To All Branch Secretaries and Area Reps : The purpose of this text is give you an update on the National Negotiations and to inform you that considerable progress has been made on some of the key issues but as yet no agreement has been reached.
The Postal Executive are expected later today to agree an extension to the talks. An LTB and a video from Terry will also be released.
We will also email the mediators report. However please understand that this is not an agreement and that Royal Mail and the CWU have met after the mediator had stopped the process and that some issues have moved on a lot further than the mediators report.
1. On Pensions, Royal Mail have agreed to the principle of one pension scheme for all CWU members. This will be a wage in retirement collective DC scheme.
However this will need a law change. The select committee are already supporting such a scheme and Royal Mail and the CWU will lobby to get this new law passed as soon as possible.
Both parties have also agreed that pensionable pay will consist of all pay and pensionable allowances.
This will mean that the lower earnings limit will cease for ex POPS scheme members and that the DC scheme will for the first time have pensionable allowances included in their pensionable Pay once the new scheme is introduced.
Negotiations have also discussed what the interim and transitional arrangements will be until the legislative framework has changed.
Extending the scheme is one option but Royal Mail have offered that DB members could as an interim measure transfer into the Defined Benefit cash balance scheme ( DBCBS ). Royal Mail would transfer anyone in the DC scheme who has done 5 or more years into the DBCBS.
Additionally, Royal Mail would auto enrol all current DC scheme members to the highest employer contribution tier of 10% once they have done 12 months in the nursery scheme.
2. Pay : whilst no pay deal has yet been agreed , Royal Mail are angry at the mediator for recommending 2.6% on all allowances and pay backdated to April.
The mediators have also recommended 2% from next April along with an hour off the working week.
The CWU believe that Royal Mail will move on Pay when we get closer to an agreement.
3. On the legal guarantees the mediator supported Royal Mail’s view that the legal guarantees should not be reviewed until 2019.
The CWU have not accepted this and have stated that they want the extension included in any final deal. This remains unresolved.
3. On the SWW we have got an hours reduction but want to agree the road map for a 35 hour gross working week within any final deal.
4. On Resourcing, Holiday Pay for Part timers and the IR Framework : Progress has been made but there is still more to achieve before a final agreement.
5. On the Pipeline Issues : Real progress has been made and we have changed significantly Royal Mail’s original Pipeline plans.
We have changed Royal Mail’s proposals from a 17:00 last letter to a range from 14:30 until 15:30 based on a shorter working week and the outcome of further trials.
On the Automated Hours Data capture we have significantly changed the business plan which means it cannot be used for conduct, Performance standards / management or for identifying where individuals are on a sorting floor. The trials will take place if any agreement is reached in 4 sites.
On new ways of working we have watered down their walk ownership proposals and are trying to agree the parameters for any trial.
On the issues of removing frames etc we are trying to agree some trials on a range of options.
Royal Mail want Network 17/18.
We will give you a full report on the 14th December at the Divisional Meeting and Tony Bouch will give you a full presentation on the pipeline and other initiatives.
Please feel free to forward this to your local reps as soon as the LTB comes out.
We will also be doing a comms to our members later this week and we want as many members meetings to take place on National Post Workers Day next Tuesday 12th December 2017.
Whilst the silence has been frustrating , we believe that real progress has been made and hopefully we can reach a good agreement over the next few meetings.
Martin Walsh Mark Palfrey John Simkins
London Divisional Reps