Union urges Royal Mail PFSL members to ‘Vote YES’ as two-year deal goes out to ballot

Ballot papers go out this week to around 1,400 Royal Mail Property & Facilities Solutions Limited (PFSL) cleaners, admin and building maintenance workers asking for their endorsement of a negotiated pay and associated issues agreement…

Under the agreement, pay rates for PFSL’s engineers increase by 7 per cent – backdated to 1st October 2022 – and then a further 4 per cent from 1st April 2023, while admin workers will see their pay rise by 5 per cent – backdated to 1st April 2022 – and another 3 per cent effective from 1st April 2023, plus a one-off £250(pro rata for part-time employees) cash pay-out.

The agreement includes bringing forward the Real Living Wage Foundation (RLWF) rates with effect from 1st February 2023 – two months earlier – and raising hourly rates from £9.90 to £10.90 – a 10.1 per cent increase – outside of London and from £11.05 to £11.95 within London. There are also non-consolidated ‘bridge’ payments over the period of the pay deal, which will apply to London staff. The reason for the lump-sum bridge payments is to recognise and compensate those members who either did not get an increase or who do not receive the same level of increase as other cleaners from April 2023.

As outlined above, the pay differential for relief cleaners is re-introduced, raising their hourly rates to £10.75 (national) and £11.90 (London) and backdated to 1st April 2022. An incentive scheme also provides the opportunity for an extra pay-out worth 2 per cent of base pay.

CWU assistant secretaries Mark Baulch and Carl Maden are the union’s national officers for our PFSL members, with Mark representing cleaners and Carl looking after the interests of engineers and admin workers. Speaking to CWU News today, after presenting a detailed briefing of the agreement to reps this morning, they explained the benefits to members and why they are recommending members vote YES in the forthcoming ballot.

“It’s a significant step forward in terms of pay, with many of the union’s policies having been addressed,” said Mark.

Carl said: “The pay increases on offer for our engineers and admin workers have significantly improved through the course of our negotiations,” adding that “the ‘change’ issues previously linked to engineers’ pay had now been ‘de-coupled’ and will now the subject of separate negotiations.” Carl also said he was pleased to have been able to negotiate the extra lump-sum payment for admin workers.

Both officers also pointed to the steps forward on the other part of the negotiating agenda – the ‘associated issues’ – which encompass several aspects of terms and conditions in which the union has a long-term aim of achieving full harmonisation for PFSL members with their Royal Mail colleagues.

“The key gains here, moving towards full harmonisation, are on maternity/paternity arrangements, annual leave and average pay while on annual leave*,” said Carl, “and there has also been some progress on improving PFSL members’ pensions and a death-in-service benefit for those who were not previously covered by this in the ‘NEST’ pension scheme. For all these reasons, we’re asking members to vote YES in the ballot.”

Mark agreed, saying: “Those are meaningful steps towards the full harmonisation we are seeking and when evaluating the deal overall, it’s important to remember that there is calculable value here as well.

“Overall, this is a good deal in the circumstances and as well as the excellent work of our negotiating team, it’s also been achieved thanks to the strength, determination and unity of our members and we’re strongly recommending a YES vote.”

  • For further details of the agreement, please see 22nd February Joint CWU/PFSL Statement
  • Ballot papers go out to PFSL members on Wednesday 1st March and voting will close on Tuesday 14th
  • The average pay on annual leave improvements will be subject to a separate ballot.