Report on National Briefing – London 7th February 2018




The Briefing commenced with delegates observing a minutes silence in respect of Dave Roebuck


The following is a snapshot of what each individual reported at various points in the briefing and is not necessarily in chronological order. Nor is it verbatim.


Dave Ward, General Secretary


Congratulations to Terry Pullinger and the negotiating team. Undoubtedly a good deal for CWU Members. Union managed to force some major concessions. The reaching of an agreement means that we need to start a new engagement process and all members should be part of the debate. We need to continue to do the work we did during the ballot process and give our members confidence that we’ll deliver on this agreement.


There will never be an end game or winning line. So what comes next? We’ll continue to link our Industrial and Political strategies and drive through the legislation required to deliver the new pension arrangements. By connecting the agendas we’ll also have a better chance of dealing with competition. We want to engage members in their ideas and secure the future of the industry.


CWU is in good shape. We have an army of reps like no other Union. We were at the forefront of Labour standing up for workers again and we will deliver a new kind of Trade Unionism and shape the world of work.


Terry Pullinger, Deputy General Secretary


This is a proud day for the Trade Union. When we were tested, we demonstrated that we are the most influential Workplace Trade Union.


Two years ago at our Policy Forum we recognised that the company were moving away from the Agenda for Growth agreement. No doubt they were changing direction. We didn’t wait for it – we met it head on at that time and exposed their agenda.


An agreement has now been reached. We’ve not traded one single Pillar. We shocked Royal Mail, the media, politicians and other Trade Unions. We’re now moving Royal Mail down a different path and it’s not cost one penny in Strike Action.


Culture – The words of the agreement are meaningful – we wrote many of them. There will be an independent review of culture and the independent person will monitor whether decent culture exists in workplaces. Culture is the foundation of the new agreement and there will be a programme of activity for all reps in all Divisions.


Pay – Should be taken in the round. We wanted Pay and a SWW. Achieved a 7% Pay increase and 2 hours off the week. Total cost is £280m on Pay and £213m on SWW. In terms of the October date then our calculations suggest that members will be slightly better off as it takes the 2017 Xmas period into account. When going for Pay and SWW there is only so much money in the pot.

If you think the pay element is bad then perhaps you should speak to a Nurse. In terms of the 2%, we wanted a re-opener clause. Didn’t achieve it but if inflation is over 2% then goes towards funding the SWW.


SWW – Will be essential as the fourth industrial revolution continues. The direction of travel is Robots, Driverless Trucks etc – all costing jobs. Two hours are already there – we have a further two hours to achieve. A 35 hour working week will be a massive achievement and we are confident that our reps will make it happen.


Pensions – Hugely important for us. Not just the CWU but the wider UK. New solution is industry leading and has widespread support. Defined Ambition Schemes have already been Voted on but not yet passed secondary legislation. Don’t want any dishonesty in this agreement – if we don’t achieve it then we’ll be back in dispute. There are no guarantees but there are better outcomes than a DC Scheme.


Legally Binding Agreement – Sets a very high bar. They didn’t want any extension. They mistakenly believed that they had a no Strike agreement.


They never achieved what they wanted on Pipeline. We can’t stop change but we can control it. In total the new deal comes in at around half a billion pounds – this is money we’ve clawed back for the benefit of CWU Members.


The agreement will go out to ballot following the conclusion of the Unit Reps Briefs.


Jenny Hall, Royal Mail Head of Public Affairs


The response has been very positive – politicians are supportive. Policy is already carried but never enacted. Effectively, it’s already Government policy. Already had meetings with the Pensions Minister. We will push back up the political agenda. We will capitalise on the solution being a good news story and use every opportunity to raise the profile.


Video from First Actuarial – The briefing was then shown a presentation video. If any member wants a copy, please contact the Branch Office and this can be arranged.


Ray Ellis, Assistant Secretary


We will implement the scheme as soon as we can – we don’t intend letting the grass grow. Romec Members will be included if they’re members of the RMPP. There will be separate negotiations with that business unit to deal with the other members. We’ve just ended the two tier system – we can’t have it operating in Romec.


It is difficult to do a personal illustration but we have every reason to believe that we can exceed targets. But we will look to give at least an example. We will attempt to give people as much information as possible.


There will need to be some amendments to IHR and MTSF to reflect the new arrangements. Business are obsessing over the cost of Sick Absence but the review of the Attendance Procedure will take place under the existing agreement


Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary


Explanation of how we arrived at this position and why. The company aspirations were fundamental changes. They lost sight of the realities of the market. We have repositioned the needs of the customer versus the shareholder. We have challenged every aspect of their thinking. Letters are in decline – fact. We need to maximise opportunities to grow other streams. They wanted to take £100m out of the Pipeline. Trains out, Flights out, Operation Retarded, 5pm last letter. They announced that they were now a Parcels company but never acted like one. Midnight LAT is already offered by competitors – we were offering 18.00hrs. They now have to invest in the Pipeline and we’re controlling the dialogue. RM should be a flexible service offering a range of products from morning until early evening. We need to change to enable growth and bring it all back to something manageable. We are currently moving Packets through a Pipeline designed for letters. The future of the operation will now be agreed through the Joint Working Group. The SWW has been agreed in return for trials. We have pinned Royal Mail back to our agenda for the most part.


Believe we can deliver standardisation of our terms. MGV Drivers – we don’t intend to cash out this time. Prospect of converting Network Drivers Unpaid Meal Reliefs back to paid – think there is a way of doing that. Concludes that change is never easy but we can mitigate it.


Mark Baulch, Assistant Secretary


Spent many months across the table from Royal Mail attempting to change their philosophy. They had a reckless, die in a ditch attitude. Think we’ve now won the argument on the position of the company in society. They claimed we didn’t have the ear of our members – the Yes Vote put that to bed. The affected DO changes have altered since publication of the agreement. It is now:-


  • 1,035               No Change
  • 126                  15 Minutes
  • 71                    30 Minutes
  • 35                    45 Minutes capped at 30
  • There is a likely hood they will change even further. Divisional Reps will get the figures and they will be looked at again at that level.SWW has been linked to indoor methods trials. SWW will mitigate the loss of some indoor work.
  • LAs are absolutely covered by the SWW. Managers suggesting otherwise are fundamentally incorrect. The SWW will apply in full

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