16th February 2022
POST OFFICE: PAY 2021/22 – LEGAL TRADE DISPUTE – BALLOT TIMETABLE
Further to LTB 062/22 dated 9th February.
National Briefing and Communications
We held a National Briefing in Birmingham earlier today and I’m pleased to report the general feedback from Branches and Reps was very positive and all indications are that the members fully understand the reasons for the dispute and we are optimistic that a healthy Yes vote will be delivered. However, we are not taking this for granted and it is therefore important for Reps to continue to engage with the members via face to face visits and gate meetings together with our other channels. In this regard, we are working closely with our Communications Department and plans are being developed for Facebook Live events and a Zoom rally of impacted members. Further details including dates for these activities will be advised in due course.
Strike Ballot Timetable
Branches are advised the timetable below, which has previously been endorsed by the Postal Executive, was announced at the National Briefing earlier today:
Notice Served Monday 28th February
Ballot Papers Despatched Monday 7th March
Ballot Closes Monday 28th March
It should be noted the above timetable has been influenced by the feedback from our Reps who reported that annual leave in March is quite high amongst our members due to accruing leave during Lockdowns etc. Consequently we have allowed for a slightly longer period for ballot papers to be returned.
We are taking the unusual step of publicising the timetable earlier than the legal requirements as we are keen to explain to members the sequencing of events and provide them with an explanation as to why we are not serving notice for another 12 days. In essence, as Branches will be aware, we are in the middle of a membership verification exercise which is an important activity. Branches are reminded that any changes need to be notified to Lisa Parrett – email@example.com SDGS Department by no later than Tuesday 22nd February. Branches are encouraged to work with our Post Office Reps to ensure this activity is completed in good time.
Helpfully, Post Office last Friday 11th February published a “One Digest” article (attached) regarding the extreme cost of living being experienced by people today entitled “Two in five Brits forced to make impossible decisions”. Laura Joseph, Customer Experience Director, expanded upon this position when saying “…hunger and poverty in the UK is a very real issue that we all need to come together to tackle head on, especially in these unprecedented times .”
The Post Office communication, whilst laudable in its support and promotion of the Trussell Trust, simply adds insult to injury when viewed against the imposed pay freeze on our members. Crucially, Post Office has made a compelling argument for a good pay rise for our key worker members. I have therefore written to Nick Read, CEO, to challenge these double standards and have specifically called upon him to do the right thing by his employees and abandon the indefensible and unrealistic pay freeze policy.
In this regard, a home mailing is in the process of being sent to our members highlighting the irony of this situation. A copy is attached for information.
Finally, Branches are urged to bring the contents of this LTB to the attention of our Post Office members.
Further developments will be reported.
Andy Furey Assistant Secretary