6th October 2022
Royal Mail’s Un-Agreed Position Regarding Year Two Productivity Targets & Revision Activity in Delivery (Royal Mail’s Latest Approach)
Branches and Representatives will recall Letter To Branches (299/22 and 323/22) issued on the 7th and 28th July respectively concerning Royal Mail’s position in regards to ‘Year-Two’ productivity targets for both Table Top and Structural Revisions which were being outlined by the Company as part of the Productivity Section of the Pathway to Change Agreement, and which were supplemented by three Outdoor Department Memos (ODM) 021/22, 023/22 and 027/22 issued during August.
On the 21st September, we further issued ODM 032/22, which outlined a short note received from Royal Mail about these un-agreed revisions and which informed the Union that Royal Mail has subsequently revised all Delivery units’ revision targets based on a revised forecasted traffic decline level of 7% compared to the former 3.5%.
Additionally, but not shared directly with the Outdoor Department by Royal Mail, we have now had sight of a document entitled ‘Delivery Revision Governance Guide’ (attached for reference), and which seemingly now seeks to re-position this un-agreed revision programme with the suggestion that this is now an opportunity for local level engagement by our Reps.
As set out below, these revisions are un-agreed and outside of several National Agreements. The purpose of this LTB, therefore, is to confirm the CWU position of non-cooperation and non-involvement to our Area and Local Representatives when approached by Royal Mail in terms of these un-agreed revisions and regardless of what are clear attempts by Royal Mail to seek to re-brand and re-position these revisions.
To recap, the revision processes and the criteria set out by Royal Mail for these revisions, have not been shared or agreed upon with the Union at a National level and the revisions remain based on the following un-agreed parameters, contrary to several National Agreements:
The revisions are based on an un-agreed year-two targetry which is not in line with the commitments within the Pathway To Change Agreement and recommendations of the Productivity Joint Working Group.
There is no agreed Model Week baseline setting.
The revisions are based on an un-agreed process, un-agreed forecasted traffic level and against a pre-determined criteria – which are not in line with our National Agreements and several Joint Statements.
PDA Outdoor Actual data to be directly used on outdoor route planning – outside of our relevant National Agreement.
Pre-determined duty patterns and later start and finishing times for units – outside of National Agreement.
The establishment of pre-determined Dedicated Parcel Routes and Hubs (DPRs).
Local disagreements and the application of the Industrial Relations Framework only accepted on particular points, as determined by Royal Mail.
No inclusion of the Shorter Working Week – which is not in line with the Pathway To Change Agreement.
The Postal Executive have been in discussions and considered, alongside legal considerations, the advice we could and should issue to our Representatives, on how they deal with both the former and now this seemingly new approach by Royal Mail, when confronted with these un-agreed revisions plans.
However, it remains the case that Royal Mail’s revision plans are based on completely un-agreed targets, parameters and criteria, as such, it is impossible for our Reps to engage effectively or table counter-proposals as the revision hours and duty outputs are already pre-determined.
Equally, the clear limits and restrictions set out by Royal Mail on the application of the IR Framework negates any opportunity for meaningful engagement at local level and, in short, the suggested engagement being offered to our Reps by Royal Mail is effectively meaningless, as our Reps will have no opportunity to influence the revision pre-determined plans or their direct impact upon our member’s jobs and working lives.
Accordingly, the Postal Executive has no alternative but to confirm the position of non-cooperation and non-involvement to our Representatives when approached by Royal Mail on these un-agreed delivery revisions.
It is fully understood that this is not an easy task, but we cannot lose sight of the need to remain collective and united in response to Royal Mail and what is executive action against our members.
In setting out the above, we would again draw Branches and Representative’s attention to LTB 379/22 RMG Disputes 2022 – Claims For Unlawful Deductions From Pay And Trade Union Detriments and LTB 383/22, Royal Mail Group Disputes 2022 – ‘Grounds of Complaint’ for Individual Claims against the company due to Unlawful Deduction of Pay and Executive Action.
It is also relevant to point out to Branches that following legal advice it has been confirmed that our national ‘Change Ballot’ can be used to announce strike action at selected units where executive action has either been announced or is taking place, provided the executive action is in breach of Pathway to Change and associated agreements as set out in the ‘Change Ballot’. There is no need for these units to ballot again separately but Branches would have to request additional strike action in time to allow for endorsement of the Postal Executive and the mandatory notice period to be given.
Finally, please find attached a Model Letter which has been drawn up for Branches and Representatives to use as necessary and to correct any misrepresentation at local level in terms of such un-agreed revision plans.
If and where Local/Area Reps are contacted or approached by management in terms of such un-agreed revision proposals, can they please refer this directly to their respective Divisional Reps.
Any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 555, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Baulch CWU Assistant Secretary