Royal Mail Customer Experience members ‘delighted’ with SWW deal


Sara Wright

CWU reps in Sunderland and Plymouth report positive feedback from recently concluded national agreement…

“Our members up here at Doxford are delighted with the agreement and really pleased it’s coming in earlier than we expected,” says Sara Wright, CWU rep for Royal Mail’s Customer Experience (RMCE) workers in the Sunderland area.

The agreement, which was announced a few days ago, reduces the working week by one hour for full-time staff, while part-time workers receive a ‘pro-rata’ adjustment to their hourly pay – and this will start at the end of this month.

Across the company, there will be 15 to 30-minute alterations to shift start and finish times, which will vary – in terms of the specifics – in different locations and will be pre-agreed between management and local reps.

“Overall, it’s a great deal for our members and the feedback I’ve had has been unanimously positive,” says Sara.

Sue Owen

Sue Owen reports a similarly optimistic outlook from CWU members down in Plymouth, where she represents around 250 Customer Experience workers.

“This reduction, on top of the previous one, adds up to a good improvement in our work-life balance,” she tells CWU News, and adds that the adjustment is equivalent to a 3 per cent rise in hourly rates, “so people are appreciating what the union’s negotiated.”

Customer Experience workers have had an extremely busy period, with their workloads rising in proportion to Royal Mail’s overall operation. And with the company looking to recruit more staff in the period ahead, the union will be pushing for full-time opportunities for more of our part-time workers, and permanent status for people on fixed-term contracts.

Assistant secretary Andy Furey, who led the national talks with RMCE, says: “It’s great to hear that our members are pleased with this deal.  It’s been, frankly, an extraordinary period for everyone in Royal Mail and it’s important that everyone now shares in the reward for their fantastic efforts.

Going forward, we have established a joint working group looking at the best way to design future working arrangements – most of our Customer Experience members have been working from home and a ‘hybrid’ system is one possibility for the longer-term.

“We’ll be making sure that all of our members’ needs are fully attended to in these discussions, as well as the operational needs of the business to ensure continuing excellent customer service.”

  • For further details on the RMCE agreement please see LTB 217/21

And in MDECs, members opting for VR will receive improved package…

Andy also represents CWU members working in Royal Mail’s manual data entry centres – where the one-hour reduction was delivered on May 3 and this week, he updated branches on the preference exercise outputs at Farnworth, Stoke and Plymouth.

“Following the National Agreement reached with MDEC management with regards to The Pathway to Change Agreement, we have continued our discussions in relation to the preference exercise for the MDEC units at Farnworth, Plymouth and Stoke,” he says. 

“This has been conducted fully in line with MTSF principles and every effort will be made to find alternative roles for members who wish to stay within Royal Mail.

“And our members who have chosen VR have been provided indicative estimates, with formal offers expected within the next week. And I’m pleased to report that their severance packages will fully take account of the planned bonus consolidation of £60 per month due to be included with July’s salaries (backdated to 1st April 2021).”