Safer working agreement negotiated for Crown staff

Postal, Post Office (PO)


Friday 29th January 2021

The CWU has reached a new agreement with the employer revising post office opening hours in order to reduce risk of Covid-19 exposure.

With the key aim of keeping staff safe – while maintaining the highest standards of service to the public – these arrangements recognise the fantastic efforts of the whole workforce and meet the human and operational needs of this current period.

Assistant secretary Andy Furey says: “When the situation began to worsen again in the latter part of last year, we pressed the business to re-open the issue and have been in discussions with them to return to limited opening hours.

“This was agreed this week and, with immediate effect, the majority of Crowns will open at 9am and close at 4.30pm Monday to Friday.”

The exception to this will be London branches, which will operate half an hour later at either end of the day, while on Saturdays, branches will open at 9am and those Crowns which currently continue into the afternoon will close at 2pm.

“This has been a data-led decision based upon weekly and hourly customer footfall and crucially takes account of feedback received,” explains Andy, adding: “Our members’ safety is paramount and we’re urging them to contact managers and union safety reps and highlight anything that may put colleagues at risk.” 

This agreement will be under constant review in accordance with the overall situation across the UK.

CWU postal executive member Lynn Simpson, who played a major role in these negotiations, says that the agreement “is an important step in continuing to make sure that our frontline members can keep serving the public safely and lessen the risk to their health.

“Our members have done an amazing job over these past 10 months and this union will always prioritise their safety at work. It’s good that we’ve got this agreement and the hope is that this will help hard-working counter staff whilst protecting a vital community service.”

This agreement restores the principle of reduced hours that were put in place at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic last spring.