More reward for more change – A new two-year offer worth 9%
In the past six months, you and our customers have had to suffer eight days of costly strikes called by the CWU. Losses in Royal Mail have already reached £219 million – well over £1 million a day – in the first half of 2022-23. And now they’re mounting. Some analysts are suggesting Royal Mail could lose nearly £1 billion this year if CWU continues to take strike action.
We are losing customers. You are losing pay. And yet we’ve been trying for six months to get the CWU to discuss the changes we all know Royal Mail needs to compete and win in the market. As the strikes went on, we had no choice but to cut costs. We’ve already had to announce that we will need to reduce our workforce by about 10,000 full time equivalents (FTEs) by August 2023.
Now a declining workload and worsening finances mean we must make bigger changes. We will have to review the size of our network, our methods of sortation at all points of the journey, how we employ new people and how we procure and maintain our fleet.
That means a lot of change, and I want to make that very clear to you, by putting everything on the table. We are starting to employ new people on new terms and conditions. We will need to use more owner-drivers to deliver parcels in parts of our network. And as we’ve already explained, we need to tighten up how much we spend on things like overtime and reduce the level of absence. But at the same time, I want to make very clear how we’ve listened to you, and what we can offer to help us get the change we need to compete and win in the market.
Here’s the deal
This is what we have proposed to the CWU :
7% salary increase over two years:
– 5.5% this financial year: made up of the 2% already paid, and a further 3.5% salary increase from the date the deal is agreed
– 1.5% next financial year from April 2023
– This salary increase would apply to base pay and relevant allowances.
Plus, a non-pensionable lump sum payment of 2% of this year’s pay:
– In delivery, this payment would be paid upon the successful implementation of a local revision
– For CWU grade colleagues in other parts of the business, the payment would be paid upon successful implementation of local change.
To be clear: we are offering more money for more change. The 3.5% on top of what we’ve already paid this year would be all salary, with a payment on top of that and a pay rise for next year.
But please note: we can only deliver on this offer if the CWU rapidly agrees to a programme of change. This offer is – and must be – time-limited. We are standing on a burning platform. If strikes continue and our finances worsen, we won’t be able to afford it. We would have to revisit our plans again and take further steps to protect our business.
We have listened
I know change will be harder for some of you than for others. We have listened to what you have been saying to us.
A number of you are concerned about working on a Sunday. Others don’t mind or are already doing this. And to begin with, as we work to develop this new business for Royal Mail, there won’t be much Sunday working, and so I can promise you this: we will rely on volunteers. But to be open with you: if we need more as the business builds, and we do not get enough volunteers from our workforce who want to work on Sundays, we will need to bring in new people on different terms so that we can deliver a comprehensive Sunday service for our customers.
Others have told us they are worried about working later into the afternoon due to later start times. We understand this can be a problem for some people, especially those with school-aged children, so we are going to put in place a process to understand individual needs and have a range of family-friendly options, with an earlier duty finish time, wherever that is operationally practical. We have also further revised our planned start times, so that the last letter delivery times in the vast majority of offices will be before 5pm.
So again, we want to make change as easy as possible. But we can’t afford to let all this valuable weekend, afternoon and evening business be scooped up by our competitors. If we don’t have enough people prepared to work at these times, we will need to use other delivery methods as well.
What happens next
We have met CWU today at Acas and made this offer to them. We now hope that the CWU will put this offer to you in a ballot, but that is a matter for CWU to decide.
We are willing to meet with CWU again tomorrow, or any day, to try and get a deal agreed.
We know that many of you want to know more detail about what the changes mean for your office. Later this week your manager will provide you with a letter explaining what the change mean in your unit or area of the business.
But a letter can only go so far. In a one-to-one meeting, your manager is ready to discuss it with you in detail and do their best to make it work for you. That’s the way we can both change to survive and continue to be the best employers in our industry.
A critical moment for Royal Mail
Many of you have told me privately how you understand there needs to be change. I hope that with this new pay-for-change offer, and the changes we have made from listening to your concerns, you feel that we have made a fair offer to CWU.
We want to hear what you think. So please talk to your managers. And you can share any feedback and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will continue to listen.
If you support this new offer and want to see an end to the strikes, let the CWU know too.
We will do all we can to support you to come back to work safely on strike days. We know that while in the main those of you who have stood on picket lines have been respectful of your colleagues, a few of our people have suffered disgraceful harassment, threats and even violence from CWU reps. We won’t tolerate this from anyone and will continue to protect you, by rapidly following our conduct processes whenever such behaviour occurs. If you have any concerns and would like to report them in confidence so we can continue to make your workplace safe, please do report them to Speak Up by calling 0800 090 3154 or the Security Help Desk on 020 7239 6655. You can also access through the portal at www.royalmail.com/all-eyes-on-security.
And from this moment, we will open all our offices on strike days, whether or not we have the numbers necessary to make them work efficiently. We won’t turn you away if you want to come in and earn what’s due to you.
So please think about this offer to the CWU. Talk to us and CWU. And let’s end this damaging strike action.