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21 Mar 2007, 19:41

An excellent thread with even better debate.


Why do you all believe everything you read in the papers???

It's been Union policy for some time that we have the UK average wage.
It's been Union policy for donkey's years that we have a 35 hour week.

No one is expecting it to happen in one go, least of all the CWU, yet the story hits the press and everyone assumes we want it in one hit.

There are changes ahead so big most people won't be able to comprehend. In 5 years time Royal Mail will be unrecognisable to what it is today.

Do we fight the change or embrace it?

Do we allow those to go who want to go, shed 30,000 to 40,000 and give the rest £400 a week?

Give those thats left a 35hr week and £400/£500 a week and you'll have the most highly motivated workforce in the country in any industry.

Highly skilled, highly paid, highly motivated, and with the best quality.

And ready to kick the competition into touch.

21 Mar 2007, 21:23

Geordie, i would love to have £400 or£500 a week and a 35 hour week that isnt what RM want they want a part time workforce, Fozzie has said what ive said in previous threads on this site that they want mums who drop their kids off at school and then come in and pick a bag of mail up for 3 or 4 hours a day, the thing is as ive already said if you have what you say do you honestly think that yours and everybodys pension could stand 80,000 less contributions being paid into it, and your right in 5 years time this job will be unrecognisable and there are massive changes on the way but i dont think it will be in the way you say.

one point of information

21 Mar 2007, 21:32

I will say time and time again

Management have been cut more so than frontline staff since SDD/Mail Centre Review and Transport Review. Adam Crozier said, 'what company would put in three massive operational changes at the same time?' He thought it was madness. He also said, 'if 3,000 managerial redundancies delivers more savings than the whole of SDD and without a strike, then why are we hitting the frontline?'

I can personally inform all of you that the frontline was not supposed to be cut over recent years unless then hadn't put in SDD. There were no specific projects to do this.

Now is different. The need to upgrade machinery to compete with the competition and put in DO walksort technology will ultimately mean a reduction in Ops jobs, that means frontline/management and support roles.

One thing that Adam and Big Al do not want is poor quality of service. This is a journalists bread and butter especially 1st quality of service, and especially in areas where celebrities and journalists live (West London, and Notting Hill Gate, Islington, and some SW postcodes).

You may think I'm crackers or talking out my backside but this was the mentality whilst I was working in Head Office.

Who killed Bob?

21 Mar 2007, 23:04


I genuinely believe its possible.

Give RM (virtually) everything they want - but the trade off is a 35 hr week and uk average pay, both within 5 years.

That timescale fits in with Royal Mail's latest renewal plan, which is scheduled to last 4/5 years.

Yes, there'll be loads of AG's, but the FT people left can acheive what I've said.

I reckon the renewal plan and my aims go hand in hand.

The alternative for Royal Mail is a war which they don't want.

We either fight all their proposals, and we'll have the war, but most changes will come in bit by bit anyway....

or we embrace the change and say this is what it will cost.

The latter option has the moral high ground, puts the employer on the back foot and us in the driving seat.

Don't fancy the ride? then EVR will be available by the bucketload

21 Mar 2007, 23:21

I can tell you Fozzie that i have worked in RM for 24 years and in that time i have seen bosses given fantastic EVR settlements, NO BOSSES WERE EVER MADE REDUNDANT, the first time it happened some bosses were given an EVR package and then got a job back working for RM some as PHGs, the old pals act so please dont expect me to shed any tears over how bad they have had it, as for technology thats been taking jobs ever since the industrial revolution, but im telling you now if these machines come in they will not be any more efficient than manual sorting apart from the fact that, that they will take jobs, and in 10 years all the knowledge that makes us better than any competition will be lost. Fozzie Im still not sure whos side your on, youre too secretive for my liking.

21 Mar 2007, 23:29

Geordie mate it still doesnt answer the question on pensions, and also there will be plenty of EVRs but it wont be for big money, thats all been used for bosses EVRs, we heard that a DO in our area had offered full time staff £20,000 to go part time, to the likes of Leighton and Crozier were, expendable, the more of us they get rid of cheaply the more proffit they make.

21 Mar 2007, 23:41

Interesting posts,and Geordie,i like your style,like i said if it was done properly then all could be happy.

As for the 4hr thing,i can only go by what it's like in my office,i do 5 walks a week,most of the time i make time out of it,and yes there is no doubt people out there that doesn't want things increased,that's understandable,but again if i look around my office and the 5 that i do if someone came to me and said we'll put 30 mins on top of each of them (the actual calls to be fully agreed by all parties)and i'll wack your wages up,then sorry but i'd have it.

I would say that most of the walks in the country are 'officially' 3 1/2hrs,is there anybody on here that has a walk that takes that time on the 6 days that the walk is done?
Yes it can do,and at times the ones i do does,but at times it's busy then at times it's not,some days 30mins wont kill me some days it will be hard but i'll be happer knowing i'm getting a good wack for it.

I understand that money is not the be all and end all but the chance to earn a good wage for a few bad days is too much to resist.
This mail malarkey is so up and down it's prartically impossible for us to be caned every day.

But like i said i'm going by what i do now it may be completley different at your place guys.

Maybe it could start at 3-45 and gradually be brought in?

As for the pension thing,RM are looking for job cuts anyway so i'm presumeing there's a plan of action.

EVR ....

21 Mar 2007, 23:41

... is something that people in my office complained about last year, when we were under pressure to make efficiency savings to put into the national pay pot.

But they weren't complaining that too many people were being allowed to leave. Quite the opposite, in fact. We lost six duties, and some of those who didn't get the chance to take EVR had the right hump.

Some of the ones who "missed out" are at the point in their career where what they might earn before they retire is about the same as they could get from EVR. As one said to me, "if it's a choice between getting up early and doing a hard physical job for the next few years, or going now and not having to do that anymore, show me where to sign". I think Geordie is right.

If RM needs a smaller workforce, and there are enough volunteers to take EVR, and those savings then finance a wage structure that pays people a decent wage, you have to question why the CWU would (presumably) be opposed to it. Isn't their primary function to strive to ensure the best pay and conditions for their members ? Or have some of the people on the CWU executive got so out-of-touch that they think their main objective is to make sure they have the maximum number of members paying-in every week, so they can swan off to conferences and use our subs for political campaigning :roll:

21 Mar 2007, 23:46

Good post and good point HH,there are bods in my place that are praying for EVR,enough for good savings IF we were going the way we're talking about,and they will still want it in the next few years.

And i think you're bang on about the unions stance on it.

I was under the impression that WE were the union!!

21 Mar 2007, 23:54

POSTMAN wrote:

As for the pension thing,RM are looking for job cuts anyway so i'm presumeing there's a plan of action.

I see the point about pensions, too. I mean, if say 30,000 people leave on EVR, then that's a lot of weekly employee contributions not going into the pot. But... if someone in their early forties who would otherwise rack up another 20+ years of pensionable service takes EVR, that must mean the future burden on the pension scheme is reduced as well (i.e. scheme pays a much smaller weekly pension and / or lump sump to that individual than would have been the case if they'd stayed with Royal Mail ) ???

22 Mar 2007, 00:17

POSTMAN wrote:

As for the pension thing,RM are looking for job cuts anyway so i'm presumeing there's a plan of action.

I see the point about pensions, too. I mean, if say 30,000 people leave on EVR, then that's a lot of weekly employee contributions not going into the pot. But... if someone in their early forties who would otherwise rack up another 20+ years of pensionable service takes EVR, that must mean the future burden on the pension scheme is reduced as well (i.e. scheme pays a much smaller weekly pension and / or lump sump to that individual than would have been the case if they'd stayed with Royal Mail ) ???

I'm not on any side

22 Mar 2007, 09:24

Tommo et al. I'm not on any side. I don't have a pension from RM, I don't work for them.

There will be some boffins in Old St trying to work out the impact on the pensions. My main worry for you lot is the fact that there is a large deficit, fewer people paying in etc....

Remember that you only see a relatively small part of the company when you are in your DO. There is a massive operational and support structure to get that post into the DO on time and departmens out their to support posties.

We are trying to discuss issues that are being discussed in the HQ towers. Believe when I say they aren't sitting their counting beans and saying oo how rich can I get? If they wanted to do that they'd be in the private sector working for a ulti-national earning £££'s

However much machinery comes in the 'knowledge' as well as other things will keep you going. But then again look what's happened to milkmen over the last 30 years, and don't be surprised in 30 years time there aren't any cabbies left.

Communicating by post is actually diminishing and for the first time Direct Mail volumes are falling. RM will have to cut duties and merge more walks. The question is how much can a postie take out? And for how long can they walk?

Everyone is going to have to be more flexible in their thinking. For example on the continent there are more communal public letter-boxes where people pick their mail from. This idea of having your post delivered into your letter-box maybe become a luxury & a premium you have to pay for. This is just an idea. There used to be an innovations team but that got axed a few years back who spent time looking into the future trends and trying to be ahead of the game. We are behind many European country's in terms of how we go about doing post.

I want to see the job become a highly respectable job again, and not a Mcjob, which is what I saw it becoming when I worked for RM. We can go either way I know which service I'd prefer.

:so there

22 Mar 2007, 10:59

Theres a couple of points that have been made one is about if someone leaves the business and doesnt rack up another 20 years on his pension, pensions work on whats being paid in to fund pensions that are usualy being paid out to members that have already retired, and just remember that for every £20 that you pay in every week RM pays the same amount in, so its not just one contribution thats lost, if theres not enough money being paid in then the only route that they have got is to start taking funds out of the pension assets to pay the pensions or alter your pension.
As for EVRs we would probably all take them if they offered big money, they wont. And one final point My duty does take me 3 to 4 hours dependant on volumes, i know at some offices some take longer.

22 Mar 2007, 15:40

Fair do's about your duty johno,and others,i can only go with my place.

Fozz,as for communal letter boxs :crazy: you've got no chance in this day and age,the hoddies would have a field day.
And i cant EVER see peeps paying to have their Mail delivered to their front door.
While the job will change,i can see less staff doing more work,not sure things would get that drastic.

One thing i got in my Google alerts,the sainsbury geezer has said he'll only come to us if he's guaranteed to privatize us.
Sounds like a money grabbing cock to me,i'm suprised i'm suprised.

Johno47, I see your point

22 Mar 2007, 20:00

about how pensions are paid to people who have already retired.

But this 'black hole' in the pension fund is what the actuaries (number-crunchers) have forecast will happen, based on a number of important assumptions. Their job is to calculate the cost of future pensions and raise the alarm if the level of contributions looks likely to fall short of the funds that might have to be paid out if all existing employees continue in service with RM right up to their retirement date and therefore get a full pension.
As with all final-salary schemes, the amount you receive in your weekly pension is dictated in part by how many years contributions you have paid in, surely ? It surely isn't the case that someone who joins RM at age 64 would get the same pension as someone with 40 years service ?

What I was trying to say was that if large numbers of people leave under EVR, then obviously, the pension scheme no longer gets the weekly contributions from those people, or RM's matching contributions. But it must also mean that the future liability - the amount the pension scheme might have to pay out - is also drastically reduced, especially for people who might otherwise have racked up many more years of pensionable service and thus be entitled to a much bigger pension.

As far as I understand it, the 'black hole' - whatever figure these people put on it - does not exist yet. It represents a potential liability if all other things remain the same as they are now. Any prudent employer is required to make provision for this potential (and that's the key word) liability, and that is why RM is having to set aside huge chunks of operating profit over the next 17 years, to meet this potential gap in funding. We all know why this has come about, i.e. succesive governments taking contribution holidays, but what I'm saying is that if loads of people leave on EVR terms, the size of the potential liability may even reduce slightly, given that many posties switch to night shift duties in their last few years, to try to boost the final salary on which their pension is based. IF I am correct, and RM are locked-in already to a plan of action to that addresses the potential liability as it stands today, another round of EVRs may result in the pension scheme becoming 'solvent' slightly earlier than the predicted 17 year forecast, because the future liability is reduced by paying smaller pensions to those that left early to take up - hopefully - other jobs elsewhere after taking EVR.

Just to make it clear, though. I only support VOLUNTARY redundancy, for those who are WANTING to leave. I am still vehemently opposed to any idea of compulsory redundancies :no no

22 Mar 2007, 20:14

I take your point mate, but there is one more factor to put in and that is replacing full time with part time, witch will also reduce the contributions, you know what RM are like if they can get out of any agreement and save money, they will, honesty, decency, and doing the right thing are not in RM thinking.[/b]

22 Mar 2007, 20:45

Bearing in mind I failed my maths o level, here's some sums:-

30,000 job losses at £323 a week equals £10 million a week in savings (for ever)

A £50 wage increase for the 100,000 left is £5 million a week (for ever)

That's £5 million a week that can plug the pension gap.

And none of that takes into account the residual savings from getting rid of 30,000 people - these savings, together with the £5 million a week when the pension gap is filled, will fund another £50 a week rise

AND pay for a 35 hour week.

As long as the redundancies are voluntary, what's the problem?

RM's carrot & stick

22 Mar 2007, 20:53

RM made it clear to the Union heads that if they don't play ball then Compulsory Redundancy will be imposed. So far EVR has been offered by selling off redundant estate, but it has cost the company billions and there is less money about these days.

There are plans afoot to out source more of the support services, such P&OS (about 2,000 employees who do all your HR stuff) and then the financial payroll department which is also lots of people. Don't be surprised as IT services, and welfare have already been outsourced. I am not an advocate of this particularly as I think we lose the human and local element of these jobs, those centralisation and outsourcing of repetitive low-skilled processes can be.

Herfordshire has it almost right regarding the pension and I reckon RM is much better protected on the pension deficit than most companies. I fear for the future of those on private pensions and many more black holes may appear in the medium term.

I also wanted to point out my frustration with RM over something. That is efficency savings versus transformation.

Headquarters on one hand put in transformational projects. However, there are also annual budget cuts/constraints that departmental heads have to meet to hit the financial shrt-term targets. This short termism is what in my opinion is what you see on a regular basis. I hate this approach as it's like snipping off the edges of a bit of paper and trying to write an essay on the remaining piece of paper. This causes in my opinion managment and frontline to get into a tense situation caused by finding 5% here and there. You end up with people trying to cut corners as they don't have time to properly restructure how an office can get something done.

anyway off to the boozer :crazy:

22 Mar 2007, 21:21

Geordie, if people want to take EVRs ive got no problem with that, RM have been dangling carrots in front of us for years, there will always be people who take it, i am just trying to point out that in the coming years there is going to be a problem with the pension funding, this business is being primed for a part time labour force, there will be full time but they will be in the minority, Fozzie says compulsary redundancys will be used b***ocks, doesnt that sound like RM scaremongering, and our pensions are better protected than others, wait till privatisation and see. RM doesnt do anything for our benefit, if they did what you say do you honestly think they would stick to that agreement, what was the last one, oh yes job and finnish.

Part-time jobs ?

22 Mar 2007, 23:32

johno47 wrote: i am just trying to point out that in the coming years there is going to be a problem with the pension funding, this business is being primed for a part time labour force, there will be full time but they will be in the minority

I understand the concerns about converting full-time jobs to part-time, but we still have a strong-ish union :roll: and I don't believe RM are about to just rip up people's terms and conditions and tell you that as of next week, you will only work for and be paid for a 20-hour week. The union would fight it to the death, we'd all be out on strike, TNT, DHL and UK Mail would be rubbing their hands and robbing our customers, and nobody would get their mail cause none of our competitors could rustle-up an army of delivery people at a moments' notice even if they were willing to work during the dispute.

Each week, as more people leave the business / retire / get sacked :mad , each full-time job could be re-advertised by RM as 2 part-time jobs. All of us will retire eventually, so if they really wanted to bring in a 'policy' of making the workforce part-time, phased in over a really long period of time, I don't see how we could stop it !
But part-time jobs would not in themselves mean less money available to pay pensions, because as with the debate over EVRs, part-timers would put in lesser contributions but would also represent a lesser future liability for the pension fund.

Anyway, who wants job and finnish ?

I want job and Swedish. Preferably UL-RI-KAK-KA-KA :pray :Very Happy

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