Royal Mail & CWU dispute update

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Roger Poole, who is overseeing talks between the Royal Mail and CWU has today issued a statement which is markedly upbeat in tone compared to last weeks Daily Mail article. Having had three review meetings and talks still progressing it’s looking ever more likely that Christmas will come and go without any more days of industrial action, and that’s got to be a good thing.

As the independent person asked to oversee the modernisation negotiations between the CWU and Royal Mail I want, on behalf of myself and the senior negotiators from both sides, to keep you informed and abreast of the progress we are making. ACAS are assisting me and both sides in these discussions.

We have set a very tight timetable for these negotiations to be completed by the end of the year. To achieve this we will need everyone’s cooperation and help. We will endeavour to keep in touch with you all as we progress.

We have set some ground rules for the negotiations, one of which is that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. This will give both sides confidence to deal with difficult issues knowing that nothing will be implemented until all their issues are dealt with.

To foster success in the process there have been some useful commitments made by Royal Mail management and the CWU:
• management have stated that no further changes will be imposed while negotiations continue and that local agreements in the spirit of the interim agreement are encouraged. Any changes planned for 2010 will fully reflect and honour the new national agreements they are committed to reaching;
• the CWU in turn have stated that members should now be working normally in line with the interim agreement and that no further industrial action will take place while negotiations continue and that they fully engage in the process to negotiate and deliver change.

We have had three review meetings so far as allowed for in the interim agreement. The issues being dealt with are as follows:
• groups at national level are now making progress on the terms of various national agreements as set out in the interim agreement. The topics for the four groups are Operations, Managing the Change, Reward and Relationship;
• we have also been looking at progress on deployment at local level.

There is still a way to go but we are encouraged by the spirit of pragmatism shown by the parties and the genuine will of everyone to achieve lasting progress and create a positive climate in which to take the modernisation agenda forward.

Regards
Roger Poole

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