01 Jul 2016, 17:30
Just 542 job losses this time!
The following is a communication from Paula Vennells Chief Executive
Supporting our network in the future:
An update on our Network Transformation Programme
As you are aware, our Network Transformation Programme is well on the way to completion. In four years we have modernised 6,300 branches, and more than 7,100 postmasters have signed up.
This is a huge achievement for everyone involved. As a result, the Post Office network is now open for nearly 200,000 more hours, serving customers all over the UK. It’s incredible to think that only four years ago we had just 350 branches open on Sunday. Today there are around 3,800 - it’s increased more than tenfold!
NTP is a major investment of resources and energy and, thanks to the hard work of our colleagues, it is building the network that will be the foundation of our business in the future.
Our modernised branches are popular both with customers and with the postmasters who operate them. Customer satisfaction stands at a combined 97 per cent for our modernised branches, compared with a network average of 87 per cent. Postmasters report an average retail sales increase of 11 per cent when they convert.
We are delivering the change with pace and professionalism, and it’s testament to what the Post Office and postmasters can achieve when we work together.
While the work continues, we are now entering the final phase of the programme, with significantly fewer branches left to modernise. As with the rest of our business, we now need to make sure that the team we have working on NT is the right size and shape to take the programme through to completion. And we need to establish a structure that is ready to support our network and its customers in the future.
On Tuesday this week, we started formal consultation with the unions about a proposal that we believe addresses these needs, and we informed the teams affected by this yesterday.
The proposal would mean up to 542 redundancies by March 2018, when our current funding agreement reaches its conclusion. This wouldn’t be implemented all at once, but would be in phases, and colleagues will start leaving the business at the end of September this year.
Although we have always known the Network Transformation programme would reach completion – and it is a huge credit to all involved that it is nearing this phase – that does not mean these changes are easy for those affected. We may say goodbye to some longstanding, valued colleagues and friends in the coming months. As always, we are committed to providing as much support as we can to everyone who is affected by the changes.
Thank you all for your sensitivity and professionalism, and your continued commitment as we go forward.