Royal Mail and CWU appoint external mediator

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Royal Mail and the CWU have officially appointed Professor Lynette Harris to mediate talks between the two parties under the dispute resolution procedures in the Agenda for Growth agreement. The talks cover pay, pensions and other issues.

External Mediator

Professor Lynette Harris is Emeritus Professor of Human Resources Management, Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, Arbitrator and Mediator with membership of the Central Arbitration Committee.

Royal Mail strikes before Christmas now unlikely

When we set out our Royal Mail and CWU Mediation Process Timeline we calculated an week process allowing for at least a week to appoint the mediator. That was two weeks ago so the entire timeline has been pushed back with at least 7 weeks of negotiations plus a 2 week notice period of a strike to be given by the Union.

Online retailers who rely on the Royal Mail can breathe a sigh of relief as our timeline now suggests the earliest date for a strike would be around the 27th of December. Unless some of the mediation steps are completed at break neck speed strikes before Christmas are now unlikely.

Updated External Mediation Timeline

  1. The Appointment of an external Mediator – 12th – 25th October

    An external mediator has been appointed.

  2. Submissions – At least 2, possibly up to 4 weeks

    Both Royal Mail and the CWU will put forward a representative to help the mediator to understand the issues in question and will provide all the evidence and a clear statement of the issues in dispute.

  3. Mediator to make recommendations – Time 2 weeks

    Within two weeks of having received all submissions the mediator will produce non-binding recommendations.

  4. Royal Mail and CWU will meet – Time 1 week

    Within one week of the recommendations being made the CWU and Royal Mail will meet to review the outcome and decide their response. If at this time agreement is met then the dispute ends and recommendations immediately implemented.

  5. Failure to agree – Time 2 Weeks

    If either party is unable to accept the mediators recommendations then a further 2 week period is prescribed for further negotiations. The disagreeing party is expected to advise the reasons for rejecting the recommendations and their alternative suggestions.

  6. Further failure to agree

    If by this stage agreement hasn’t been met then the parties will write to each other to notify of their intentions.

  7. Notice period for strike actions – 2 weeks

    It is at this point that the CWU could give Royal Mail two weeks notification of their lawful intention to call for strikes

Royal Mail statement

We are pleased to be entering a new phase of talks. Our priority is to reach agreement with the CWU. We are committed to using the mediation process to do just that. Moya Greene, CEO, will lead these talks for Royal Mail. Mediation will bring both parties together, with a third party, to seek the right outcome for employees, customers and the business.

In total, the procedures allow seven weeks for negotiations from the appointment of a mediator. If we do not reach agreement, the union is required by law to give a minimum of two weeks’ notice of any industrial action after mediation has finished. This means that the process will take close to Christmas to be completed, and may be longer.

Given the complexity of the issues under discussion and the shared appetite to reach agreement, we anticipate that discussions could be extended to facilitate an agreement.

Royal Mail remains committed to reaching agreement with the CWU.

5 Responses

  1. Royal Mail have had 18 months to compromise, this extra 7 weeks is just a delay tactic, to avoid a Christmas strike. They are squeezing every last drop of profit out of the business for their own gain. A bussiness that was built up over 500 years of public ownership. Then sold fantastically cheaply, thanks Vincent cable.

  2. @ Jamie – so you think thats a BAD idea Royal mail trying to avoid a Xmas strike!

    I am persistently astonished at Royal Mail workers selfishness in trying to disrupt the service at the most important time per year.

    Please think of the customers and small businesses that postman would be effect. POSTMAN – not Royal Mail. If Royal Mail strategy is to avoid a Xmas strike then good on them. And shame on you Jamie for completely missing the big picture and not even recognising the damage a strike would cause to customers and SME.

    You are not winning much customer support with that attitude.

    If Royal Mail manage to get you guys under control we might just start using them again for some parcels (we are currently using Hermes – no sign of strikes there)

  3. Yes can agree we do not do things the same way as 500 years ago.

    A strike is usually a bad idea, either it is big enough to annoy people who – these days – can take their business elsewhere easily. Or it’s small enough to not be noticed by most (several local council workers strikes for example).

    Many times Royal Mail staff on here have said the company is bad to work for. Strangely they do not like to be told to work elsewhere, though why someone would work for a bad employer who does not pay enough and gives a poor pension (after these changes) is beyond me.

    Will be interesting to see what comes of this mediation. Perhaps the pension change can be scrapped by reducing future pay rises to match the shortfall? Or reducing the staffing to save costs?
    If the pension is the most important aspect then it needs to be kept regardless of the cost eh?


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