Further to our conversation this morning and for the purpose of complete clarity, I am
setting out the CWU’s offer to engage in face to face meetings this week and next
week to find a way forward in our current disputes.
The CWU will come to the meeting ready to talk about pay and change, subject to the
assurances you are aware we are seeking from the company that you will not
challenge our legal ballots on the basis of these discussions.
We also believe that the purpose of our meeting should be to discuss the following as
part of a structured agenda.
1. Royal Mail’s Change Programme
Given the speculation, claims and counter claims from both parties about what
your agenda involves, it is now crucial that we go through each item and
identify any areas of potential common ground and the areas where substantial
differences exist between us.
As part of this, Royal Mail need to be honest with the union on your plans for
the new Parcel Network. Specifically, we want to know where Parcelforce and
self-employed owner drivers fit into this and whether or not it is your intention to
set this up separate from Royal Mail and brand this as Parcelforce and/or GLS.
As things currently stand, based on the company’s actions to date, including the
serving of notice on our legal protections, the CWU can only conclude that your
objective is to break up the company, introduce a levelling down agenda and
operate on the same basis as your competitors in the parcels market.
You know we will not agree any proposals based on the above concerns and
we cannot emphasise enough how important it is for you to unequivocally clarify
your position on these issues.
We also want the company to be clear on whether or not you remain committed
to the Pathway to Change agreement and if not, clarify the issues that you are
walking away from and the further changes you are looking for above and
beyond that agreement.
As part of the discussion on change, the CWU are also ready to discuss the
policies agreed at a CWU Forum earlier this year.
You have made clear on numerous occasions that the company is willing to
increase its offer on pay. We expect the company to put forward an improved
offer, including as you have stated, the change you see as part of this. We also
want to discuss how you intend to progress our joint commitment to further
reductions in the working week.
3. Facilitated Talks
If we can be clear on the above mentioned, the union is willing to discuss the
potential for facilitated talks going forward. However, for this to be meaningful,
we must also discuss the ground rules for these.
4. The USO as a Cornerstone of Modernisation and Growth
As you know, the union has major concerns that Royal Mail are once again
putting all their eggs in one basket and that you are seeking to focus on parcels
in a way that will see the rest of Royal Mail and the vital services it provides to
the public, wither on the vine.
The CWU want to put forward and elaborate on why we believe that the future
success of the company must be built around the competitive edge you already
have in daily deliveries to 32 million addresses throughout the UK.
Developing ideas, products and services, to expand the role of postal workers
in growing regional and local economies, offering tailored services to
businesses and adding social value to society, was an integral part of the
strategy we agreed under Pathway to Change. Reinvigorating this strategy
must now become a central aim in resolving our current disputes.
5. Royal Mail’s Letter of the 22nd September 2022
I will be writing separately to you on the above mentioned letter and why the
union and our members find this latest attack completely unacceptable.
However, it’s also crucial that we discuss this at the meeting and that you set
out the real reasons why you have served notice on all our agreements. You
must understand that this has opened up a chasm between the parties and we
want to discuss all aspects of your letter and in particular how this will affect our
members’ terms and conditions and the relationship between Royal Mail and
The above is a necessary and constructive agenda that means that we are not hiding
away from the issues between the parties and that we jointly focus our efforts on
finding an agreed way forward. We are of course willing for Royal Mail to add to this
as you see fit.
Finally, given the seriousness of this dispute, it is essential that these talks are led by
you and me and that our respective teams are in attendance.
I await confirmation that Royal Mail are willing to meet the union either by a call, as
you said earlier today, or by letter.
I am also happy to discuss with you over the phone the content of this letter.