Manx postal workers pledge fightback against ‘horrific’ cutbacks


“The day that we did right was the day we decided to fight,” was Terry Pullinger’s proud response to the decision by Manx postal workers to call an industrial action ballot in protest against management’s plans to slash pay, terms, conditions and service to the public.

Isle of Man Post Office chiefs have shocked employees and residents across the island with their controversial plan to cut deliveries,

Speaking after our Isle of Man Branch took the strike vote decision, our deputy general secretary (postal) accused the employer of “knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.

“We are confronted with the greatest attack ever brought upon our IOM PO members,” Terry continued, explaining that the business was on the offensive on pensions, wage rates, allowances, sick pay, job security, and service delivery.

On pensions:

IoMPO want to pay a maximum contribution of 15 per cent – 3 per cent below the agreed level, this will result in increased member contribution and adjusted benefits if the scheme is to remain open.  The IOMPO also wish to close the existing scheme to new entrants and put them into an inferior DC scheme with employer contributions of 5 per cent and matching up to 7.5 per cent.

On Pay:

IoMPO want to bring in new starter rate of £18,159 (compared to the current £26,012) with a maximum rate of £22,194 (currently £26,343 basic) with pay progression at the discretion of management.

Only new grades would receive future pay awards and existing employees would only receive 50 per cent of the award’s value in a non-consolidated lump sum every year going forward, until the wages equalize at the lower level – the CWU says this is clearly an indefinite pay freeze for our members.

The CWU is totally opposed to two-tier terms and conditions and pension provision, Terry said “it is to the great credit of the IOMPO CWU members that they refuse to pull the ladder up on the next generation of postal workers”.

On Job security:

IoMPO want to replace the agreed voluntary redundancy scheme with a new ‘Mutually Agreed Resignation Scheme’ – which the union suspects is a device to encourage existing employees to leave in order to bring in more of the new lower paid employees.

On public service:

IoMPO is consulting the public on moving from a six-day down to a five-day USO, severely reducing quality of service and impacting particularly on the vulnerable within the community.

As well as criticising the IoMPO Board, the union is also highly critical of the island’s government (which has a certain degree of independence from the UK Government in most internal issues).

“We believe that the IOM Government has aided and abetted the financial decline of the IOM PO by consistently taking money from the organisation whilst in structural decline – taking £2 million per year out of the company and even this year, despite IMPO’s first financial losses, taking £500,000 – in short, we face a privatised agenda whilst remaining publicly owned,” he pointed out.

“In light of the sheer scale of the proposed attack on them, our Isle of Man members have shown great dignity and self-respect by voting unanimously to ballot for industrial action in defence of themselves and a great public service,” said Terry.

“I’m very proud of these workers today,” he added, and quoting from iconic American folk singer Pete Seeger’s ‘Keep Your Eyes on the Prize’, our DGSP said: “The day that we did right was the day we decided to fight.”