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THE DEPLOYMENT PROGRAMME FOR PARCEL SORTING MACHINES WITHIN THE MAIL CENTRE ESTATE/RDC ESTATE

No: 461/21


1st November 2021


For the Immediate Attention of All:


Postal Branches

Divisional Representatives

Area Processing Representatives


Dear Colleagues


JOINT STATEMENT BETWEEN ROYAL MAIL AND THE CWU COVERING THE DEPLOYMENT PROGRAMME FOR PARCEL SORTING MACHINES WITHIN THE MAIL CENTRE ESTATE/RDC ESTATE


Branches and representatives will be aware that a Terms of Reference was agreed in 2018 covering the deployment of 20 parcel sorting machines across 16 Mail Centres (LTB 355/18 refers). Subsequently in August 2021 Phase 2A of the deployment was progressed which involved the deployment of a further 4 PSM’s (LTB 359/21 refers).


Royal Mail are now ready to deploy a further roll out of parcel sorting machines with another supplier, Solystic, across the Mail Centre estate, which will be known as Phase 2b.


Discussions have therefore taken place in relation to a Joint Statement to support the activity. A copy of the Joint Statement, which has been endorsed by the Postal Executive, is attached for information.


In summary there are 9 machines which are in the process of being built and deployed across 8 identified units, based on local planning and engagement between the project team, the Mail Centre teams and the CWU within the parameters set out in the attached document and the 2018 Agreement.


These new machines are smaller in size and scope to the existing PSM’s and there are some structural and operational differences between the two machines, which will require slightly different ways of working to ensure the safe and effective running of the machines is maintained.


The following 8 Mail Centres will receive a Phase 2b parcel sorting machine (in planned deployment order). The precise deployment dates to each site will be kept under review as the rollout progresses and will be confirmed at local site planning and engagement meetings and via the CWU National Joint Working Group for Parcels Automation.


1. North West Midlands Mail Centre (x 2 machines)

2. London Central Mail Centre

3. Cardiff Mail Centre

4. Southampton Mail Centre

5. Croydon Mail Centre

6. N Ireland Mail Centre

7. Romford Mail Centre

8. Edinburgh Mail Centre


The 2018 TOR covering the deployment of the PSM’s into the operation, which covers training, rotations, selection processes and staffing levels remains unchanged and is attached in the Joint Statement.


This PSM however, has a lower throughput and will require one less operator at the induct area to run the machine, which means the following staffing levels will be required:


5 x Induct operators (the other machines have 6)

2 x York Tippers

2 x Porters

I x Eject/Reject


The CWU will continue to be fully involved in the deployment activity and monitoring in line with the 2018 agreement.


The Phase 2b deployment will take the number of PSM’s across the Mail Centre Network to 33. This is not an end state number and work continues on the future PSM deployment strategy and time line. The expectation remains that the final deployment plan will see Parcel Automation introduced at all current Mail Centre sites.


Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: dwyatt@cwu.org quoting reference: 732.01


Yours sincerely


Davie Robertson Assistant Secretary



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