Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have made progress in current talks and commit to finalising an agreement in the next two weeks.
On this basis, the CWU agrees to stand down the 24-hour strike planned for Monday 4 November 2013.
Royal Mail agrees to extend the legal validity of the current industrial action ballot until Wednesday 20 November 2013.
Both parties will now clear diaries to ensure all our efforts are focused on reaching an agreement by the Wednesday 13 November 2013.
What’s on the table is pretty much what the CWU wanted and what Royal Mail had already offered. It’s the finer details that are being thrashed out:
1. Legal protections for employees that extend beyond the current three year offer
2. An improved pay and reward offer
3. A separate pensions agreement
4. An agenda for growth underpinned by a culture of consensual change, timely decision making and industrial stability supported by alternative dispute resolution processes
5. An agreed approach to aligning resourcing to workload with a resolution to any current workload and resourcing issues
6. An overview of the future parcels and letters strategy
7. A joint company/CWU charter shaping the on-going values and principles of the Royal Mail Group
8. An on-going operational programme of work
9. The individual elements outlined above will only be deemed agreed when everything is agreed
What this ceasefire indicates is that there’s a really good chance that agreements will be reached without any strike action by Royal Mail workers. We could get through Christmas and if there’s agreement in place no strikes at all.
This does indicate a real willingness by the company and by the union to come to an agreement – unlike past years where both sides were committed to talks when the strike date arrived the posties still walked out. Negotiations which include postponing strike action are something new and to be applauded.