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No. 153/21

8th April 2021

Dear Colleagues,


Branches will be aware that an email was sent from Learning Services on 29th March 2021 regarding the move to an online platform on 6th April 2021 for delivery of the Welcome to Royal Mail Sessions (WtRM). I can confirm that the CWU have been in dialogue with the business on this issue and am pleased to report that the Postal Executive endorsed the introduction of the online program when it met yesterday.


For some time, Royal Mail have been looking at how they deliver the Welcome to Royal Mail Sessions. In July 2018 they contacted the CWU with a proposal to change the format of the course due to a number of findings:

Around 20% of candidates who received a job offer from Royal Mail dropped out before they even started, this amounted to around 1600 individuals who had been through recruitment, testing, interviews and vetting.

One of the reasons identified for the high candidate drop out was the Welcome to Royal Mail experience. New entrants were required to attend an 8-hour classroom-based course on day 1 of employment. Due to the fact these were held in Mail Centres meant that the geographical spread was large and in some cases resulted in new entrants travelling long distances in excess of 2 hours in order to attend.

As a result of the WtRM Sessions being held predominantly in Mail Centres, new entrants frequently had to wait weeks to get on the course as there needed to be sufficient numbers to run the session.

The Changes

In 2020, all direct recruitment was suspended due to the pandemic. As we were coming out of the Covid lockdown, Royal Mail approached the Union with a proposal to move the WtRM Session onto an online portal. The new entrants would go through the course in their own homes and would now be paid for doing so.

Although we were slightly sceptical of the concept, we agreed to a number of meetings with the business to discuss our mutual requirements in order to make sure that we had a product which was fit for purpose. Following negotiations, we have agreed to a test of online Welcome to Royal Mail Day 1 Sessions. The CWU section of the online portal can be viewed via the links below along with the material from Royal Mail.

In terms of our CWU Section, the candidates must go through our information before they can move onto the next section, which is something we insisted upon.

In the past we have been reliant on Branches turning up at the Day 1 Session to explain the benefits of joining. In one 9-month period there were 810 WtRM sessions with 169 having no CWU Representative attend during our slot, which equates to 20% of sessions not attended. Clearly, we have no way of checking who attended the course and where they were going to work therefore there was no way of tracking them.

The output from the online programme will be shared with the CWU on a regular basis and adjustments made accordingly. One of the questions which new entrants will be asked following day 1 will be “have you been contacted by the CWU Representative in your office/Branch”. Once again, this information is invaluable to us in monitoring the number of new members we recruit.

In order to apply for a position within Royal Mail, candidates need to do so online therefore it is assumed that they have access to the necessary technology to complete the online WtRM Session. Royal Mail are advising the new entrants that the course will ideally be accessed via a PC/Laptop/Tablet. If however, the new entrant does not have access to these devises, they will be asked in advance of the session to make arrangements with family/friends/public library (obviously after lockdown) however in the worst case scenario they can access the session via a smartphone. If all else fails, arrangements can be made for them to attend their unit and use the IT equipment on site.

The online session can be viewed via the following links:

This is a very new approach to welcoming new employees into Royal Mail and the CWU have been involved at every step. The new employee, as you will see from the links above, is given a wealth of information about the CWU and the link to the website for them to join. If membership is not taken up at that point there is still the opportunity to engage with them when they are introduced to the CWU Representative in their office as per the National Induction Training with Coaching Support Agreement. The advantage of the online set up is that should there be no Representative in an office or if for some reason the introduction doesn’t take place, then we will be able to track the employee’s membership status with the additional information we will get from Royal Mail. In turn, anyone who has not taken up membership will be flagged up to the Branch for them to follow up.

I have no doubt that colleagues will recognise the opportunity the online CWU session gives the Union to increase the number of new entrants joining on day 1 as well as providing additional time to recruit them in their workplace. Furthermore, this initiative should be viewed as a major step in delivering the Postal Department/Executive’s agenda of increased CWU membership in the core Royal Mail business. I can also confirm that with the Covid restrictions beginning to be relaxed, the DGS(P) Department will be looking to reinvigorate the activity that has been developed by Lynn Browne (Postal Senior Organiser) and her team to deliver both our organising agenda and focused recruitment activity in order to capture long-term non-members within the Postal Constituency as detailed in conference policy.

Regardless of whether RM will use this method of Welcome to Royal Mail on a permanent basis or not, we have established some key principles in respect of the Union’s involvement in the recruitment process going forward.

As this LTB relates to Postal Organising within Royal Mail, any enquiries on its content should be directed in the first instance to Lynn Browne, Senior Organiser Postal and copied to or subsequently to the DGSP Department.

Yours sincerely,

Terry Pullinger

Deputy General Secretary (Postal)

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