New Delivery Methods

Monday 2nd July 2018

CWU/RM – National Terms of Reference – New Delivery Methods

Dear Colleagues,

Branches and Representatives will be aware the 2018 Guiding Principles Agreement, contained within the Delivery section (16.1.2) of the agreement, a commitment for both parties to undertake a joint review and trial of delivery methods against set success criteria, with a mix of agreed proposals and operational methods across 8 trial units for approximately 6 months to jointly evaluate and consider the following:

  • Upstream presentation and levels of all mails including walk sequenced mail must be to an agreed level and quality standard on a regular/consistent basis.
  • That all tasks have been undertaken safely, recognising the environment in the indoor operation provides the best opportunity for as many tasks to be completed, although it would not preclude outdoor methods being explored.
  • Any new method must be simple to carry out and easy to understand based on the designated equipment utilised.
  • Clarity on RM’s D2D automation strategy, along with product delivery specification and cold/warm calling.
  • Impact to job security, earning opportunities, duty structures and attendance patterns.
  • What the future job design and length of delivery span is and what can be achievable and sustainable in the long term which will be subject to joint evaluation and detailed study involving ergonomic expertise.

As a result of the above, both parties have been in discussions in order to identify what the agreed operational methods will include within this trial and an agreed terms of reference has now been concluded, which have been endorsed by the Postal Executive (copy attached). This is to ensure that the trial activity commences in line with the timescales contained within the 2018 Guiding Principles Agreement and achieve the first hour reduction of the working week in all units by October 2018, whilst also considering further reductions off the working week as a consequence of these different methods in any future Nationally agreed roll out in line with 19.3 of the National agreement.

The main attributes of difference between the trial activities are a mixture of the 5 concepts which will look at alternative indoor and outdoor methods of merging to support avoiding as much manual prep as possible. Additionally some of the trial units will receive machine-collated D2D whilst others will manually collate this product. In both instances the aim is to avoid prepping the D2D into the frame.

The aim of the trials is to evaluate the various working method options against the removal of the preparation of first wave sequenced letters. The outcome is therefore to determine which method(s) offer the efficient model ensuring that alongside this all tasks have been undertaken safely, and that any new method must be simple to carry out and easy to understand based on the designated equipment utilised.

We have also agreed that the various methods will be assessed by consideration against success criteria relating to Industrial Engineer outputs, Efficiency opportunities, Safety and Security impacts, Quality of Service, presentation of mails upstream and the associated impacts across all functions and the integration of the wider new delivery agreement around job design and all associated cost implications for any potential agreed new method to be embedded.

The Delivery Methods trial activity will take place in 8 Delivery Offices and trial the relevant method contained with Annex C. These Trial units have already been subject to joint Launch meetings within the respective units and updated on the specific method to be trialed in each of the units.

The trial will be overseen by National Leads for Royal Mail & CWU and both parties have agreed for each trial unit a Local Joint Working Group will be established and overseen for the CWU by a PEC Nominated Lead and for Royal Mail by a Pilot Deployment manager.

Full training will be provided for Work Place Coaches and all Delivery OPGs engaged in the trials including OPG reserves, as well as other impacted employees and managers. Each unit will focus on one method variation as contained in Annex C.

All units involved in the trials will continue to apply and adhere to all national agreements, guidelines and procedures. In addition both parties have agreed that during the trials there will be no structural changes to Duty Structures/AWD Duties or Scheduled Attendance arising from the activity.

Both departments are aware that the issue of Delivery Methods and the associated issues from the pipeline and upstream supply are challenging due to the sensitivities around changing the way our members undertake the roles they perform. As such, further discussions are taking place to establish how the activity contained in Annex A for discussions from the corresponding Mail Centre catchment area are included for the purposes of nominees to the cross functional working groups and upstream activity review.

This issue has been the subject of fairly detailed and lengthy discussions, not only during the national talks which led to the commitments contained within National agreement, but also in further discussions which have led to the construction of the agreed terms of reference document for the trial.

As Branches will note from the agreed document the explicit detail of the different methods for the trial units along with concepts and aims and objectives has been covered in some detail. Also encompassed within the document is that the trial is carried out fully in line with the Guiding principles agreement along with the necessary safeguards and with full CWU involvement along with formal National joint review before determining next steps in line with section 19 of the above National agreement.

Any queries to the content of the above, please contact the Outdoor Department, reference number: 555, email address:

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: or quoting reference number: 054.01.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baulch
CWU Assistant Secretary

Davie Robertson
CWU Assistant Secretary


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