Royal Mail staff to strike over pay and pensions

Royal Mail postal workers have voted to strike for 24 hours on 4 November in a dispute over pay, pensions and job security.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents all non-managerial employees, is allowing for a two-week period to reach an agreement over the issues.

More than three-quarters (78%) of Royal Mail employees who are members of the CWU voted in favour of industrial action.

Royal Mail amended the proposed reforms to its defined benefit (DB) pension scheme in September. Under the amendments, promotional increases to pensionable pay, and increments, would continue through to March 2018. This is a change from its original proposal, under which final salary pensionable pay would no longer increase for promotions after 1 April 2014.

Royal Mail’s pay offer, which was rejected by the CWU in July 2013, is an 8.6% increase in pay, allowance and overtime payments over three years, as well as a non-consolidated lump-sum payment of £300 in December 2013.

A spokesperson from the Royal Mail said: “We are disappointed by CWU members. Any action, or the threat of disruption, is damaging to our business, especially in the run-up to Christmas.

“The three-year pay offer and deal on protections address the points raised by the CWU. Talks to reach an agreement continue.”

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Dave Ward, deputy general secretary at the CWU, added: “The clock is ticking for both sides and we need Royal Mail to work to reach agreement before this deadline.

“What we want is a long-term, legally-binding agreement that not only protects postal workers’ job security, pay and pensions, but will also determine the strategy, principles and values of how the Royal Mail will operate as a private equity.”