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Reserved rights for ex PHGs and pension consultation

09 Jan 2017, 15:07

I have written an e mail to Dave Ward and the DGS re "The Way Forward agreement of 2000"
In 2000 Royal Mail entered into an agreement with the CWU combining postmen/women and PHG into a single grade called "The Way forward". One of the elements of that agreement was that ex PHGs would retain shift allowances and that they would be "retained indefinitely ON THE SAME BASIS" Night shift workers had greater protection and as long as they stayed on the night shift for a certain number of years without a break, then that night allowance would remain fully pensionable and "retained indefinitely ON THE SAME BASIS" . The same applied for the £20 ex PHG allowance. I am sure you have this agreement on file. If you don't I have a copy. I will attach the relevant page and will furnish you with a full copy if you wish. Night shift allowance with these grandad rights is worth £5000 in pensionable pay to me. Other ex PHGs on various shifts are all also protected. Could you please ask our legal department to review the "way forward" agreement and confirm that I am right about these grandad rights. I have told Jon Millidge (head of HR) about these protections and he has said he will look into it , having copied Douglas Hamilton into his reply to me
Image (page 10)
http://www.cwu.org/media/5718/the-way-forward-agreement-2000-updated-december-2015doc.pdf

Reserved rights for ex PHGs and pension consultation

09 Jan 2017, 16:29

Be interested to hear a reply from this. LGC drivers,that were ex PHG's have already lost their £20 ex PHG pay and full pensionable night rate, even though they are performing uniform grade duties. Dunno how CWU allowed this to happen. For the moment MGV (7.5T) drivers ,still get their reserved rights ,paid as MGV r's . MGV with reserved rights.
I also understood way forward agreement to read. PHG's had to remain on nights and on old PHG duties for 2 years to retain their reserved pensionable rights.After 2 years provided we performed operational grade duties, night allowance and ex PHG pay would be pensionable until retirement. Another attempt to get rid of the ORR (Operational reserved rights grade). Without costing the business a penny.

Reserved rights for ex PHGs and pension consultation

09 Jan 2017, 16:54

Hope you get some satisfaction from HQ/CWU but this cannot be dealt in isolation..
As page 10 of the Way Forward also states..
EXISTING PHGs and STEAMLINE Levels 3-6..

Reserved rights for ex PHGs and pension consultation

09 Jan 2017, 17:21

On another note!!
Why would the CWU agree to any of the pensionable allowances being removed, its not a cost cutting exorcise so the plan document would have us all to believe..
This is the first hurdle that the CWU negotiators can "kick into touch" and move on..
The rest is a bit more tricky!!!!!!

Reserved rights for ex PHGs and pension consultation

11 Jan 2017, 11:51

I spoke to the Dep Gen Sec office just now and they have said a letter is being drafted in response to the "reserved rights" issues for ex PHGs I have raised that another ex PHG brought to my attention. Will it be positive or not?

Reserved rights for ex PHGs and pension consultation

20 Jan 2017, 08:49

update:

Stephen Walkland
Senior Pensions Manager
Pensions Strategy Team
Royal Mail Group Ltd
3rd Floor
100 Victoria Embankment
London EC4Y 0HQ

has informed me that Royal Mail's legal department is looking into this area of reserved rights allowances for PHGs protected under the "way forward" of 2000.

Reserved rights for ex PHGs and pension consultation

24 Jan 2017, 17:35

Dear Terry Pullinger (DGSP) CWU, I contacted your department recently re the pension consultation and the position of ex PHGs re "The Way forward agreement " and their/mine reserved rights of allowances incl shift and ex PHG supplement . I know that the Royal Mail legal department is aware of this. Further more we have other members who have moved to mail centres from "Cashco" under MTSF were in the position as Cashco staff as having night allowance added to basic pay. This has increased their basic pay and made it fully pensionable. Yet the personal illustrations provided to ex cashco staff did not include this night allowance, which under MTSF was in their new contract of employment included in their basic pay. RM HR told ex Cashco staff that no MTSF agreements were included in the personal illustrations . Does this make RM in breach of contract re ex Cashco staff and ex PHGS and their reserved rights. Professional drivers also have their driving allowance included in their basic pay, which should be fully pensionable . Any update on these issues I have raised re Ex PHGs would be appreciated and could I ask you to look at the ex Cashco and driver issues . Many thanks.

Reserved rights for ex PHGs and pension consultation

31 Jan 2017, 17:34

As promised reply from Terry Pullinger:
"Dear Stephen,
Royal Mail Pension Review
Thank you for your email of 7th January concerning the above and your subsequent
enquiries. I apologise for the delay in replying.
As you know Royal Mail has started a consultation on the future of the Defined
Benefit Pension scheme after April 2018. At this stage, it is important to stress that
nothing has yet been agreed with the CWU and no final decision has been taken on
the future of the scheme.
Royal Mail is proposing to close the current Defined Benefit scheme for future
accrual after March 2018 and to transfer members into an inferior Defined
Contribution arrangement after that date. The key point to make in response to your
particular question about the Way Forward Agreement is that all service and benefits
accrued in the Defined Benefit plan up to March 2018 (including the calculation of
what’s included in pensionable pay) will be protected.
But while your benefits and the basis on which pensionable pay is calculated will
continue up to March 2018, the calculation of pensionable pay will change from April
next year. Currently, pensionable pay is made up of basic pay plus, in some cases,
pensionable allowances and pensionable bonuses. Section C members, who make
up the majority of current RMPP members then have the Lower Earnings Limit of
£3,328 deducted every year. Under the DC proposal, the Lower Earnings Deduction
would no longer be made and pensionable allowances and bonuses would no longer
be pensionable. This would account for the fact that the personal illustrations
received by ex-Cashco staff show pensionable pay changing from April 2018. Details
of the proposed changes to the way pensionable pay is calculated are set out on
page 10 of Royal Mail’s own consultation document and in the Question and Answer
section at: http://www.royalmail.com/pensions. I would also encourage any individual
member who still has questions about their personal entitlements and circumstances
to contact Royal Mail directly by post: Freepost, MY PENSION, Pond Street,
Sheffield S98 6HR or by email: my.pension@royalmail.com.
While the company’s proposals would see changes to the way in which pensionable
pay is calculated, the real problem we face is that from April next year, members’
future pension provision will be significantly lower as a guaranteed DB scheme is
replaced by an inferior DC arrangement. Overall, Royal Mail’s own illustrations show
that on a ‘before and after’ basis, members will lose on average 19% of their
pensions (if retiring at 60) rising to 28% (for those retiring at 65). Those employees
closest to their retirement age will be the least affected by the proposed change but
those employees who would spend longest in the DC scheme will suffer the greatest
hit.
The CWU will clearly seek to ensure that Royal Mail honours its commitments to
those currently in the DB scheme and ensures that all benefits and contributions up
to April 2018 will be protected. The real problem we face is how we stop current DB
members being transferred into a vastly inferior pension scheme that will deliver far
worse benefits in retirement and how we address the problems currently facing
existing DC members around inadequate contribution levels and outcomes.
As you’ll be aware, all members have now received a home mailing with a leaflet
setting out the CWU’s position on pensions and calling on all members to support
our campaign to deliver four key Pillars of Security - a pensions solution for all (in
both DB and DC schemes), a 35 hour shorter working week, extension of our current
agreements and legal protections and re-design of Royal Mail’s pipeline to deliver
long term growth in the business.
Thanks again for your email and for raising your questions directly with Royal Mail.
Yours sincerely,
Terry Pullinger
Deputy General Secretary (Postal)"

My reply:

"Dear Terry, Thank you for your reply of 31st Jan. I have to say I am most disappointed in your reply. I appreciate what you say about the scale of loss for members. But I wonder whether you and the CWU have understood at all the points I have been making and have read in detail those points. In the year 2000 Royal Mail entered into a collective agreement with the CWU called the "Way forward". The agreement itself is on the CWU database and I also e mailed you a copy. In that agreement the CWU agreed to combine the postman grade with postman higher grade. For several years PHG [pay] was frozen, whilst postmen caught up and several changes were made to the way RM allocated leave etc. But the key point re Pensions was that RM agreed to keep shift allowances, for ex PHGs, pensionable indefinitely and on a reserved rights basis. They also agreed that night workers would receive full pensionable night allowance. This would be retained indefinitely as long as the duty holder remained on the same duty till 2002. Otherwise their pensionable night allowance would fall to half pensionable night allowance. All shift allowances across all shifts were, as said retained indefinitely Ie past 2018. This is a collective agreement that the CWU entered into on my behalf and at the very least it appears to be custom and practise. Please could you have a legal department look into this agreement and PHG protected pensionable allowances within it. Now onto ex Cashco members. Under the MTSF several of our members transferred to RM Chester MC. Whilst [they were] Cashco members, the CWU entered into a pay agreement with Cashco placing night allowance into basic pay. Night allowance no longer was a separate allowance. This was a new revised contract of employment. Under MTSF on transfer to the MC they retained the same contract and are currently paid the higher rate of basic pay, which includes night allowance incorporated into that basic pay. Therefore the personal illustrations for Ex Cashco staff should have included their night allowance as pensionable allowance as it now forms part of their basic pay. As for ex PHGs (including myself) all shift allowances under the way forward were protected indefinitely and on a reserved basis past 2018 and should also be included in their/mine personal illustrations. For Ex Cashco members the lower earnings deductions has nothing to do with combining night allowances into pensionable pay. I would hope my union would seek to enforce these collective agreements and the variation to our contract of employments. If you do not have a copy of the "way forward", you can find it under agreements on the CWU website or I can provide you with a copy . Ex Cashco members have a copy of their revised contract of employment which is protected under MTSF. Royal Mail are aware of the Way forward agreement and the protected pensionable allowances. As said I hope the CWU legal department will look into these agreements and seek to enforce our rights under them. I have been a member for nearly 35 years and this is the first time I have made such a request. If my Union cannot or will not carry out such a review, I will have to seek independent legal employment advice. The pensionable allowances I am seeking to be retained are worth £5000 per annum to me and other significant sums for other members. I would appreciate having the legal dept look into this and to furnish a reply to ex PHGs and ex Cashco members. Yours sincerely , Stephen Sinclair, CWU "

Reserved rights for ex PHGs and pension consultation

01 Feb 2017, 09:57

Stephen. Very well written reply. It seems they are not bothered about the reserved rights employees. Sounds like they want to forget about us. Concerntrating on fighting for a fair pension for all. Effectively doing away with the ORR's without costing Royal Mail a penny.
Terry Pullinger, totally ignored your main point. We are slowly becoming extinct.His reply to you, doesn't help our cause at all.
Keep up the fight Stephen. For all ORR's

Reserved rights for ex PHGs and pension consultation

01 Feb 2017, 20:00

Well done here Stephen. And "retained indefinitely" as said in 'way forward' agreement is clearly there for all to see, including Dave Ward and Jon Millidge. It's hard to see how theses allowances can still be paid without being fully pensionable for ex PHGs with reserved rights. Perhaps the union know full well shift allowances in their current form will soon no longer exist.

Reserved rights for ex PHGs and pension consultation

02 Feb 2017, 17:59

return letter.jpg

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Reserved rights for ex PHGs and pension consultation

15 Feb 2017, 09:34

Stephen. Any update on CWU HQ. Need them to acknowledge at least,that they will be fighting for the reserved rights Ex PHG's.

Reserved rights for ex PHGs and pension consultation

07 Mar 2017, 09:02

see attachment
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Reserved rights for ex PHGs and pension consultation

07 Mar 2017, 09:03

Duran wrote:Stephen. Any update on CWU HQ. Need them to acknowledge at least,that they will be fighting for the reserved rights Ex PHG's.
see above

Reserved rights for ex PHGs and pension consultation

07 Mar 2017, 12:52

Stephen. Thanks for that. I hope the response is that we will be pushing for the protected pensionable rights of all staff concerned .

Thanks again for the heads up.

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