Royal Mail workers accept pay deal

Category: Operations
Royal Mail workers accept pay deal

Members of the CWU have voted in favour of the Royal Mail/CWU Business Recovery, Transformation and Growth Agreement. 75.84% of eligible CWU members participating in the ballot voted in favour of the agreement. This vote signals the end of the 2022-23 dispute, which saw over 115,000 workers take 18 days of strike action in the final quarter of last year.

However, the relationship between the Union and Royal Mail is still on rocky ground, with the union saying that Royal Mail will be “finished forever” if a CEO who repeats the “same old mantras” is chosen to run the company. After such a bitter dispute, with many workers feeling they didn’t get enough in terms of pay coupled with unrest at changes to their working hours, there’s a lot of bridge building that needs to happen for the company to prosper.

The agreement provides Royal Mail a platform for the next phase of stabilising the business whilst continuing to drive efficiencies and change. Royal Mail say that the operational changes in the agreement are designed to be good for customers, increasing their ability to improve services and quality; good for employees, retaining job security and giving people a pay rise; good for the environment, reducing the company’s reliance on domestic air, further reducing carbon emissions; and good for shareholders, supporting the long-term sustainability of the business.

What did Royal Mail get?

  • Later start times: From March 2024, start times in delivery will be moved back to help Royal Mail respond to the market demand for more next day parcels, reduce our impact on the environment through the removal of 18 flights a day, improve quality of service and create greater capacity to grow. A programme of work on the pipeline will seek to limit changes to start and finish times in delivery by 60 minutes, with the option to move times up to 90 minutes if needed. The last letter delivery time will move to 4.30pm at this time.
  • Seasonal working patterns: From Autumn 2023 Royal Mail will deploy new seasonal working patterns. Delivery postmen and women will work 39 hours per week in the peak Christmas season, 35 hours per week in the quieter summer season, and 37 hours for the remainder of the year to better reflect the seasonal variations in letter and parcel volumes.
  • Optimised single parcel network for larger parcels: Currently there is duplication across the Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide networks, with both companies carrying the same format of parcels and visiting the same customers on the same day. The creation of an optimised single parcel network between Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide will maximise synergies between the two brands and improve competitiveness in the delivery of larger parcels.
  • More efficient indoor mail preparation: Currently postmen and women spend up two hours a day re-sorting mail before their delivery round. Under this agreement Royal Mail will reduce the amount of time spent sorting by 20-35 minutes, so that more time can be spent delivering to customers.
  • Sunday working: New employee contracts will include a requirement for regular Sunday working, enabling Royal Mail to grow its seven day parcels business and adapt to changing customer demands.
  • The agreement also covers changes to sick pay, attendance standards and ill health retirement.

What did the Union get for their members

  • A 10% salary increase and a one-off lump sum of £500 for CWU grade employees in Royal Mail and Parcelforce. This includes 2% imposed in April 2022, 6% from April 2023 and 2% from April 2024.
  • A commitment to no compulsory redundancies for the life of the agreement. There will be a joint review of this position in April 2025 to consider whether circumstances allow for the company to extend this commitment.
  • A profit share scheme over the life of this agreement. If Royal Mail see any operating profit in any financial year up to and including 2024/2025, 20% of adjusted operating profit will be distributed as a one-off payment to employees.

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