Post Office pay dispute – union calls ‘chutzpah’ on bosses’ double standards

Post Office (PO)
CEO Nick Read now plays the ‘public-sector’ card to try to justify his pay freeze after arguing that the Post Office must be a profitable business …


“Writer Leo Rosten famously defined the term ‘chutzpah’ as ‘gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, and presumption plus arrogance’ – and there’s really no better word to describe Post Office’s hypocrisy over workers’ pay,” says CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey.

Speaking to CWU News this morning, as independent arbitrator ACAS issued notice on both sides that it will be calling them in for New Year talks, Andy explained that the Post Office chief is trying to justify his controversial wage standstill by citing the Government’s public-sector pay policy.

“The Post Office is in profit and has been for a number of years now – which is exactly what the Post Office has been demanding from our members,” says Andy.

“We’ve continually been told that the Post Office must perform like a business, that we’re in a market-place and that profit, loss, revenues and commercial products are what we must be all about.

“But yet when our members work their hearts out to create these profits, Nick Read suddenly switches to focus on Government policy and the need to follow public-sector protocols – he can’t have it both ways.

“If he does want to judge this issue of our members’ pay by public-service criteria, how about some credit for the outstanding service our members, as key workers, have performed magnificently for the Great British public throughout the worst public health emergency in living memory?”

ACAS chief conciliator David Prince has called the CWU and the Post Office to a meeting on 5th January, in line with the formal dispute procedure appertaining within this sector.

This may be the first of several ACAS sessions, although Andy has warned that, unless there is a reasonable prospect of a fair pay settlement, the next stage is likely to be a formal request from him to the CWU executive committee requesting its authorisation of a strike ballot.

“The 5th January represents a chance for a fair deal and for an agreed way forward – we’ll be strongly urging Mr Read to grasp that opportunity,” says Andy.

“There is absolutely no way that our members will accept a pay freeze – certainly not after the year and a half they’ve just been through, certainly not when we all know that Post Office is in profit, and certainly not when we see inflation hitting a 10-year high.

“Our members deserve better – Pay up Post Office.”