Special Facebook Live session at 6pm today with Mark Baulch, CWU assistant secretary.
“An industry-leading pay deal, the renewed commitment to a shorter working week, keeping Royal Mail Group together, and strengthening and extending job security protections are all fantastic achievements,” says CWU assistant secretary Mark Baulch, who will be broadcasting live to delivery members this evening.
“And these achievements are because of the sheer hard work of our members during an incredibly difficult period – and equally because of their solidarity and support for one another and for this union. These are the reasons why we, as national negotiators, were able to negotiate this good deal with the company.”
The continuing central role of the CWU going forward at all levels within the industry – and the principle of working together, of moving forward by agreement, are also fully retained going forward.
“There’s no doubt that these ‘headline’ elements make this a deal well worth voting for,” Mark points out, “but the opportunities within this agreement for jointly building a better future are what makes the Pathway to Change agreement really stand out,” he adds.
Within Royal Mail Delivery, key highlights include a commitment that parcels will continue to be delivered from every unit and that there are no plans to reduce the delivery function.
“While there may well be office mergers as there always will be, with things like lease arrangements on buildings and other factors, there is no ‘blueprint’ for an overall reduction,” Mark explains.
Duty revisions scheduled for every unit between now and October, and proposals for innovative new products and services – dedicated parcel routes and a new ‘economy letter’ initiative – and a focus on growing recently introduced initiatives – such as Consumer Collect and In-Flight – point to a positive period ahead for Delivery.
“Unit revisions will trigger the next hour off the working week, and this plus the clause in the agreement providing for local solutions to local issues will, we hope, enable a range of new and innovative shift patterns where there is the workload to drive this,” Mark says.
“And the same ‘local’ philosophy will be an opportunity for an office, or offices, to discuss, suggest, create and develop other new, revenue-generating products and services to residents, communities and businesses within their areas.
“Also, while we’re talking about services to the public, there’s a big, big thank you that needs to be said to our members for their exceptional efforts on Covid test kit collection and delivery – superb work that has really made a positive difference to so many people – and the work now being done to assist with the national vaccination campaign is yet another example of what a vital and crucial group of workers our postmen and postwomen are,” he pointed out.
The ongoing increase in parcel traffic and the new activities coming on stream will see Sunday working, and working across the day become regular features in Delivery and this will be staffed on a voluntary basis, or as part of the new duty rosters and innovative attendance patterns.
CWU unit reps, supported by their area and divisional colleagues, will be working with managers on these revisions, as well as new efficiency measures and the introduction of technologies – which are subject to robust safeguards at the insistence of the union.
Our outdoor secretary says that “efficiency measures currently being discussed put the focus on improving the overall performance of the office and any improvement it can make, rather than league tables comparing offices or this being targeted towards individuals, while there’s also the roll out of the ‘Scan In/Scan Out’ – system, which will replace paper signing-on sheets.
“In line with the appropriate safeguards and protocols, these can be beneficial to members – particularly in terms of ensuring people start on time and that breaks are taken.”
While local discussions will be looking at ways to take things forward at local and area level, Mark and his fellow national union officer Davie Robertson – who represents members in Processing, Distribution and Logistics – are in ongoing national talks with Royal Mail leaders aimed at ‘redesigning’ the ‘operational pipeline’.
“These discussions will set out our future strategy in terms of how we can make sure our systems are structured to capture as much parcels market share as possible – which will be the best way to continue to secure jobs and increase revenues and keep us on the right track for the best interests of our members in the future,” he explains.
“From a personal perspective, it’s very good to be able to see a positive way ahead – despite the incredibly difficult and challenging period our country has been going through – and the credit has to go to our hard-working members and the brilliant job they do every day.
“I hope members will join me on this evening’s Facebook-live broadcast and take the opportunity to hear some more details, or to contribute views or to ask me questions.”
• View tonight’s session on CWU Scotland No2 Facebook page