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Royal Mail talks deliver "substantial progress" with hopes raised of Friday breakthrough announcement

10 Jan 2018, 16:11 ... pes-raised

Royal Mail pension and pay talks have delivered "substantial progress" across all four critical points, with its main union preparing a major announcement outside the negotiating room on Friday.

Hopes will be raised a deal has been struck over a bitter year-long dispute.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has been locked in top-secret discussions with top execs from Royal Mail since October, in the latest round of talks to avert Britain's first post-privatisation postal strike.

"Today we were advised by the National Officers that substantial progress has been made," the CWU London Division posted on social media last night.

The CWU said a full update would be delivered on Friday by deputy general secretary Terry Pullinger, who has been leading talks on behalf of 110,000 postal workers. Sources added the update will be made on the steps outside of the central London location of the talks.

Both sides returned to the negotiating table after a legal ruling prevented the CWU from holding 48-hour walkout. Mood music from the talks, at first chaired by an external mediator, has become increasingly positive.

Last week, the CWU said confidence was growing an agreement across "all issues" can be made.

The union has campaigned against sweeping changes to working conditions and the closure of the firm's final salary pension scheme.

At the heart of worker unrest is a decision by Royal Mail last January to shut its mammoth final salary pension scheme. The FTSE 250 firm believes it will cost more than £1bn annually to keep it open.

The CWU surprised Royal Mail in its response. Instead of immediately balloting for strikes the CWU proposed a new scheme backed by its own advisers. However, the counter-proposal was rejected by Royal Mail and talks over the summer broke down.

The latest mediated proposals agree to shut the final salary scheme in its current guise, replacing it with a "defined benefit cash balance" alternative. This means pension payouts would be partly dependent on investment returns with a minimum amount underwritten by Royal Mail.

The firm's pension is one of the "four pillars" under dispute. The other three are pay and the working week, delivery times and changes to working culture.

New developments in the Royal Mail dispute

10 Jan 2018, 16:20 ... il+dispute

Postal workers’ union leaders have suggested they could soon reach an agreement with bosses in a dispute over pay, pensions and conditions.

In a bulletin last week the CWU union told its members, “Our confidence grows that we will reach a negotiators’ agreement which will address all the issues we have campaigned on.”

It means a national strike by workers in Royal Mail now seems increasingly unlikely. Workers voted overwhelmingly to strike in a ballot last year.

Bosses and union officials have been in talks for several weeks after Royal Mail won an injunction to stop workers from striking.

The union says it has already won a major concession over pensions. And it has hinted that it could win more over pay and future working conditions.

Bosses had previously wanted to scrap workers’ defined benefit pension scheme and replace it with a defined contribution scheme.

This would have left the amount workers received in retirement at the mercy of the market.

Now bosses have agreed a “defined ambition” scheme that gives workers a wage in retirement—but does not guarantee how much that will be.

Meanwhile the CWU has also rejected a 2 percent pay offer. And there have been no announcements on proposed changes to Royal Mail’s delivery model, which could see working conditions significantly worsened.

The CWU bulletin also warned to “be mindful that these talks could break down at any stage.

“We may still find ourselves having to take action to get an agreement over the line.”

The CWU must call action if it cannot get an agreement that:

Protects all of its members’ pensions
Includes an above inflation pay deal
Guarantees no changes to deliveries that disrupt workers’ lives

New developments in the Royal Mail dispute

10 Jan 2018, 19:56

Yet again saying that the dispute involved the closure of the final salary pension scheme , when will they start doing their homework , the final salary pension scheme was closed years ago , the DB scheme has been running for a few years now .

New developments in the Royal Mail dispute

11 Jan 2018, 17:30

Absolutely, the current scheme is a Career Average Salary Scheme, not a Final Salary Scheme.

New developments in the Royal Mail dispute

11 Jan 2018, 18:07

Lincox wrote:Absolutely, the current scheme is a Career Average Salary Scheme, not a Final Salary Scheme.

And the future A Defined Contribution Scheme IE here is a pot you piss in this is your pension scheme hardly call it GOLD PLATED more like golden showers of stale urine once again Royalmail take the piss and give it back to us all!

New developments in the Royal Mail dispute

11 Jan 2018, 20:18

"locked in top-secret discussions" :arrrghhh :arrrghhh
In discussions :thumbup

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