review the approach to the use of 30 Minutes Flexibility, previously agreed in the 2007 Pay & Modernisation Agreement and in line with the 2013 Joint Statement covering Fairness, Dignity & Respect in Delivery. This joint review will be to understand how this approach can address workload changes at a route level on a daily basis and develop a revised agreement which will support the efficient delivery of the USO.
The review will gather information relating to how the existing policy is being applied and what arrangements are in place in units, particularly where this approach has been formalised and adopted. The review will also consider and determine how SI/SO data can be used with applying this flexible arrangement.
In line with this, talks were held with Royal Mail during October and November of last year on how best to move forward with such a joint review. However, whilst progress was made and we had in place a working draft in terms of moving this forward, we were unwilling to conclude a final proposed position until we had reached a joint understanding with Royal Mail surrounding the outstanding point in terms of how Seasonal Variation has impacted and changed individual Annual Leave entitlements in the PSP system, which was outlined to Branches in LTB 229/23 (Letter To Branches); further noting that the agreement on Seasonal Variation is clear in that this should not have any detrimental impact on members booked or planned annual leave for 2023/2024, or carried over leave into the next leave year.
Accordingly, and given that progress has now been achieved on this outstanding point along with some others in terms of Seasonal Variation, as reported in LTB 017/24 issued on 15th January, we have equally now concluded and have agreed to the attached Joint Communication (with the two listed Annexes), which we believe are self-explanatory.
In setting out this Joint Communication it is appropriate to highlight that we have agreed to a limited review process which will be undertaken by our Divisional Reps and Royal Mail RODs.
This process will require local COMs and CWU Reps to complete a short electronic survey, with 4 units per ROD area to be selected from a set list of 120 units (based on the feedback given under the Quality Of Service & Resourcing Checklist In Line With The RMG/CWU Joint Statement – June 2023: Section 2.5 Improving Quality Of Service & USO Compliance).
The process is designed to cover all ROD areas ensuring an equal balance of COM/CWU Rep involvement and to further ensure that we have balanced feedback from units that have confirmed that they ‘do’ or ‘do not’ currently operate the 30-minute flexibility agreement.
The details in terms of the survey and this Joint Communication along with the approach have already been outlined to Divisional Reps, who in turn will hold further joint launch sessions within the ROD areas for the selected units with the aim of all completed electronic surveys to be returned by Friday 9th February. Following this, the feedback will be jointly reviewed at national level in order to then conclude a joint report by 8th March.
Whilst the National Joint Communication is clear in relation to the process to be taken and the timelines involved, we also remain clear that any review of the current 30-minute flexibility agreement is based on the direct principle that it is to be used and only called upon for genuine and unforeseen operational reasons, that it does not become a regular occurrence and is not used as a means to fill any operational gaps of Royal Mail’s own making.
Any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 230.03, email address: JRODRIGUES@cwu.org
Mark BaulchCWU Assistant Secretary