Royal Mail pay proposals rejected

Postal unions have rejected a 8.6% pay rise over three years for 125,000 Royal Mail employees.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) rejected the organisation’s proposals on pay and conditions for a number of reasons. It felt:

  • The pay element in isolation does not meet with the terms of CWU policy for an above-inflation, no-strings-attached pay rise.
  • The pay element does not address CWU’s claim for significantly improved overtime rates and new bonus arrangements.
  • The linkage to the previously rejected pension proposals was unacceptable.

Royal Mail’s proposals also included:

  • A non-consolidated lump-sum payment of £300 (pro-rata for part-time employees) in December 2013.
  • The development of Incentive schemes aligned to the improving competitive position of the business with a minimum payment of £100 per annum.

Dave Ward, deputy general secretary at the CWU, said: “The pay rise is only there as a sweetener to swallow some very bitter pills on damaging changes to pensions, and a raft of workplace uncertainty.

“As far as industrial stability is concerned, the organisation has no real strategy for growth. Royal Mail consistently claims it has a plan for growth, but it can’t explain it to the workforce.

“All postal workers see are budget cuts and increasingly unmanageable workloads.”

In a statement on 1 July, ahead of the union’s rejection of the proposals, Moya Greene, chief executive officer at Royal Mail Group, said: “This offer represents Royal Mail’s commitment to a long-term engagement strategy with the CWU and with our people.

“We have already built a stronger Royal Mail together through closer co-operation and trust in recent years. We are now offering a new long-term agreement with the CWU and our employees.

“This is a good deal; good for Royal Mail and good for our people. We are asking the CWU and our people to accept this new agreement. There will be further discussions this week with the CWU about the proposed agreement.”

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Royal Mail Group was contacted on 2 July but declined to comment.

In addition to, and separate from, the proposed agreement, the Postal Services Act 2011 stated that a minimum of 10% of shares in the organisation will be set aside for employees on, or ahead of, the government’s shareholding in Royal Mail falling to zero. The timing, form and other details of the scheme are a matter for government.