Leeds National Briefing 25.07.23
Dave Ward Opening Statement.
We recognise the difficulties you are all having locally. We also recognise that a lot have left because they have had enough.
We must reset our mindset out of despute and into fixing the mess that Royal Mail have created. If we don't then Royal Mail have won. We were surprised by the result, showing us that the power of social media is not as strong as people think it is.
Members voted yes to end the dispute and to put us back in the room. Normal will never return due to the state of the business. People need to understand how close we were to ending Royal Mail and the CWU and still are.
We met with senior management yesterday and the time for shouting at them for getting us in the mess has to come to an end. They need us to dig them out of this mess as they have no plan.
Today is about setting out how we set out the next phase. When rumours started about the £500 not being paid started the CWU threatened not to publish the ballot result unless assurance was given. We now have that assurance.
We understand the anger at the executive action regarding sick absence.
To be clear, this has not been agreed by the CWU. Quality of service has not been restored due to financial situation. There is a plan to help reps in the workplace restore the business. There will be a change in how we communicate with members to take it away from social media and focus on local reps communicating with members at local level. As a Union, we need to restore the IR framework and give the reps the support to do this.
When breaches of the agreement are happening, reps must have counter proposals to solve the problem and if they can't the IR framework must be used so members can see us in the workplace making a difference again. If not Royal Mails attacks will continue. With or without the dispute this industry is changing and change would have came regardless of the dispute. We have to try and encourage our members to follow the work so RM don't just use new entrants for this workload.
We are prioritising our joint working groups to assist our members not Royal Mails agenda. RM has no answers in how they improve productivity.
Our membership numbers are obviously in decline and we need to make sure we are doing all we can to recruit new entrants. The CWU did NOT agree the new entrants and we must make it our priority to bring these individuals up to the same working conditions our current workforce have.
Members leaving us with the hump had happened before, we have to recognise the 25% who voted no and address all the concerns together because only together can we be strong again.
We need to start having conversations about the future of the USO. If we don't discuss a possible 5 day USO we may be left with 3 day or 2 day USO. We have reached a tipping point, trying to defend a 6 day USO may cost us more in the long run. We need to expand the role of postal workers to protect the USO which must extend beyond just delivering letters. Meeting this week with Royal Mail and on the agenda put by RM is what is working and what is not working with the new agreement and a management and board reshuffle.
3 months on from Bristol and so much has changed since then. We need unity in our Union. We must respect peoples views who voted no but we must also move on now. We have a bumpy road ahead but we are big enough and strong enough to move forward.
Whilst Thompson is away a lot more remain. We hope new CEO will show more the door. IR framework is paramount. Every branch needs to restore it with a paper trail. We have to get back to basics in holding management to account. RM did not want IR framework in agreement. We must use it to protect our members. New entrants NOT agreed by CWU but anyone hired before 1st Dec should not be on new T+Cs. Also, part timers increase in hours must remain on their current terms. If not IR framework must be used.
This includes anyone transferring aswell.
We have only recruited 15% of new entrants. 700 came into the business last week and another 500 this week which demonstrates they cut too deep with the cut backs. We need to engage new recruits. We also have gaps with reps leaving and we must try to plug these gaps where possible.
We were then shared the new management structure but as it is embargoed until RM release it I can't share on social media.
Carl Maden- Sick absence
Unagreed change to attendance procedure and letters sent to members also unagreed. There are also reports of RM stalling IHR process. Please use grievance process and contact HQ.
Meetings with RM this week to try and reach an agreement before 1st Aug. Not a good start but we will hold them to the agreement.
Mark Baulch- Quality of service
Spoke of specific ADR breifing to outline in more detail how we restore quality of service. A lot of joint working groups are ongoing to restore quality of service as quick as possible. RM want flat 1 in 6 attendance patterns across the board, we have pushed them back on this.
We are having conversations about the USO to try and get on the front foot rather then RM proposing what they want. RM have shared outputs from checklist activity but it doesn't marry up to what we know is happening on the ground. Action plans need to be put in place in offices failing, if that can't be agreed or management are refusing to discuss it must be put into the IR framework. There should be no revision activity in offices that are failing. HQ will support rule 13 ballots where necessary.
Dave Robertson- MC Supernumeracy
RM are playing fast and loose with IR framework. Do not allow RM to not accept disagreements due to it being a "National Issue". Use the agreement and the full IR framework. Supernumeries are being treated awfully and this has not been agreed.
Trying to push people out of the business is not acceptable. More talks this week, if they don't move ballots will be considered. This is an attack on our members who stood by us during the dispute and they are being victimised.
Network discussions are taking place and HQ are keen to share as soon as possible.
Parcelforce - we moved the company from a gig economy model in the agreement. A lot of revisions have failed as they wouldn't listen and will need to be fixed to restore quality of service.
Andy Furey- Lord Falconer Review
2 NAP appeals which overturned RMs decision to dismiss 2 reps, RM refusing to let they return to work. We met RM and Lord Falconer last Friday. This will not be a quick process and may be long and drawn out. RM are challenging 47 cases claiming they have nothing to do with dispute.
We need to prove they were to Lord Falconer. There may be a negotiated agreement on this as RM are concerned about the cost of legal fees. Informal discussions are taking place. Email addresses of members in the review must be sent to HQ so we can communicate better directly with them.
This is not a word for word account of breifing but what I took from it. I hope this helps keeps you all up to date.
On behalf of Scotland No.2 Branch