Post Office Crowns & Admin strikes resume – Supply Chain overtime ban begins

Post Office (PO)


Staff in Crown Offices and Admin grades began a two-day walkout yesterday – their seventh and eighth – while their Supply Chain colleagues have begun a two-week overtime ban…

Speaking to CWU News today, acting DGSP Andy Furey said: “This dispute has now been ongoing for nearly seven months. The first strikes were back in early May. Our Post Office members have now voted twice by enormous, 90 per cent-plus, majorities for this action and they’ve certainly shown their ongoing determination to win the fair pay deal they deserve. According to reports I’ve received from our reps around the UK, this latest bout of action has, once again, been solidly supported.

“I’m honoured to represent such a fantastic group of members – their strength and solidarity truly is an inspiration.”

Hard-working staff have been battling to win a fair pay rise and remain angry at the employer’s decision to freeze pay for the 2021/22 period and offer an inadequate 5 per cent increase for 2022/23. Despite it being higher than the 3 per cent previously offered, it remains far, far below current inflation levels and this is in the context of the organisation having recorded profits of £74 million over the past two financial years.

The union has repeatedly urged the Post Office leadership to return to the negotiating table and has also offered to take the dispute to the independent arbitration service ACAS. But so far, this peace offer by the CWU has not been taken up.

Andy continued: “As we’ve said many times during these past months, the Post Office CEO Nick Read needs to listen to his workforce and put more money on the table. “Everybody knows there’s more than enough money for a reasonable pay rise and it’s time for those at the top of the Post Office to show real respect for dedicated public servants who, as key workers, provided unprecedented customer service during the pandemic.”

“The determination of our Post Office members – whose efforts generated millions of pounds in profit – hasn’t swayed, and they won’t accept their living standards being smashed.

“We repeat our message to management – get back to the negotiating table and offer our members the fair deal they deserve. Until Mr Read and his senior colleagues see sense, these strikes and overtime bans will continue – this union will keep on fighting.”

Crown strike around the regions…

Carole Bowmaker, CWU rep for Post Office members in Scotland and Northern Ireland said: “We had a lively picket at Glasgow Crown – and it was great to see a couple of our retired members come along and give their support as well. I’ve also had a very positive report from Edinburgh City Crown too and from the 10 other Crowns across my patch. The strike’s being strongly supported by our members. Some offices are opening with a reduced service and shorter opening times, but this is being staffed by managers.

“Our message to the CEO Mr Read is: ‘Stop playing with numbers and sit down and negotiate a resolution. If you can pay yourself huge monies, you can afford to give our members a fair pay deal.”

Neil Barry represents our North West and North Wales Crown workers and his summary of these two days is: “It’s been brilliant and there’s been great feedback from members. I’ve got 19 Crowns in this area and morale is very strong,” he continued.

“The only thing they’re disappointed about is they’re not striking on the 23rd, but we’ve still got the action coming up on the 24th and it’s going to be massive.”

London & South East rep Clive Tickner told CWU News: “We’ve got about 20 Crowns and they’ve only managed to open some of the offices with redeployed managers – our members have been solid. We’ll keep going until we get a fair deal.”

Clive added: “The Post Office leadership must be spending a fortune on trying to break this strike – why not put this money into settling our pay claim instead?”

Tim Pavelin, Midlands & Anglia, had strong praise for members at the Matlock Crown Office in Derbyshire, saying: “They’ve been our solid on the picket lines in some of the coldest weather we’ve seen – minus 10 degrees. And also big thanks to our CWU Midlands Region secretary Mark Harper, who’s been with them on their picket.

“We’ve got 10 Crowns across my patch and overall it’s gone really well,” Tim continued. “Support is holding up and the impact is significant. Members are very disappointed that management are not engaging in meaningful negotiations, but this action and the action short of a strike will really hit home in the lead-up to Christmas.”