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11 May 2018, 13:05


No. 279/18
Ref: TL 29.00

10th May 2018

To: All Branches

Dear Colleague


Thank you to all the Branches that have participated in the consultation thus far.

A few Branches have had difficulty uploading their responses to the Redesign Consultation. Please therefore find attached a Word document version of the questionnaire. Please note that submissions will be accepted via email to until the extended closing date of close of business Tuesday 15 May 2018.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to send any enquiries to the following email address

Yours sincerely

Dave Ward – General Secretary

Tony Kearns -Senior Deputy General Secretary

18LTB279 Redesign Consultation with Branches

Redesign-Booklet-Questions (3)

View Online


22 May 2018, 10:45

Self-preservation consultation more like it.

It would appear for the last 20 years CWUHQ have been fighting over who gets what job. With the vacuum left in the DGS (P) department following Dave Ward and his "team's" departure, We can reflect now following the Pullinger v Eliis election as the union Bosses mark out their salary territories.

The union finances have and always will be in decline, they have been in decline for some time, but before you go onto ask how We turn the curve up. Do We get value for money from our Officers ?

Lets start with Divisional Reps.

A Divisional rep elected with an alliance of the two biggest branches in any one division. A monkey and arguably some may argue that is the case can win the position of probably the most important link in the IR Framework. The Divisional Rep will receive JV2 money plus bonus from Royal MAil and will have an impress account for their expenses from the CWU. It has also been implied by some that they do not loose money whilst taking industrial action. Typically a Divisional Rep will not reflect the ethnicity of the workplace and currently there are no women divisional reps. Strictly speaking in terms of the IR Framework the Divisional Rep is responsible for the local enforcement of the IR Framework. Especially section three achieving local agreement. There is no mention of interfacing with HR, yet this is happening around the country. Why ? The Divisional Rep with all the trimmings of Managerial salary can in a strike of thought turn your whole disagreement into tatters. This same disagreement the Area and Local rep have fought passionately for could end. The Divisional rep will not be accountable and yet will still receive their salary , whilst the Area and local rep face the wrath of the membership. It seems questionable that when there is a particular problem they phone the Divisional rep first in a triage style call ? Interesting.

PEC Members.

Another position where literally anyone can get elected if you make the right noises from the rostrum at conference. This role or job is also non represented of our workplace. Recently awarded with a salary increase similar to a Divisional rep. But, beware the PEC member has a life of living out of suitcase and they are often used to plug gaps where Divisional reps have a lack of courage. I have all to often seen PEC members take the sword of being unelected because of National Officers decisions. It seems CWUHQ will use the same face over and over again. Normally the new guy until they are so unpopular and burnt out they are left and confused by the dizzy heights of Wimbledon. Of course any one genuine will be left in this state as they can perceived as a threat.

PEC Chair.

What does the current incumbent do you may ask ? It is evident She Chair's Conference and gives her view to the masses in the whole who in the main do not share her political belief. As a recent survey of members by the Hayes administration showed only one in four members vote Labour. But there is our Chair speaking to conference as if they are all flying the red flag. SO that is one week of the year dealt with, what does She do for the members the rest of the year ? This remains unclear, talk to any one in a public house local to CWUHQ and some staff may quip that they cannot wait to get her out of the way. Her attendance is that SHe makes the trip to London once a week from Liverpool and there seems to be a lack of evidence of her doing anything industrially for the members.

Policy Advisors.

Another interesting salaried role of CWUHQ. Each department has one and the terms of the job is not laid down clearly any where until you apply for the role as a job candidate, which by the way is a waste of time as the few have already selected their choice from the many. I guess if I had a policy advisor I would be utilising that person as my sounding board and confident, not using them as an enforcer or a national officer ex-officio. The Policy Advisor seems to have a boundless remit, they can talk and interface with the employer and even make agreements with them. Some even act like Line Management to elected reps up and down the Framework, yet they are employed by the CWU membership and not the other way round.

National Officers.

There are four National Officers in the Postal department. The Deputy General Secretary Postal (P) is the most Senior in the Postal department currently held by the smartly dressed smooth talking spiv from Dartford Terry Pullinger. His Policy Advisors are Chris Bennett long term ally and close friend from Dartford and Jeremy Baugh. Yes Jeremy Baugh who ? I don't know either who is or where He came from. These three played a huge role in nailling the pensions issue and agreeing the vague four pillows agreement. But many members and reps have not identified the real issues talked about nationally for nine months ? This detail needs to be investigated by Reps who are on 'Spanish' payments or full time release. The Pillows Agreement leaves many questions and provides little answers as more and more specific agreements are produced over the next two years to self finance the pay rise and pensions going forward. The legality of the IR Framework is also interesting, as I suspect there is an existing agreement drawn up in the private domain of the CWU of how legal the Framework actually is. One example is the role of HR. HR are more and more mentioned and quoted in industrial relations yet, there inclusion into the Framework is not mentioned.

The Assistant Secretaries responsible for their field is also worth examining. Two are elected and one is appointed. The Indoor department headed up by Rob Roy Davie Robertson was a political move by the Pullinger camp to tie up relations in the North and counter balance team Pullinger's London enemies. Davie's interface nationally is an interesting one, He seems to devalue his position by dealing with any ole Tom, Dick or Harry from Royal Mail. This in itself has a knock on effect further down the Framework and in fact undermines the Framework itself. It also goes far reaching in that it devalues positions underneath the national position in particular the Divisional Rep and Area Rep. The Local Rep who's endless task in finding a local agreement his then continually chasing the 'Local Agreement' that never exists in the first place once HR have also intervened.

The Assistant Secretary Mark 'Pie and Mash' Baulch stepped into the large shoes of the Outdoor Secretary Bob 'Jack Russell' Gibson. In keeping the balance of the union this London appointment has picked up the large poison chalice of deliveries where no one else dares go. So far Mark has realised the realities of digital technology in the backdrop of Letter decline. His hardest task will be to protect London delivery jobs.

The Assistant Secretary or in my opinion General Secretary in waiting Ray 'Guns' Ellis was the unsuccessful candidate in the DGS (P) elections trying to keep up with the Donald Trump style presidential campaign by Team Pullinger. Arguably, over qualified for the DGS (P) role Ray 'Gun' Ellis' cannot be ruled out of the GS role in time to come if in fact time is on his side. Ray's position currently is the job everyone else does not wish to do. All the unpopular issues end up on Ray's desk to deal with. The relative quiet man offers the real intellect and mechanics of agreements. What you see is what you get, but is their a place for his job in the future ? Are the rumours true about an amalgamation with Tony 'Golf' Rupa's department ?

The General Secretary.

The drive behind is looking at the union from the GS's view and shaving and reorganising a union fit for the future. But has anyone thought maybe where We need to start is right up at the top ? What is the GS role ? Photos with Corbyn which has already been mentioned is only supported by 25% of the members. There is no IR work to do. Finances are taken care of by Tony, so lets start here. Devolve the photo opportunities to the two DGS (P) departments and hey presto you save a small fortune right at the top. Is there a real need for Presidents and Chairs ? I do not understand why We don't appoint someone on the day to Chair a meeting or conference. So more savings there too.

Regional Secretaries.

The Regional Secretaries some think they are Managers in particular in the West country where its all to much. These anorak's who have no IR role and exist to pull the Branches together in their region, they also have an interesting line reporting directly to the General Secretary. By passing the the Industrial National Officers, a bit like HR do with the IR Framework, Regional Secretaries, get treated very nicely and are remunerated handsomely by the CWU and Employer. They can also template there own job as to what it does. They also act as personal political body guards to the GS, so very much in the interests of the GS to have them communicate direct with the GS department. But is this necessary ?

Or are We still pretending to be an Independent Trade Union, but We are not really as We a subsided by Royal Mail to the tune of £20 million each year. Maybe We need to seriously stop living in denial and merge with a bigger union whilst maintaining our constituencies, just like not being in the EU but having access to the best bits of a bigger union.
Last edited by TheBushBaby on 24 May 2018, 06:37, edited 2 times in total.


22 May 2018, 22:10

Worth a thought.


23 May 2018, 08:41

A very good analysis Bushbaby and one I agree with entirely apart from this point...

It would appear for the last 4 years CWUHQ have been fighting over who gets what job

I would say that's been the case since Keggie was ousted and the London Divisional Committe effectively took control of CWU HQ so you're really talking about the best part of 20 years of Machiavellian manoeuvring.


24 May 2018, 07:43

Thank you for your contributions. I may also do one about the Employment Law Department being below 'PAR'. :left:


24 May 2018, 18:52

TheBushBaby wrote:Thank you for your contributions. I may also do one about the Employment Law Department being below 'PAR'. :left:

Go on then. :shhhhh


24 May 2018, 21:22

A very interesting perspective. Best thing I have read on here in many a year.


28 May 2018, 21:29

Given it a thought or two; it does explain why my divisional and area rep are keen to get rid of seniority;fail to enforce national agreements ;health and safety is almost a dirty word. Nothing applies to our office ,all agreements on attendance ;SSOW;Flexing;employment law;equality act,etc are not applicable because of local conditions.
Why am I paying subs for a management staff association?


31 May 2018, 13:34

Special Conference announced - 3rd & 4th of November, B'Mouth.


31 May 2018, 19:58

Will Sue be serving the drinks and Rocky picking up the tab ? :shock: Moya might do a farewell dance of a thousand veils :silenced


01 Jun 2018, 06:41

Now watch the Regional Secretaries come into play with motions as the orders of the General Secretary. Remember what I said about being his Political body guards.


02 Jun 2018, 06:44

Bush baby wrong on so many counts. As a Long standing Divisional Rep , we are not on JV2’s money it was JV3s to begin with but we have got the pay rises the CWU have negotiated since 1995. We don’t get any other bonus other than £100 christmas bonus which was the solution to the colleague share fiasco.

We are on variation of contract and if unsuccessful in any election back as an OPG. We face elections every two years. It is an individual member ballot and in an election even CWU Postal member gets a ballot paper.

In terms of being in Royal Mail’s pocket , what a load of rubbish I have been suspended in the past , threatened with the sack , threatened with being taken to court over compensation for strike action. Whenever I deal with negoations on behalf of the Division or on behalf of a Branch at stage 3 or National Intrevention than it is the Branch’s call and we will always argue that.

Now in terms of the North / South Divide . Yes there was one for a few years as a result of the Way Forward , PBS and the interim Delivery Agreement which ended up with the removal of a number of the PEC members in 2000 who endorsed the Way Forward. John Keggie than lost to Billy Hayes in the GS election and than lost to Dave Ward in 2003 to the DGSP role.

The North / South Divide ended a number of years ago. How do I know ? Well I was involved in the talks with some of the North. We now have most Branch’s who vote for the full slate on the PEC regardless of geography which would not have happened 10 years ago.

In terms of redesign. There are two issues here one is we need to continue to be the leading union in the workplace. All the unions were shocked at the industrial action ballot figures and the Way gate meetings and social media ensured the CWU have the backing of the members across the UK. Redisgn is about making sure this continues.

Additionally there is a financial side to redisgn. The reality is that Royal Mail , Post Office Limited and British Telecom have lost thousand of jobs over the last few years. Additionally the increase in part timers and in BT agency has also meant that the CWU’s income has reduced.

The CWU however is asset rich. It owns 150 the Broadway which is only half full and I’d worth around £20 million . It owns the Alvescroft lodge which is underused and the majority of reps want more local training and it owns the Elstead Hotel.

The union has like most employeers and the union is an employer has a pension deficit , this is one which was before the merger with the NCU.

The CWU have already agreed a new pension scheme which will be a DB scheme a Care scheme with the GMB for all officers and staff. There have been a number of voluntary redundancies.

The Redisgn Conference will debate such things as

Selling Wimbledon and moving to a smaller building either rented or bought.
Selling the Averscoft and Elstead
Merging departments at HQs
Devolving works from National to Region including local training
Where there needs to be an annual industral conference or should there be more timely policy making forums ?
Branch accountability
And lots more.

The average age in Royal Mail is 48. The peak age group is 45 to 54. The question must be how do we get the younger generation into our core industries and into the CWU ?


12 Jun 2018, 20:49

The average age in Royal Mail is 48. The peak age group is 45 to 54. The question must be how do we get the younger generation into our core industries ?

:hmmmm That is surely not a question for the union?
I thought the union was there to promote improvements in the terms and conditions of it's membership.
When did the role change to promoting strategic national industrial strategy?

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