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Branches and representatives will recall that in October 2015 the department issued LTB 641/15 in relation to the Professionalising Area Distribution (PAD) issue.

At that time issues had been identified in relation to un-agreed PAD revision activity. Representation was made to the business by the department and the revision activity was suspended until an agreed Terms of Reference could be concluded. Discussions have been taking place with the business since that time to fulfill that commitment.

The attached Joint Statement between Royal Mail National and Regional Logistics and the Communication Workers Union on Terms of Reference for the Progression of the Professionalising Area Distribution (PAD) Initiative has been agreed in order to enable and support activity in this regard going forward.

The document has received endorsement by the Postal Executive and in order to formally launch and explain the various elements of the agreement the department arranged an Area Distribution Representatives Briefing, which took place on 11th May 2016 at the Birmingham Branch Offices.

Branches will note however the following points:

That we have we have a number of National agreements which in broad terms cover revision activity in Area Distribution and this new Terms of Reference compliments the following existing agreements, the terms of which are unaffected unless explicitly referred to in the PAD Terms of Reference:

 Joint Statement between Royal Mail and the CWU on the Future of Area Distribution
 Joint Statement on the Criteria and Resourcing Principles for the Deployment of 17t Services Within Regional Logistics (Area Distribution)
 National Agreement on the Introduction of the Professional Driver

The Terms of Reference confirms that Area Distribution resourcing principles differ from those in Network and reaffirms the principles of cross functional working in the construction of predominately full time, Area Distribution duty structures. Colleagues will also note that the agreed terms fully commit the business to the principle that revision activity must support the current agreed Workplan.

The attached document which builds on the terms of the Future of Area Distribution agreement, also confirms that Divisional and local IR Representatives are to be involved in any discussions in relation to PAD activity and ensures that full consideration is given to proposed changes in all affected functions, i.e. Area Distribution, Network, Processing and Delivery. In particular the involvement of Delivery Representatives in any discussions on the impact of any 17t deployment is significant.

Following feedback from the field in regard to activity that has previously taken place in relation to the Joint Statement on the Criteria and Resourcing Principles for the Deployment of 17t Services within Regional Logistics (Area Distribution), the attached document provides additional guidance in respect of a clear resourcing process for any agreed changes. It also, in line with our joint commitments to the creation of Driver Career Path, recognises training opportunities for existing MGV drivers who are holders of retained (Grandfather) rights and C1 licence holders to progress to C category licences.

The attached document also provides a clear outline of how the PAD revision process will be applied going forward, so ensuring that no more than one major efficiency revision will take place at units in any financial year.

The department hopes that the attached document will be welcomed by Branches and representatives and provide them with necessary clarification and assistance in relation to PAD activity and you are requested to ensure that our members are made aware of this LTB.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: or quoting reference number: 511.03.