Leaders of the Communication Workers Union yesterday endorsed the terms of an agreement reached with Royal Mail Group covering pay, pensions and working conditions. The deal, which was unanimously agreed by the CWU’s Postal Executive, will now be recommended to the union’s 110,000 postal members in a forthcoming national ballot.

The agreement has been reached after months of talks and removes the risk of strike action in Royal Mail Group. As well as a three-year pay deal and two-hour cut in the working week worth 12.33% overall (when linked to the shorter working week), the agreement includes the introduction of a potentially ground-breaking new pension scheme for all Royal Mail employees, which will provide the UK’s first collective defined contribution pension and a guaranteed cash lump sum.

Commenting on the agreement, Terry Pullinger Deputy General Secretary (Postal) said: “This agreement represents the successful outcome of months of talks and is testament to the strength of membership support reflected in the union’s huge vote for strike action in October last year. The success of our campaign has delivered a substantial pay rise, a shorter working week and a pioneering new pension scheme that will secure our members’ future employment, standard of living and retirement security.”

“In the face of the tough challenges Royal Mail faces from gig-economy competitors, unfair regulation and automation, we have reached a settlement that builds a bridge from our current agreements to the future, is progressive and reflects leading-edge solutions in a challenging modern setting. It will also ensure that any future change is managed through a process of evolution not revolution that will protect the interests of all members. The CWU therefore welcomes the company’s commitments to re-establish the principles of security, maintain industrial stability and restore our mutual interest culture while protecting the future of a great public service.”