Post Office Dispute

CWU – Post Office industrial dispute summary

Around 1,400 CWU members working for the Post Office have been in dispute over pay since the spring of 2022 and have taken strike action and action short of a strike (ASOS) on numerous occasions.

Action update

Since the first action was called on 3rd May 2022, our Crown and Admin members have struck eight times and members in Supply Chain nine times, while all Post Office members began ASOS in December. Each action has been strongly supported, with pickets at workplaces on strike days and protest events at various venues.

In the Crowns, ASOS has taken the form of a sales boycott and work to rule, while Admin grades have worked to rule and Supply Chain members have banned overtime and scheduled attendance.

ASOS was paused in February 2023 after commitment was received from the Post Office to refresh the national pay talks, which resumed on 20th February. Talks proceeded and, on 2nd March, a joint statement was released informing of the latest situation. A further joint statement from the talks was released on 14th March, with a new update.

Causes of dispute and ballots

The first national ballot took place during March 2022 in response to the pay freeze imposed by Post Office for the 2021/22 financial year, after ACAS-facilitated discussions failed to reach a solution. On 28th March, this ballot returned a 97.3 per cent YES vote for strike action on a 70.2 per cent turnout.

Post Office’s initial pay offer for 2022/23 was 2 per cent. A lump sum of £250 was added to the basic offer. A couple of months later, the pay offer was raised to 3 per cent and the lump sum lifted to £500. During the early autumn of last year, ACAS-facilitated meetings were held with the employer and, although the pay offer was increased again (to 5 per cent), this was still not enough in comparison to rising inflation, while there was still no offer in respect of the outstanding 2021/22 period.

Post Office made a profit of £35m for 2020/21 and £39m for 2021/22, and they paid managers bonuses totalling some £2m – therefore, the CWU has repeatedly pointed out that Post Office can well afford a fair pay settlement for 2021/22 and 2022/23.

After 28th September, the legal mandate of the existing strike ballot expired, and the CWU held a second national ballot of Post Office members – this time also including provision for ASOS – and, on 17th November, this ballot returned a 91.24 per cent YES vote for strike action and a 92.36 per cent YES vote for ASOS on a 65.21 per cent turnout.

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