CWU on Post Office Mutualisation
4th July 2012
CWU today (Wednesday) broadly welcomes the
opportunity to be involved in the debate about mutualisation
following the government's report into Post Office
mutualisation, but has concerns, particularly as the future
financial sustainability of the Post Office is far from assured.
The report follows last year's consultation on mutualisation
for the Post Office, and takes on board the views of many
participants, including the submission made by CWU. Of particular
significance, the report establishes a Stakeholder Forum, which CWU
expects to sit on. This is absolutely necessary as putting the
workforce at the heart of the mutualisation debate is the only way
success can be assured.
Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary,
said; "Today's report paints a positive future for the
Post Office, but the suitability of a mutual model is still
unclear. We're in favour of a successful operating model for
the Post Office which delivers high quality services to communities
across the UK, and if mutualisation can do that then that's
great. We also agree with putting the workforce at the heart of the
"However, in our view, ownership hasn't been the
problem for the Post Office. Sustainability is ultimately about
business success and funding and we find it hard to see a
loss-making organisation being mutualised. In addition, we
understand there is a lack of clear support for mutualisation which
will be problematic if the process is to be genuinely stakeholder
"We are also concerned that the Post Office's strategy
to move to greater financial stability via network transformation
is flawed, with unplanned closures as a result of existing
Postmasters (our members) losing vital income, via new contracts
that remove up to £10,000 of their annual income. Without
these postmasters the post office network is set to become a
network of multiple retailers, which could prove contentious in a
Much of the finer details are being left to a Stakeholder Forum
to determine: the public purpose, membership, the role for
consumers and even what is meant by financially sustainability.
Billy continued: "Whilst we welcome participating in the forum in a constructive and positive way we have some reservations about the Post Office Managing Director chairing this body as it brings neutrality and independence into question. This is a missed opportunity by the government."
Read in full: Building a mutual Post Office: The Government's reponse.
CWU is the largest union in the postal sector and represents Post Office staff working across the network, including postmasters and staff in Crown offices.
If you are interested in joining the CWU please contact us on freephone 0800 731 7434 or e-mail email@example.com for more information or to join now.