Today we were advised by the the Union’s National Officers that substantial progress has been made on all the 4 Pillars issues.
The progress is now sufficient enough to start drafting the words of a potential agreement. Anyone who has been involved in negotiations before will know that agreeing a set of words which both parties are content with is often more difficult than agreeing the principles of an agreement.
Additionally our National Officers are aware that Royal Mail have to also agree to resolve the problems of resourcing and changing the culture within the workplace.
This has been even more highlighted since Christmas where a combination of high vacancy levels, high sick leave and the limits of the working time Directive Agreement has led to an increase in the use of casuals, more managers on delivery, work rolling from one day to the next and an increase in unfair treatment of staff.
The CWU are meeting Royal Mail over the next 3 days to concentrate on getting a solution on resourcing and culture. Further talks are planned for next week.
Real detail on the issues cannot be provided at this point as the Union’s principle remains that nothing is agreed until we have an agreement on all the issues, however we can confirm that on all the following, substantial progress has been made and the following principles established:
One pension scheme and an agreed Wage in Retirement scheme will be in place and if needed, transitional arrangements.
Progress on pay which is based on a percentage increase flowing through to all pay and allowances. This will be for a two year period.
Talks on extending the legal guarantees are on-going but progress has been made.
Shorter Working Week, an hour off and a timeline for 35 hours per week still to be finalised.
Pipeline – Real progress has been made on the Pipeline. If you analyse Royal Mail’s original Pipeline proposals of a 9-5 duty then the current position of the negotiations is a world away from what Royal Mail originally proposed. .
In fact talks have progressed to such an extent where we believe if there is an agreement that members concerns over significant later finishes will be largely allayed.
We realise that Members and Reps are frustrated that they do not have the full details of all the issues, however we will endeavour to update you further when we get further information.
It is clear that progress has only been made because of your support.
Finally remember you will get the final say on any agreement by the way of an individual member vote.
In the meantime our National Officers need our continued support whilst in the negotiations.