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Delivering in the Dark

26 Sep 2020, 09:06

Hi. Since March I have been starting at 12.30 and finishing around 5/6pm. I am a leave reserve on 27.5 hours. Obviously when the clocks go back we will be delivering in the dark.

Do the Unions have any guidance on this?

Basically in our office it goes on seniority. So the only people forced to work late shifts in our DO so far are the new part timers. I have seen on threads in here it is against your contract etc. It isn't. My contract doesn't state start times etc. it says my hours/location will depend on the needs of the business etc. Essentially us newbies have worse contracts than those who joined a while ago so we obviously accept that and live with it.

So my question is more like how will this delivering mail in the dark work?

Quite a lot of our routes are semi rural with large areas having no street lights etc.

Also will the union do anything about sharing these late starts between the different posties?

Or do they believe in seniority trumping fairness on late starts also?

All advice useful. Looks like Delivering in the Dark is going to become reality for 5 months or so because Corona isn't going away and we don't have enough vans at our DO so without van sharing there will be late starts, social distancing or not.

Delivering in the Dark

26 Sep 2020, 09:15

When I first started we would always deliver in the dark, just at the opposite end of the day.

Royal Mail can issue torches so I would ask your manager to arrange that in time for the darker night. Beyond that if you don't think its safe to deliver as you cant see any obstructions, then you CAN refuse to deliver to that address.

On the hazards I would start listing where you think this may be an issue and get the manager to make a decision, or for them to contact the residents to find a solution.

Delivering in the Dark

26 Sep 2020, 15:25

Why is at seen as 'acceptable' for part time staff (on the whole) as being the ones to do the later shifts? Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there will be some full time staff doing it, but it seems to be only part time staff in our area.

Delivering in the Dark

26 Sep 2020, 15:34

Even with a torch it takes easily 2-3 times as long to deliver in the dark as it does in day light, having to stop and carefully read each address (I know we're supposed to do that anyway, but come on, nobody really does that!) having to carefully watch every step you take up dark garden paths, total inability to see house names and numbers from the van when doing parcels.

Delivering in the Dark

26 Sep 2020, 16:11

delivering in the dark or fading light for about 30 mins to an hour is probably ok if your eyesight is spot on but any longer it becomes a major issue this needs to be addressed now before it kicks in

Delivering in the Dark

26 Sep 2020, 18:02

Cucumber wrote:Why is at seen as 'acceptable' for part time staff (on the whole) as being the ones to do the later shifts? Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there will be some full time staff doing it, but it seems to be only part time staff in our area.


part timers in my office are less partial to cause a fuss about every damn thing so that may be a clue

Delivering in the Dark

26 Sep 2020, 18:03

Cucumber wrote:Why is at seen as 'acceptable' for part time staff (on the whole) as being the ones to do the later shifts? Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there will be some full time staff doing it, but it seems to be only part time staff in our area.


I guess it’s because the hours fit in (part time average 6 hr shifts opposed to full time 8hrs) .

Full timer preps walk and goes out On delivery returns back at 2- 230pm
Part timer starts at 1 pm ties up waits for a van to become available returns 6ish

Problem is winter approaching and at 430pm In December it’s pitch black.

The only work around I see, is focus on delivering letters untIl dark then do parcels rest of shift.

Manager will just shrug their shoulders

Delivering in the Dark

26 Sep 2020, 18:18

Another thing the union should be all over.

Delivering in the Dark

26 Sep 2020, 19:06

mags999 wrote:delivering in the dark or fading light for about 30 mins to an hour is probably ok if your eyesight is spot on but any longer it becomes a major issue this needs to be addressed now before it kicks in



Especially if you are a reserve punted on to random walks.

Delivering in the Dark

26 Sep 2020, 22:35

35 years service and working later shifts! If I kick up a fuss I'd probably get a HTC duty or a leave reserve.So annoying when a couple of miles down the road at the Mail centre theres a yard full of Van's doing nothing.

Delivering in the Dark

27 Sep 2020, 09:47

TrueBlueTerrier wrote:When I first started we would always deliver in the dark.


The good old days.

Ask for a head torch, the ones rm used to issue back in the day weren't the best and clipped on to a loop on your jacket.

Delivering in the Dark

27 Sep 2020, 09:56

Cucumber wrote:Why is at seen as 'acceptable' for part time staff (on the whole) as being the ones to do the later shifts? Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there will be some full time staff doing it, but it seems to be only part time staff in our area.


The indoor work has to be completed before any delivery work can be completed.

Delivering in the Dark

27 Sep 2020, 10:04

Woody Guthrie wrote:
The indoor work has to be completed before any delivery work can be completed.

The IPS needs to be completed before prep can begin.
A lot of full time staff don't do IPS because they are on "double prep".
It would be possible to have early starters on IPS, single prep and delivery. (6- 1.30)
A second wave of full timers starting after the first lot have left on double prep and delivery (9 -4.30)
Third wave (who would be part time) starting when the first wave come back tie down and deliver. (1 -6)

Delivering in the Dark

27 Sep 2020, 10:32

clashcityrocker wrote:
Woody Guthrie wrote:
The indoor work has to be completed before any delivery work can be completed.

The IPS needs to be completed before prep can begin.
A lot of full time staff don't do IPS because they are on "double prep".
It would be possible to have early starters on IPS, single prep and delivery. (6- 1.30)
A second wave of full timers starting after the first lot have left on double prep and delivery (9 -4.30)
Third wave (who would be part time) starting when the first wave come back tie down and deliver. (1 -6)


It's not only possible but pretty much the model we are operating although we've managed to advance all three waves by about an hour (5-12.30, 8-3.30 and 12-5) with a couple on nights.
However it still leaves the vast majority of the part-time staff by necessity on the later shifts.

Delivering in the Dark

27 Sep 2020, 10:46

They probably won't change anything until the off-sick levels go up with people tripping and falling over things in the dark, RM really don't like workplace accidents.
Note to any postie that has an accident you must report it that day to cover yourself.

Delivering in the Dark

27 Sep 2020, 17:24

i did this last year. it was my 1st Christmas got sent on rural cut offs that i'd never done before with no torch. went to a house following the garden path to the front door only to fall down a 2 foot drop. luckily no injury. i rang my manager and told him i was coming back with mail left to deliver.
delivering in the dark is only okay on town duties in well lit areas that you have knowledge of the route. the other thing i found is that people are very reluctant to answer their doors when it is dark.

Delivering in the Dark

27 Sep 2020, 19:13

Woody Guthrie wrote:
Cucumber wrote:Why is at seen as 'acceptable' for part time staff (on the whole) as being the ones to do the later shifts? Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there will be some full time staff doing it, but it seems to be only part time staff in our area.


The indoor work has to be completed before any delivery work can be completed.


The only thing that NEEDS done first thing is the IPS. There would be nothing to stop around 1/3 of full time staff in each office coming in at say 10:30am and prepping both their own duty plus that of another 2 members of (part time) staff who are starting at 12:30. It would help immensely with social distancing with far less staff in at once. As it stands in our place, over 90% of the staff are in first thing - that number could be drastically cut with staggered starts - Full time early, full time mid morning, part time regular time (9:30am ish), part time afternoon.

Delivering in the Dark

27 Sep 2020, 19:41

If we held back 1/3rd of the full-time staff until 10.30 there would be no one in the office from 8 until 10.30 and that 1/3rd would be in the office and loading up at the same time as the 12.30 starts which is counter intuitive.

There would be no business reason for it and it would be just for show.

Delivering in the Dark

27 Sep 2020, 21:25

Woody Guthrie wrote:If we held back 1/3rd of the full-time staff until 10.30 there would be no one in the office from 8 until 10.30 and that 1/3rd would be in the office and loading up at the same time as the 12.30 starts which is counter intuitive.

There would be no business reason for it and it would be just for show.


Like anything, it would work better in some offices over others. Our times for leaving for delivery are between 9:30-10am, very last person out the door at 10:15. That's what my 10:30am for 'second wave' of FT staff was based on. Most offices round our way are 9:30-10am dispatch.

In short, in our office/area it would be totally possible to have staggered start/dispatch times for both part time and full time staff.

Delivering in the Dark

29 Sep 2020, 21:15

kingdazzler wrote:the other thing i found is that people are very reluctant to answer their doors when it is dark.

I know how those people feel. I don't even answer my phone after dark.

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