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LTB 081/24 - Royal Mail & CWU Joint Communication Regarding Delivery 2.0 Trials

No. 081/24


 

Dear Colleagues,


Royal Mail & CWU Joint Communication Regarding Delivery 2.0 Trials 


Branches, Representatives and members will recall the commitments contained in the Business Recovery, Transformation and Growth Agreement, in relation to Section 7 – National Agreed Trial Indoor Delivery Methods Changes, the core details of which were outlined in LTB 184/23 (Letter To Branches).


In line with the terms of this Section of the BRT&G Agreement, a joint trial was held from July to October of last year covering the four different indoor method options, which took place in 10 Delivery Units.


Alongside this, a further limited trial covering 2 Delivery Units was also agreed and held in October on the former Back-to-Back Prep and Delivery method, which Royal Mail had previously trialled in 2018.

Based on the trial feedback, including Industrial Engineer studies to test each of the methods ‘actual time taken’ against the current ‘planned time’ it was clear that none of the methods being tested produced the Royal Mail stated efficiency improvements, nor the outlined time reduction of 20-25 minutes per delivery, per day, which was referenced as one of the success criteria within the BRT&G Agreement.


Given this and during subsequent discussions, Royal Mail has informed the union that at this juncture these trials have ended and none of the indoor methods trialled will be moved forward or deployed.


However, alongside these agreed Indoor Delivery Methods trials, the CWU had equally been pressing Royal Mail in terms of its continuing plans to seek to move forward with its indoor design concept previously entitled ‘Ringwood or BluePrint’.


Branches may recall that the initial ‘Ringwood or BluePrint’ design had first surfaced during the back end of last year’s bitter dispute, with Royal Mail seeking to impose the indoor design changes, which remove individual RM2000 Frames and replace them with a continuous Frame layout.


Since then, Royal Mail has re-titled and revised the concept along with the programme, now called ‘Delivery 2.0’, as well as further advanced the design to include geographically aligned delivery loops along the continuous Frame layout, using the GeoRoute revision system to plan the outdoor delivery arrangements.


Despite very difficult initial talks, it would be fair to say that recent discussions have been far more positive, but it was still very clear that there was some resistance on the part of Royal Mail to have in place a joint national framework and oversight covering any further activity on Delivery 2.0.


Indeed, whilst we continue to hold talks in good faith, Royal Mail has sought in the background to move forward with its plans to roll out the Delivery 2.0 design concept in some 21 Delivery units, including a full outdoor GeoRoute revision and the testing of parcel sortation solutions.


This backdrop has proven both frustrating and difficult, given our attempts to secure the relevant national framework, while at the same time knowing that Royal Mail has been pressing forward with local level planning in several Delivery units on the Delivery 2.0 design. Nonetheless, we felt this was still a necessary approach and the correct one to adopt. During this period, we have equally sought to informally influence some of the earmarked Delivery units based on feedback from our Divisional Reps.


However, following further discussions held late last week, we have now agreed on the following Joint Communication with Royal Mail to cover the Delivery 2.0 trials, which has now been endorsed by the Postal Executive. Whilst the attached Joint Communication and its remit and aims are self-explanatory, with the list of the 21 Delivery units involved, it is relevant to further highlight that the trials aim to define mutually beneficial outputs, which will be jointly reviewed as part of further national discussions before any wider move or further deployment in terms of the Delivery 2.0 design.


In setting out the above, Branches and Representatives will note that Royal Mail has moved forward with some of the initial planning linked to the Delivery 2.0 trial activities and that once again we find ourselves undertaking an element of catch-up in some of the listed units.


Whilst this is not satisfactory, a judgment call was made by the union in this regard to ensure that we remain engaged with Royal Mail in this wider trial activity, noting that the initial ‘Ringwood or BluePrint’ design and concept, was deployed in some 12 Delivery units without any form of CWU engagement.


It has also been confirmed with Royal Mail that a National Joint on-line launch meeting will take place on Thursday 29th February, which will involve the appropriate CWU Representatives and Royal Mail Managers within the trial units, the link details and confirmation of the time of this will be issued in due course.


Finally, at the time of issuing this LTB, we continue to hold talks in respect of seeking to secure a joint position in terms of GeoRoute revision planning, both linked to the Delivery 2.0 trials and separate revision activity that Royal Mail has outlined. This remains a matter of ongoing frustration and we will update Branches and Representatives as soon as possible.


Any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 540, email address:



Yours sincerely,

 

Mark Baulch

CWU Assistant Secretary



 

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