8th September 2023
For the URGENT Attention of All:
Area Processing Representatives
Mail Centre Supernumerary / Surplus Issues Update – DRP
Branches and representatives will be aware of the extensive and prolonged discussions that have been taking place with Royal Mail senior management in an attempt to resolve the supernumerary / surplus issues in Mail Centres (LTBs 167/23 and 205/23 refer).
As highlighted previously, the CWU believe that the approach adopted by the company in respect of this issue represents a breach of the agreed MTSF processes and indeed the reaffirmed commitments in the Business Recovery Transformation and Growth (BRT&G) agreement to adhere to the MTSF agreement.
Numerous meetings have now taken place with the business in relation to the issues and while there has been some progress in some areas, this in the view of the CWU has not been sufficient to ensure that our affected members are protected, which is and will always be our primary objective.
Regrettably, despite the CWU submitting several proposals in an attempt to resolve the outstanding issues, the talks have reached an impasse and the business are indicating that they will move people via the use of their unagreed and unilaterally imposed redeployment pool process.
To add insult to injury, we have become aware that at a time when the business are continually raising the precarious financial status of the company and the need to resolve the surplus / supernumerary issues, an extortionate amount of money is being spent on agency staff at the Midlands Super Hub to process work.
Despite the inability to process existing work at the MSH, we understand the business are still planning to migrate work from catchment area sites, which will clearly exacerbate the supernumerary / surplus issue further. We have made representation that no further work should be transferred until the current issues are resolved.
Given the above issues, the CWU have therefore had no other option but to advise Royal Mail that we are utilising the Dispute Resolution Process and a national disagreement now exists in relation to supernumerary / surplus issues and Section 3.1.3 of national BRT&G agreement.
The CWU are seeking meeting involving the GS, Acting DGSP, COO and Chief People Officer to resolve these issues as a matter of urgency.
Until such time as a resolution is achieved, Branches and Representatives should continue to refer matters to the IR Framework, where they believe that the terms of MTSF, the BRT&G agreement or the Section 2.5 Joint Statement have been breached.
Representatives are also advised to register disagreements where replacement of our members on any given day is through the use of overtime, casuals and / or agency workers, managers performing work proper to CWU represented grades or where workplan failures are occurring.
In addition, Representatives should also support members affected by the business’ unagreed actions in submitting individual grievances based upon the above, as well as the following:
Breach of the MTSF procedure on how surpluses are identified and should be managed;
Impact upon them either on their private lives and / or medical situation / Equality Act;
Unreasonable job offers, i.e. moving Shifts or work functions;
Breach of the Royal Mail communications that stated employees not participating in a resign of the unagreed duty structure would be placed as supernumerary, as there were no stated consequences for this decision;
Impact of unreasonable job offers in line with MTSF Appendix Considerations – individual cases section.
Members and Representatives are reminded that no employee can be subject to compulsory redundancy or forced to reduce their contract or grade.
Additionally, our members under no circumstances should be compelled to apply for external jobs, if they wish to remain in Royal Mail employment. Any redeployment offers must be progressed in line with MTSF processes.
Branches are also advised that requests for Rule 13 ballots in relation to this issue will be progressed by the PE as a matter of urgency where breaches of the BRT&G and MTSF agreements are taking place.
Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email:
firstname.lastname@example.org quoting reference: 733.02.