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01 Apr 2019, 10:01

I have worked in a mail centre for many years. Up to the Way Forward agreement in 2000, I worked with PHGs who performed slightly different jobs and received additional allowance known as UPAP (approximately £20 extra per week). Following the Way Forward agreement, I was under the impression that the wages of postpersons and effectively ex-PHGs would, slowly but surely become equal. After all, we would all be expected to work together doing the same jobs. 19 years later and, despite performing the same types of duties as my ex-PHG colleagues, I’m still being paid £20 a week less than them. Over those years, they’ve been paid approximately £20,000, after tax, more than myself and my post person colleagues. Our local union reps were mainly all PHGs so they’ve spent years sweeping this anomaly under the carpet. Their argument is that if I were to complain too loudly, it would jeopardise the extra pay of my ex-PHG colleagues, rather than result in me being paid the extra £1000 a year. I don’t want to rock the boat in that respect but I still feel it to be grossly unfair to be working all day/week/year, on the same job as staff next to me who are being paid more than me and, in quite a few cases, working a lot less efficiently than me. If I was female and working next to a male being paid more than me, for example, surely there would be an outcry at this prejudice? I’m really not sure what I can do about it though? Do I wait until I retire, in a few years time, then go to court and sue RM for, maybe around £30,000 of UPAP back pay? I seem to recall some female cleaners, possibly in Birmingham, winning a court case about unequal pay, decades after they’d retired. Any thoughts?


01 Apr 2019, 13:02

they’ve been paid approximately £20,000, after tax,

Before tax.

I was under the impression that the wages of postpersons and effectively ex-PHGs would, slowly but surely become equal

They have a long time ago.

working a lot less efficiently than me

Subjective, we are all different and have different abilities. Even the "Supermen" speed sorters and runners will run out of steam at some point.

approximately £20 extra per week

Payment made to "buy back" the grade known as PHG. Payment made on the "never never" because they couldn't afford to pay out lump sums at the time.

Over the course of time this payment will either die out with people leaving, retiring etc., or will be lost to be rolled into a pay deal.


10 Apr 2019, 05:27

It's just waist if time, I took it to acas with no luck, one my colleagues took to employment law firm and payed of everything out of own pocket with no positive out come.

Apparently there's no case.


10 Apr 2019, 06:26

So do you want former phgs receiving the ex-phg supplement, which was part of the Way Forward Agreement, to have their pay cut by £20pw?
Or do you want your pay increased by £20pw - which I think you know isn't going to happen.

The Way Forward Agreement was only passed by a small majority, and might not have been agreed if this hadn't been a component.
Other parts were also included which didn't penalise sections of the membership in order to get acceptance, eg people who were approaching 50 still retained Sunday OT pensionability, which meant they got a higher pension than others, like me, who reached 50 after the cut off date.
Should I now get my pension increased retrospectively?

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