We now have a clearer pathway to make the swift changes we need to transform our business, after reaching an agreement with the CWU, writes Paul Smith.
Following months of talks covering wide-ranging topics, against a backdrop of our most challenging time, an agreement has been reached that provides a strong foundation for Royal Mail to meet ever-increasing customer expectations and capitalise on the growth in parcels in our industry.
The wide-ranging talks has led to agreement in three key areas:
- Strategy and future direction of Royal Mail: Our joint commitment to a significantly enhanced parcels network that maximises automation; dedicated parcel deliveries; Sunday deliveries (on a voluntary basis); and a joint review to ensure the network is fit for the future given the rapidly changing volumes of letters and parcels. Our plans are not about abandoning letters or limiting our ambitions on growth just to parcels.
- Operational change: Such as revisions across the operation, and a new delivery agreement that supports a move to annual revisions; the deployment of scan in, scan out technology at all sites; further trials and then deployment of Resource Scheduler; an updated process for trialling new technology and methods more swiftly; a new simplified and quicker dispute resolution framework; and the use of tools and measures to improve our productivity, based on an agreed productivity measure, and level up performance.
- Pay and job security: Our existing commitments to job security remain in place. Subject to ratification by CWU members, we have agreed the following two-year pay deal for CWU colleagues:
- 2.7% pay increase backdated to April 2020; and
- Further pay increase of 1% with effect from April 2021; and
- The second hour of the shorter working week to be implemented at the point that the 2021 programme of revision activity is deployed in a function/unit, but no later than October 2021.
In a joint letter to all colleagues, interim CEO Stuart Simpson and interim executive chairman, Keith Williams, write: ‘Royal Mail and CWU have committed to rebalance our focus and resources from declining letters to a rapidly growing parcels market, creating a more efficient business that is better aligned to the changing needs of customers.
‘Both parties recognise this will require new ways of working, a more flexible business, greater use of technology and the insight of our workforce.
‘It will help us to improve our efficiency and productivity. And importantly, it continues to ensure we remain by far and away the best employer in our industry.’
We are now working with the CWU to operationalise and finalise the detail on many aspects of this agreement. The CWU will also be putting the final deal to a vote of its members.
You can hear Stuart and chief operating officer Achim Dünnwald describe what the agreement means for our customers, our people and the company in this RMtv Special.
Keep an eye on myroyalmail.com for updates on this agreement as they happen.