10th February 2023
Royal Mail’s Customer Service Points (CSPs) Rationalisation Plan & Automatic Redelivery
Following LTB (Letter To Branches) 033/23, issued on the 8th February and which was further supplemented by LTB 034/23 issued on the same day, we have now received a formal reply from Royal Mail dated the 9th February and which confirms that:
‘Having completed the first stage of the review this week and considered a range of options, we have decided to maintain the current estate of Customer Service Points as we seek to further improve our first-time delivery rates.’
Whilst this confirmation from Royal Mail is welcomed and significant, given their previous position on CSPs (Customer Service Points) the union remains cautious as the company has further advised that: ‘As footfall continues to decrease, it is important that we continue to improve the efficient running of our Customer Service Points. The next stage of this review will focus on ensuring that opening hours match demand, and ways of working. It is clear that as footfall continues to reduce, we will need to change ways of working in our Customer Service Points. This may require changes to staffing levels, and more flexibility from employees in terms of roles and responsibilities.’
As we have previously outlined, the CWU remains concerned and is opposed to the whole narrative that CSPs are just about the collecting of undelivered parcels, as important as that is. There are clear and numerous obligations upon Royal Mail as the DUSP (Designated Universal Service Provider) Condition 1 and the Communication Act which go beyond this single point. Moreover, we believe that CSPs should be seen as a real opportunity to both maximise and further expand additional commercial service offerings taking advantage of the unique interface that CSPs offer customers and the public.
In a further reply from the union today to Royal Mail, we have been quite clear that we are open to regular discussions with them surrounding these ongoing reviews of CSPs against changes in the customer footfall profile and the further planned national rollout of Automatic Redelivery on the basis of a genuine and two-way engagement. Indeed, it is relevant to point out that in both 2021 and last year we reached two agreed Joint Statements with Royal Mail on standardised and revised opening times based on changes in customer behaviours and a visible reduction in customers visiting CSPs.
Again, this development and confirmation from Royal Mail of a re-think on their imminent plans for CSPs is a welcomed development and has only come about as a result of direct pressure brought about by the CWU and its members. We also know that this outlined change in approach will come as a great relief to members that work in CSPs and, in particular, those with family-friendly needs, or who are covered under the Equality Act.
There clearly remain ongoing challenges that will need to be addressed in order to secure the long term future of CSPs and we remain committed and convinced that the national network of CSPs offers Royal Mail real opportunities to innovate, increase services and its revenue equally. In short, CSPs should be seen by Royal Mail as a growth opportunity, not a cost burden.
Further updates will be issued in due course and against further developments, but in the meantime any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 532, email address: email@example.com
Mark Baulch CWU Assistant Secretary
Andy Furey A / Deputy General Secretary (Postal)