30th August 2023
ROYAL MAIL GROUP – UNION RELEASE AUDIT
On 24th August we received a letter from Graham Long, Head of Industrial Relations, providing notice of an internal audit to determine the cost of both paid and unpaid union release time.
Our view is clear; we believe this audit is both unnecessary and inappropriate at this stage particularly as we are in the midst of deploying the Business Recovery, Transformation & Growth Agreement (BRT&G).
The audit is due to be held in September and October and the correspondence was clear in stating there should be no difference in the level of release being granted during the audit period and managers have been briefed accordingly.
The timing of this audit is either at worst a continuation of union busting or at best misguided, given we are meant to be rebuilding relationships in line with Section 2.4 of the BRT&G agreement. It is a total distraction from the real issues of Quality of Service and USO failures.
We have now received copies of four documents management have circulated in the field relating to union leave for industrial relations reps, roles responsibilities and release time, completing the union leave application form and a user guide for the electronic application process. RMG did not have the courtesy to enclose a copy of any of these management guidelines.
A meeting was held yesterday with Grant MacPherson the Chief Operations Officer, and Ricky MacAulay, Operations Development Director, on a range of important issues. We did however take the opportunity during the course of the meeting to make it clear apart from the fact the Industrial Relations Framework is totally enshrined within the BRT&G Agreement, the manner in which we had received notification of the internal audit was unacceptable.
We have also expressed in the strongest possible terms that if an audit was required it should be subject to a joint approach and involve joint activity.
Following yesterday’s meeting we will be writing to the company to formally record our concerns and will provide further updates as soon as possible.
In closing should any representatives experience any differences whatsoever in the granting of paid/unpaid leave, the IR framework should be used for registering disagreements, and any points of principles raised directly with us.
A/Deputy General Secretary (Postal)