‘Cynical’ Post office bosses slammed


Post Office bosses have been accused of a “cynical attempt to bypass the BEIS Select Committee Report” after they announced limited increases in Postmaster pay earlier this week.

A recent hard-hitting report from the Parliamentary Committee recommended the Post Office engage in negotiations with the CWU on this issue, as part of a series of formal recommendations at the conclusion of its six-month Inquiry into our Post Office Network and its sustainability.

In their Formal Report, BEIS Committee Members urged the company to “invite the Communication Workers Union to participate in the working group on sub-postmaster pay with immediate effect.”

The CWU made submissions to the Inquiry and gave evidence at the House of Commons Committee Session, and pushed hard for significant improvements to Postmaster pay, as well as promoting the concept of ‘worker’ status, which would immediately qualify them for a range of statutory rights such as holiday pay and pensions.

Reacting to the company’s announcement, CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey said that, although this week’s Post Office announcement of a “long-overdue improved pay package for Postmasters” was “welcome to a point,” he pointed out that the increase “does not compensate Postmasters for the savage attacks on their earnings over successive years.” 

And, he also sharply criticised the Post Office for cynically bringing the review to an abrupt conclusion, given the fact the CWU has not been given the opportunity to participate and influence the outcome.

“The Post Office has clearly knee-jerked this response as a consequence of the BEIS Committee recommendation, which tells you they are most comfortable sitting in a room with people who agree with them rather than engaging with a proper trade union that would represent members’ interests first and foremost,” Andy said.

“If we are going to have the sustainable, healthy and public-service-providing Post Office Network that this country needs, then the BEIS Committee Report must be implemented in full and the Post Office should now accept this position and invite the CWU into meaningful talks without delay.”

“But in any event, the Post Office’s outcome of this pay review is just a short-term palliative – we need a real leadership that will look forward and build a Post Office fit for today and for the future, meeting the needs of the Great British public and of all of our local communities and the small businesses that are vital to our economy.

“We need our Post Office reunited with Royal Mail in the public sector, the establishment of a people’s Post Bank, and a new management structure that actively involves the workforce and local communities in its decision-making.

“And for that to happen – we need the return of a Labour Government.”