‘Determined to get a fair deal’ on Post Office pay & pensions

Postal, Post Office (PO)

Assistant secretary Andy Furey and his team have now met with Post Office senior management on several occasions over the past two weeks and are “more determined than ever” to achieve a fair deal for hard-working counter staff, supply chain and admin members.

Negotiations for the current pay round – which will set wages terms and conditions for the period from April 2018 – are taking place against the backdrop of an improved position for the business, with indications pointing towards significantly improved financial results for the previous 12-month period.

“The business needs to recognise that these positive indicators have been achieved thanks to the dedicated efforts and hard work of our members up and down the country,” said Andy.

“And in the meetings that have taken place so far, we have made clear to senior management that this must be reflected in an appropriate level of reward for the workforce.”

The pay claim calls for an above inflation (RPI) increase in basic pay and allowances across all CWU-represented grades and also for further talks and discussions to resolve outstanding issues around overtime rates and bonus earnings, while improving annual leave entitlements by reducing qualifying times is another key aspiration that the CWU negotiating team is aiming to achieve in these negotiations.

Further talks are being planned for the coming weeks and further updates will be given as soon as possible.

Initial conversations have also begun on the issue of pension parity with Royal Mail.

With the Royal Mail Four Pillars agreement in mind – and with particular reference to the new CDC pensions scheme, which has been agreed in principle between the CWU and Royal Mail – this year’s CWU annual conference adopted a resolution calling for the new scheme to be equally available to our Post Office members as well.

Due to the complex nature of the new CDC proposition, keeping this discussion with the Post Office as a stand-alone issue and also giving the business the opportunity to hear a detailed explanation of the CDC concept were the starting points for seeking to implement the conference policy, Andy explained.

“Strategically, it’s better that discussions on this issue take place separately from the annual pay round – particularly in light of the fact that the CDC proposals are going to take some time to come to fruition – and we began on this by organising a detailed presentation from the union’s pensions experts First Actuarial, to which we invited the Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells and her senior team.”

The union is currently awaiting the Post Office’s formal initial response on this, which will be addressed as a separate issue from the pay negotiations.