The few months since our Annual Conference have certainly been busy for the Outdoor Department.
We’re currently in formal ‘in principle’ disagreement with the business – in particular Section 14 of the Four Pillars agreement and the next hour off the working week – and along with our DGSP and his other national postal officers, I’ve been involved in national talks with Royal Mail to keep our Four Pillars national agreement on track.
In this Outdoor Department E-Bulletin, I want to update you on some of the other separate issues we’re also dealing with – parcel
post boxes, annual leave, PDAs and new uniform options – and we’d really like to hear your feedback.
Finally, your reps’ magazine Frontline is being posted out to branches this week and includes articles on industrial training, recruitment and organising – and other articles from the wider
union and movement.
Best regards, Mark Baulch CWU Outdoor Secretary
Resourcing essential for new parcel boxes We’re urging all reps to make sure extra collections from the new parcel post boxes are built into your office resourcing plans.
Following successful trials over the past few months, 1,433 of these will be introduced around the country and boxes that are currently collected from five days a week will require a
Saturday collection and a Monday relief collection.
It’s essential that resourcing meetings build in this extra collection activity.
The new parcel boxes were installed in Leicester and Northampton and after a successful trial these parcel boxes will be enrolled throughout the UK.
This brings extra revenue and employment for the business, which is also good news for present and future jobs.
So this is positive – and appropriate training will be given – but the project must be resourced properly so that it can be successful.
Further details LTB 346/19
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New uniform footwear options available
Three more new footwear uniform options have now been added to the range available for the rising number of women members working in delivery.
Following successful trials, the Magnum Bandera Active Trainer and Panther Taormina Shoe will now be introduced within the Royal Mail workwear catalogue.
And there is also a ‘vegan’ option, which is called the Discovery Trainer, which is made without any animal ingredients or by-products. There are around 300 applications each year by employees for such vegan footwear.
This is a further and welcomed development regarding footwear, and specifically in regards to ‘female fit’ footwear which takes the full range of non-safety footwear items up to six in number.
Members can now use the online direct self-ordering portal for uniform ordering without seeking their manager’s authority – except in certain circumstances.
These circumstances are if the order is for over-allocation footwear or a storm-proof jacket and there are three
standard questions the manager must answer at the checkout, which are noted on the checkout screen.
Further details LTB 314/19 & attached joint documents
CWU’s Darren Glebocki is holding the Panther Taormina and Royal Mail uniform manager Sam Dixon has the Magnum Bangera in her left hand and the Vegan Discovery In her right.
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Ensure PDA safeguards are fully respected Delivery reps are being urged to make themselves fully aware of updated safeguards to the current postal digital assistant (PDA) national agreement.
It’s now a year since PDA Outdoor Actuals were introduced and the agreement with the business across delivery and collections was achieved and communicated.
And as well as having the potential to be a useful tool in terms of resourcing needs and assisting local reps in dealing with workload issues, the key focus with this data should be very much giving customers greater visibility of their parcel deliveries to help them plan their day, as well as other new products and services which will be launched soon.
Providing customers with delivery windows is increasingly seen as a requirement in the competitive parcels market and, with this PDA technology, the business introduced a four-hour estimated delivery window – now refined down to two hours in some places – initially for Tracked 24 and Tracked 48 services.
In the future, other new products and services, such as ‘in-flight’ options for receiving customers, will also be launched using the technology.
There are understandable concerns that management may attempt to use the PDAs, and the data generated, for inappropriate purposes. But we have robust safeguards built into the original national agreement and these have been updated further within the national addendum to it, to take into account the further enhancements that Royal Mail has launched.
We’re urging all delivery reps to make themselves fully aware of these safeguards and agreed procedures and to bring any local breaches – or potential or suspected breaches – to the attention of area and branch representatives as promptly as possible, and to ourselves at HQ if necessary, and we will
take these up at the highest level.
We want to make this system work as part of our agreed commitment to developing new products and services, growing market share and increasing revenue – but we will not allow any local rogue managers to breach our agreements.
And we have made this position absolutely clear to management.
The focus of this data must be for the development of new commercial opportunities and not to create more pressures on and scrutiny of our members.
Further details LTB 325/19
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Resolving annual leave issues in delivery An agreed joint review of annual leave issues is aiming to resolve outstanding problems before the new annual leave allocation process in October.
Throughout this month, unit reps and managers in their resourcing meetings in all delivery units should have been reviewing and agreeing their unit’s current position in terms of annual leave allocation and outstanding entitlement.
By the end of this month, every employee should have been met with and given a copy of their agreed annual leave status to date and entitlement and an allocation plan for any outstanding and unallocated annual leave.
Annual leave booking has been a long-running problem for members and this is why the joint review was built into the Guiding Principles of the Four Pillars national agreement.
And judging by the number of annual leave-related motions heard at our Annual Conference back in April, and the regular feedback on this from branches, it’s clear this continues to be a major difficulty.
If any units are struggling to complete this by the deadline, there will be assistance from divisional level from both the
CWU and Royal Mail to make sure that those units all have this task finished by the first two weeks of August.
This is imperative in order for the details to be fed back to the joint working group and enabling us to agree and approve the changes needed before the next annual leave allocation process begins in October.
We appreciate that this is a big job of work to a tight deadline, but we must make sure annual leave problems are tackled as promptly as possible – and it’s our hope that this will be a significant step in the right direction.
Further details LTB 409/19
Negotiations on 2019 pay and pensions in RMPFS have been ongoing since the beginning of the year and a formal offer from the company is expected soon.
Discussions have been conducted against the background of the tight financial targets placed.
However, we are determined to push forward the union’s policies from last year’s policy forum and this year’s Annual Conference