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19 Feb 2009, 13:14

Guidelines for CWU Unit Reps


These guidelines have been produced by the South East Divisional Reps to assist CWU Unit Reps who will be dealing with proposals for savings in their office. All reps will recognise various elements of this document and should pick and choose how best to use these to assist them in their negotiations.

Weekly Resourcing Meetings

One of the major roles of a CWU Unit Rep is to ensure that they attend their unit’s weekly resourcing meetings in line with the pay and modernisation agreement and as such they should receive paid release from their normal duties to attend these meetings. If you do not have these meetings then you should record a disagreement in line with the Industrial Relations Framework (see appendix 1).

All reps should consider the Health & Safety aspects when discussing resource meeting. How will staff be conveyed out onto delivery? Do meal breaks require re-alignment? Use the resource meeting to enforce safety standards, be prepared to seek advice from either the office Workplace Safety Rep or the Area Safety Rep.

Here is a list of Core Subjects that should be discussed at weekly resourcing meetings with an explanation point for each issue;

Review last weeks arrangements
(Make a note of the financial week number and the date)

1. Were there any problems identified that affected the normal running of the Delivery Office (e.g. allocation of overtime, unusual traffic fluctuation etc) If YES, what actions will be taken to prevent future problems?
• Review last weeks arrangements (this should be in light of any operational difficulties so you can identify any problems and discuss solutions so if the scenario crops up again all parties know how the office will cope with it).

2. Was any duty time lapsed? If so how much and what were the reasons?
• This is to ensure that any savings identified can go forward to the 50/50 share scheme.

3. Did the office run to budget?
• This is also to ensure that any savings identified can go forward to the 50/50 share scheme.

4. Productivity 50 / 50 share scheme
• Having gathered the information from questions one and two you should now ask how many hours will be contributed to the units 50/50 share scheme and what does that amount to in cash.

Review the next three weeks arrangements
(Make a note of the financial week numbers and the dates)

1. Anticipated traffic volumes (Any indicators of volumes being unexpectedly high or low?)
• Look at last years traffic figures for the same weeks as an indication or has the unit been notified of any bulk postings?

2. What is the expected Sick Absence, Annual or Special Leave and how will it be covered?
• Are there any long term sick, have all the annual leave slots been taken, has anyone been granted special leave? If so how will these jobs be covered while they are away?

3. How will the Actual Working Duties be covered in your office?
• Will all duties be covered or will people be asked to cover duties on overtime or will people be asked if they want to work their day off?

4. Have all duties and leave reserves been covered for the week?
• The same as question 3 and also have all the units reserves been placed against a duty?

5. Is there an intention to lapse any duties if so why?
• Are any deliveries going to be collapsed? If so why and how much will go to the 50/50 share scheme? (check back on this when you get next weeks answers to see if this actually happened and the correct number of hours went to the 50/50 share scheme)

6. What are the proposed working arrangements?
• Who is doing what duty? This must be clearly displayed in the delivery office so everyone knows in advance what duty they will be performing next week.

7. What is the current office establishment e.g. F/T, P/T and Reserves?
• This is important information that CWU Reps must be aware of so they can keep a check on the staffing base (how many staff the unit should have) of their office on an ongoing basis

8. What is the Current staff in post figures?
• Knowing this information allows you to identify current staff in post (staff that the unit actually has) against establishment (how many staff the unit should have). If there is a difference between the two you should ask and fully understand why.

9. How many D2D contracts are expected and are there any weight on delivery issues?
• The agreed maximum is 3 per delivery. Are all the D2D contracts a standard weight or do any of them warrant an increased payment? There may be weight on delivery issues such as a requirement for additional bag replenishment.

Those are the core questions that should be asked however there is one golden rule, never be afraid to ask. Below is a list of other questions that might be useful.

• Have any requests been made by staff to change/swap duties (This information is important to our members especially with the flexibility part of the Pay and Modernisation agreement)

• Ensure that duties and Over Time lists are displayed within the agreed parameters of when members / staff need to know in your office

• Have Overtime levels and rest days been agreed?

• Identify any new delivery points (Have they been entered in A+?) (This information is crucial especially where offices are going through a Geo-route revision and for D2D payments)

• Are there any new entrants or transferees starting that week? Will they need training?

• Are there any duties that are currently vacant in the Unit? When will they be advertised (Refer to Resourcing Agreement for Vacancies appendix 2)

• Are there any general weight on delivery or replenishment issues

• Is facility time required for the CWU Rep (If yes, is it covered? or how will it be covered?)

• Are there any perceived resourcing issues for that week? E.G. Sick absence, annual leave, high traffic levels etc?

• What are the proposed working arrangements?

• Are there any walks going over 3.5 hours?

• Are there any Seasonal Plans that you need to discuss EG Christmas Pressure, Summer Staffing etc?

Outputs from the meetings should show clearly the topics discussed, actions agreed and who is responsible for taking actions. Outputs should be jointly signed and displayed. If for any reason action points are delayed, updates must be provided to members/employees. You should seek every opportunity to provide people with an update of your discussions jointly through your weekly WTL sessions and, give our members the opportunity to input and become more involved. Identify areas for discussion and take them forward into Joint Problem Solving and the normal negotiation process via the Industrial Relations Framework (see appendix 1).

Remember the weekly Resourcing meeting is not the only time for discussion. Any issues identified for negotiation must be proposed in writing for further discussion which should be progressed inline with the negotiation process as laid out in the IR Framework.

The next page shows a typical resource meeting check list which can be adapted to suit the range of questions for your unit.

Weekly Resource Meeting
Date: Time:
Financial Week:



Review last weeks arrangements
Financial Week: Yes/No Comments/Actions

1. Were there any problems identified that affected the normal running of the Delivery Office (e.g. allocation of overtime, unusual traffic fluctuations etc). If yes, what actions will be taken to prevent future problems?
2. Was any duty time lapsed? If so how much and what were the reasons?
3. Did the office run to budget?
4. Are there any contributions to the 50/50 share scheme? Hours: Cash: £

Review the next three weeks arrangements
1. Anticipated fluctuations in traffic volumes
2. What is the expected Sick Absence, Annual Leave and how will it be covered?
3. How will the Actual Working Duties be covered?
4. Have all duties and leave reserves been utilised?
5. Is there an intention to lapse any duties? If so, why?
6. What are the proposed working arrangements? To be clearly displayed within the unit
7. Are there any Rehabilitation duties?
8. What is the current office establishment (e.g. F/T, P/T, & Reserves) F/T: P/T: Reserves F/T: P/T: Vacancies

9. What is the current staff in post? (SIP) F/T: P/T: F/T: P/T:
10. How many D2D contracts are expected? (Are there any weight on delivery issues?)
11. Are there any Health & Safety issues?
12. Any Other Business

Outputs from this meeting must be clearly displayed on the office floor with copies sent to the CWU Area Rep and DSM
Receiving and Dealing with Proposals.

All Reps must ensure that when they receive proposals or wish to put proposals to management they are given facility time to read through the proposals or work them up. Don’t just simply consider proposals on a savings basis, ensure the Workplace/Area Safety Rep is involved to ensure safety standards are met prior to your response to the proposals. Discuss the proposals with both management and members and respond to the proposals. If in doubt contact your Area Rep for advice. If you do not receive paid release from their normal duties to consider the proposals you should record a disagreement in line with the industrial relations framework (see appendix 1).

All reps should ensure that the rationale of the proposals are explained to them and how the manager intends to cover the workload if they are suggesting time comes out of the office.

All Reps should ensure they have all the relevant information for their office such as, traffic figures, walk-sort figures, staff in post, full time / part time mix, leave reserves, current vacancies, potential forthcoming vacancies, long term sick, office budget etc. If you have doubts about the traffic figures for the office ask for a manual count of mail in your office.

All reps should consider the proposals that have been put to them and a reasoned response should be made just saying no is not an option.

If you cannot agree to the proposals then set out the reasons why, e.g. loss of earnings, loss of full time jobs, Q of S, proposals are unworkable or the proposals are outside of current national agreements such as 3.5 hour delivery span etc and then proceed to stage 1 of the Industrial Relations Framework (see appendix 1).

All Reps should ensure that current vacancies are managed in line with the Delivery Resourcing agreement (see appendix 2)

The next page shows a typical stage disagreement form, only use this after you have read and understood appendix 1.

After free and frank local discussion it is agreed that despite every effort, it has not been possible to reach full agreement on this issue. It is also agreed that all avenues for agreement have now been exhausted and therefore this issue will be escalated in the next stage of disagreement process inline with the IR Framework.

(Give a brief description of the details)

Points of Agreement

Are there any points that can be agreed?

Points of Disagreement

CWU Royal Mail




Stage 1 Disagreements will be referred to DSM for Royal Mail & Area Representative for CWU to facilitate Stage 2
Stage 2 Disagreements will be referred to AGM & Divisional Rep to facilitate Stage 3 of the process
Working Safely

All Reps when receiving proposals from their managers should ensure that all working safely options are put back to management such as ensuring that to reduce the effects of fatigue all delivery staff, whether full or part time, must have their rest break in one period prior to going out on delivery and all relief time should be written into duty 318’s. Remember, inline with government legislation, meal reliefs must not be taken at the front or the end of duty spans.

All Reps should ensure that any time put into the office where members who are starting before their time is taking into account. All Reps should ensure that all conveyance methods are in place and that Private Cars are not built into any planning methods.

Outdoor Risk Assessments & changes to the walk & identified hazards should be considered prior to the actual duty changes. Risk Assessments should be relevant, up to date & reflect the work the individual are performing. Bag Weight should be within the individuals capabilities (young workers & pregnant women for example) should carry less weight.

Reps should ensure that there is a system for weighing all bags on delivery prior to delivery and as such the bags should be in line with the bag weight matrix, (see appendix 3) The DOM should also produce an action plan for dealing with overweight pouches. Reps could also consider the two bag weight here, it is easier to implement first pouch of 16kg all other 11kg, than the bag weight matrix; it has been accepted in principal in most areas. Bag weights should be further reduced on hills & stairs, 8kg & 5kg depending on the severity & amount of stairs.

The use of delivery trolleys should be encouraged, but these should be considered in line with terrain & security assessments, no individual should use equipment they have not been trained to use. All delivery aids, trolleys, cycles & vans should be checked daily by the OPG & faults / damage reported straight away, no damaged equipment should be used.

Reps should also focus on drivers & overweight packets & parcels Parcel’s over 20kg should be a two man lift or the business should provide equipment for transporting over weight packets. Driving standards should be adhered to at all times, both the high-way code (speed limits) & security standards (working from the back of the van) should be enforced at all times.

All Manual Handling tasks should be Risk Assessed jointly by the DOM & WSR. If for whatever reason management refuse to adhere to any of the above proceed to stage 1 of the I.R. Framework (see appendix 1).

Pegasus/Geo-route Revisions

Most offices in the South East have had a Pegasus/Geo-route revision implemented as such if you receive proposals for savings you must ensure that the current revision is working and where there are problems with the revision then a response to savings proposals must be that management put right what is wrong with the current revision before trying to implement further savings plans (see appendix 4).

You may need to revisit call rates if they were set to low, check your 1.7% attendance rate especially if packets and priority items are up in your office (see appendix 5). Where a Pegasus/Geo-route revision has taken place do not allow management to withdraw a walk and propose to absorb it with others.

Where Pegasus/Geo-route revisions haven’t already taken place insist upon being fully trained on the use of Pegasus/Geo-route before the revision process starts (see appendix 6). If management will not agree to this proceed to stage 1 of the I.R. Framework (see appendix 1).

Member Involvement

All reps must ensure that our members are kept up to date with proposals management are putting to them and any agreement / disagreement must be communicated to our members either one to one or at a meeting.


We understand that all reps are going to be under a lot of pressure from Royal Mail to agree their savings plans. We must ensure that the pressure is put back onto Royal Mail and that they do not impose savings into offices by taking shortcuts and not following the Industrial Relations Framework (appendix 1).

We have to get the message over to our members that Royal Mail are insistent that they want every minute of the day worked for them and “job and knock” really is a think of the past. If our members work safely and do not take short cuts we can stop Royal Mail in their “tracks”.

We hope this pack will be of some benefit to you all when dealing with proposed changes in your office, please feel free to contact us if you have any further ideas we could put together to try and make your job a little easier.

Being a Delivery Unit Rep is a hard job, but please be aware you are not alone. If you need assistance, advice or just a friendly chat contact your Area Delivery Rep, Area Safety Rep, Divisional Rep or Branch Office, remember Unity is Strength.

South East Divisional Reps for the Communication Workers Union
Appendix (1)

Industrial Relations Framework

Section 1.3
Achieving Local Agreement

Royal Mail and CWU are committed to the creation and maintenance of positive and constructive industrial relations in the interests of customers and employees. Both the Union and the Business recognise that trust between them cannot be created by words alone, but must develop out of open, clear and courteous behaviour at all levels.

The purpose of this agreement is to set down a framework for the discussion of issues whether proposed by Royal Mail or the CWU, which involve the interests of groups of employees.

3. It is the aim of both parties to encourage the interest of employees in business affairs through the exchange of information and consultation. Consultation allows for discussions between the two parties on the exploration of proposals and any differences that may exist. It provides the opportunity for each party of modify the views of the other. Both parties are committed to engaging in open discussions where the aim will be to establish common ground. Where negotiation is appropriate, the parties are committed to operating the procedures described in paragraphs 5 to 13 of this section.

The following general principles are accepted as paramount:

a) that at all times the parties must be driven by the objective of seeking to reach agreement;

b) that joint consultation can promote consent and understanding and assist in the joint aim of developing employee participation and involvement in Royal Mail;

c) that discussion is most effective when participants are well informed and have confidence in each other - there must therefore be a willingness to share information, e.g. in relation to quality of service, productivity and costs;

d) That any proposals put forward by one party should always be considered by the other - they should never be rejected out of hand but, in all cases where they are not acceptable, a reasoned response should be made.

It shall be the objective to reach agreement without undue delay and, in order to avoid any subsequent misunderstanding as to the terms of an agreement; these should be set down in a written form which is as clear, simple and concise as possible.

6. In cases where, despite every effort, it is not possible to reach full agreement in the course of local discussions, the area manager and the area representative in the function concerned will record formally the reasons for disagreement and will then apply the following procedure.

The parties will review the statement which sets out their respective positions and views and, within a week, will conduct full, free and frank discussions with the objective of reaching agreement.

8. STAGE 2…
Failing agreement at Stage One the parties will, within one further week, identify precisely the issue[s] of disagreement, formally register this disagreement and meet to draw up an updated statement of their positions and views. This statement amplified by any arguments which either side wishes to put forward in support of its case, will be forwarded to the Divisional Headquarters and the CWU Divisional representative. Where there are questions of interpretation or clarification of national agreements, they will be pursued in line with paragraph 12 below.

Note: If, for any reason, either party refuses to participate in Stage One or Stage Two of the procedure, the other party may refer its statement and supporting case unilaterally.

9. STAGE 3…
Within two weeks of the statement of the case being sent to them, the area manager, area representative, divisional headquarters representative and a divisional CWU representative will meet with full authority to reach agreement on the issue.

This meeting may end in:

a) An agreement [signed by the local manager, the local CWU representative, the Royal Mail Divisional representative and the CWU Divisional Representative].

A formula which provides a basis for the resumption of negotiations between the original negotiating parties, or

A failure to reach agreement, in which case the procedure will be regarded as exhausted.

b) In those cases in which a formula is agreed for the resumption of negotiations at the original level, the parties will try to reach agreement within a further two weeks. Failing agreement at the end of two weeks, the procedure will be regarded as exhausted [unless the original formula agreed at this stage calls for a further Stage Three meeting].

c) In all cases where the procedure is exhausted without agreement, it will be the responsibility of the party raising the issue to advise the other of its intentions.

d) Until the procedure has been exhausted there shall be no industrial action of any kind by Union members. For its part, Royal Mail will continue to apply national and local agreements which are already in place or have been agreed for implementation [or, where there is no recorded agreement, whatever practice has been in place for at least one working week immediately prior to Stage One being entered into]. The only exception to this rule is where an urgent operational, health, safety or legal requirement cannot be delayed. In such circumstances the requirement will be fully explained immediately to the local CWU Representatives and employees concerned. Either party may subsequently review the circumstances leading to the action and propose how to deal with such cases in future.

10. Having reached an agreement, both parties will have an obligation to ensure that its terms are carried out. Agreements shall continue to operate until such time as they are renegotiated.


11. Issues of an individual nature should be dealt with under the appropriate separate procedure. Individual grievances should be progressed using the terms set out in the Individual Grievance Procedure.

12. Only questions involving the interpretation or clarification of national agreements may be put to Royal Mail HQ and CWU HQ. Such questions should be raised at the earliest possible stage and, when referred to them, Royal Mail HQ and CWU HQ representatives will meet within two weeks to clarify the agreement in question.

13. Either party will bring to the notice of the other party any breaches of this agreement and is entitled to expect that any such breaches will be viewed seriously by both parties.

14. Any disagreements over the application of this agreement will be pursued in line with the provisions of the Section.

Appendix (2)

Delivery Resourcing Agreement
Vacancies at Delivery Offices

Further to the letter from Royal Mail’s Operations Director this joint clarification provides a simple process for delivery offices to follow when dealing with vacancies.

All vacancies should be dealt with in line with the national agreements covering efficiency savings, Way Forward (Way of Working) and the Industrial Relations Framework. Both parties confirm that there is no embargo on either full time or part time recruitment,

1. All impending vacancies should be identified as far in advance as possible, and in sufficient time to fully utilise the IR Framework.

2. Once identified they should form part of the local weekly resourcing meetings and/or monthly resourcing/strategic involvement meetings. Time should be set aside at the weekly resourcing meetings to discuss longer term resourcing issues not just the week ahead.

3. Where a mutually acceptable solution cannot be found at the resourcing meeting then formal proposals regarding the vacancies should be exchanged and the full terms of the IR Framework followed. Both parties will commit to concluding the process within 4 weeks.

4. There will be isolated incidences when unplanned vacancies occur. These should be the exception rather than the rule. When they occur offices will in the short term cover the workload in line with normal local procedures and national agreements. The long term solution should then be agreed in line with process above with each case dealt with on its individual merits.

Where unplanned vacancies occur and the units agree to fill vacancies on reduced hourage while the process above is being exhausted, any savings agreed in the final deal will be backdated. Savings will be accrued in line with the efficiency agreement from the date the reduced hours are introduced.

Signed………………………… Signed…………………………
CWU Royal Mail


Appendix (3)

Weight on Delivery

This simple term covers much of our member’s exposure to manual handling whilst undertaking delivery work. In legal terms Manual Handling refers to the lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling or carrying of a load. Your employer has a legal duty to ensure that you or your members come to as little harm as possible from its undertaking.

Weights: - ‘Must be monitored and adequately controlled- the maximum pouch weight is;’

• 1st pouch 16kg,
• 2nd pouch must not weigh more than 16kg,
• 3rd pouch 12kg,
• 4th pouch 10kg,
• 5th pouch 10kg and
• 6th pouch 8kg and a maximum of 8kg thereafter.

However, the Max Pouch weights must be reduced if walking up slopes greater than 1 in 12 to 8kg and reduced to a Max of 5kg if walking up slopes greater than 1 in 8 or the delivery walk is one that predominantly goes up and down stairs etc. For young people under 18 the maximum weight of a pouch must not exceed 10kg.

All weights are ‘Maximum Weights’ not ‘Target Weights’. Additionally, individual capability may also need to be considered in certain cases when carrying out a Walk Risk Assessment.

Cycles can only carry one pouch of 16kg max. Cycle panniers can only carry 8kg max each side (Subject to a security assessment).

Below are the only trolleys currently authorised for use:

• Three pannier trolley (being phased out), max load 54 kg and Max, gross weight is 80kg with 18kg per pannier

• Lightweight golf trolley – max load 32 kg and max gross weight is 38.6kg with 16kg per pannier

• High Capacity Trolley – on flat/undulating terrain the max load is 70kg and the Max gross weight 105kg. Weight on delivery

Appendix (4)

One To One
Duty Review and Maintenance Process.

Duty Number:

Duty Holders Name:

Section 1 Prepping For Delivery

Is the delivery fitting correctly laid out?

If not have you informed the manager?

Are weight on delivery solutions identified and being used on delivery?

Are outdoor hazards identified on the prep fitting?

Do you have adequate prep time to leave the office at the required time?

Are there any other issues you would like to raise around prepping for delivery?

Actions required & by who & when?

Section 2 Delivery Spans

Using Wed/Thurs/ Friday as a measure is the delivery span 3 hours 30 minutes?

If the delivery span is not 3 hours 30 minutes, what is the delivery span?

Have you informed your manager that the delivery span if incorrect?

What action do you think could be taken to rectify the delivery span?

Is there an element of dead walking in the delivery span?

Is the walk correctly sequenced to the shortest route?

Are there any other issues you would like to raise around the delivery span?

Actions required by who & when?


Are there any other issues you would like to raise around conveyance to delivery?

Actions required by who & when?

Section 4 Risk Assessments & Welfare facilities.

Does the duty have an up to date Walk Log?

Have you reported all new hazards to the manager?

Are, all weight on delivery solutions compliant with the Security measures.

Are outdoor hazards identified on the prep fitting?

Is there a separate WPQ3 on the fitting?

If not have you requested further Weight on Delivery solutions if required?

At what time of the day do you take your meal break?

If you take part of your break during your delivery is this identified in the walk log?

Are known dogs identified by a paw print & dog warning card on the prep fitting?

Are there any other issues you would like to raise around Risk Assessments & Welfare facilities?

Actions required by who & when?

Section 5 Any Other Issues

Do you have any further issues you wish to raise around the entire working practices/conditions?

Review and Monitoring Process

As outlined in the Review and monitoring process there will be a formal review at weeks 4, 8 and 12. This process should be followed at all three review periods. (N.B See week 12 review)

Week Four

Step One

• The Dom and the Local CWU Rep will meet with all CDV holders on a one to one basis, or as the dual users of the CDV, using the questionnaire in appendix (a) and log all the issues.

Step Two

• The Dom and Local CWU Rep will agree what changes can be made that will guarantee quick wins for all concerned that will solve any potential problems / issues.

Step Three

• The DSM, Dom, Local CWU Rep, Area Delivery Rep and Area Health and Safety Rep will meet to discuss all outstanding issues and identify potential solutions for all issues highlighted by OPG’s, Managers and CWU Reps. The solutions and issues will be logged and copied to the AGM and the CWU Divisional Rep.

Week Eight

• As above

Week Twelve

• As above, however appendix (B) should also be used within the formal 12 week review and any issues still not resolved should then progress through the Industrial Relations Framewor

Appendix (5)

Attendance Call Exercise

Q1. If you delivered to 533 calls on your walk, how many attendance calls would you be credited for within the system.

Q2. If you actually had to make 19 attendance calls on the same walk because it had a large number of people working from home or used internet shopping for example, what would be the actual attendance call percentage figure for your walk

Attendance Call Exercise: Answer

Q1. 533 x 1.7 = 9.06 (9 Attendance Calls)


533 x 1.7 / 100 = 9.06

Q2. 19 x 100 = 3.56 % (3.6%) attendance call rate


19 x 100 / 533 = 3.56%

Appendix 6

Pegasus/Geo-route Revisions

Pay and Major Change Agreement 2003

Introducing the Single Daily Delivery

On Going Commitments

4. General Issues

b) In parallel with SDD deployment Royal Mail and CWU will jointly review all aspects of Pegasus to ensure it is fit for purpose as a revision tool. Pegasus may be used purely as a planning tool that can assist in developing delivery routes with balanced workload. Where this is the case local CWU representatives will be offered training prior to its use. Exceptionally, where units have already commenced planning, using Pegasus, representatives will be offered the training immediately. It can also be used as a replacement system for A plus to maintain accurate address point information capturing delivery point changes.


19 Feb 2009, 16:20

Copied into downloads and stickied as well,cheers lj.


11 Mar 2009, 08:36

Has anyone got this for a processing version please?

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