The Union was aware that the introduction of the new full-time employees from October 2018 on 35 hour contracts would not be without its challenges, both from a functional and operational perspective.
In light of this, the Union had been pressing the business to agree and conclude a set of directives and/or guidelines to support its introduction and as a result a number of meetings have taken place with the company concluding with the attached Joint Communication being agreed between both parties.
The key points within the Joint Communication are as follows:
- Future revision activity will be planned on agreed workload that will continue to determine duty sets. However, it is jointly recognised that existing full-time employees will continue to be based on 38 hours (this will be adjusted as we progress through the SWW flight-path).
- Where we have situations where workload justifies an increase of hours beyond 35 hours, then the local CWU Representative and Manager will agree the most suitable options through their Weekly Resourcing meetings. Options can include;
- For ad-hoc/ irregular hours the use of overtime as per current arrangements.
- SA hours attached to the duty.
- Through a variation of contract from 35 hours up to 38 hours, reviewed every 6 months using the same criteria applied under the Job Security Agreement.
- In addition we have also agreed that no OPG who has carried Annual Leave over from previous years loses out in the recalculation of leave going forwards.
Finally, the Joint Communication also addresses a number of additional points which have been subject to enquiry in the Postal Department.
Whilst we totally understand this matter gives the impression of a more complicated design when revising duties, in essence it is no different than when considering part-time members in a revised duty set. So to be clear, no member on the new full-time contract is or should be expected to do 38 hours work in 35 hours and the options above deal with that.
It is absolutely essential that we keep our eye on the prize, as we deal with the major changes to our operations going forward the 35 hour week will increase in its importance in protecting our members, protecting jobs and defining a manageable day’s work.