Royal Mail statement on Announcement of CWU Strike Ballot
The CWU’s announced this morning that it will hold a national strike ballot unless agreement is reached with Royal Mail on a range of issues.
Please see the statement we have issued in response to below.
- Royal Mail is disappointed that the CWU intends to call for a national strike ballot
- A highly competitive pay offer and agreement has been proposed to the CWU and has been rejected. Talks are on-going and we are committed to seeking an agreement. We believe that a ballot on strike action is inappropriate
- Since 2011 Royal Mail has been in talks with the CWU to reach a new agreement following the Business Transformation Agreement 2010
- Disrupting the service Royal Mail provides to its customers is not helpful
- Agreement offered
- Royal Mail proposed to the CWU a new three-year agreement to deliver its agenda for growth and industrial stability. It offered a new model for the CWU and Royal Mail to work together. Talks are on-going to seek an agreed settlement
- Terms and conditions and pay
- An 8.6% increase in base pay over three years
- The current legal position is that all terms and conditions that apply to Royal Mail employees would remain in place, on the same basis, were the company to be sold
- To provide further reassurance, Royal Mail wants to create a legally-binding and enforceable contract with the CWU. Pay and protections could not be changed for the period of the contract without CWU agreement
- Royal Mail will continue to have a predominantly full-time workforce on a national basis, around 75 per cent full time to 25 per cent part time
- There will be no change to the current structure of the company in relation to services provided to customers
- Free Shares
- The sale of Royal Mail is a matter for the UK Government as detailed in the Postal Services Act 2011
- Our employees will have a meaningful stake in the company and its future success. Just this week, the Government announced that 150,000 employees would be automatically enrolled in the free shares scheme. They can opt out if they wish
- This is the largest free stake of any major UK privatisation
- On Pensions
- The cost to companies of maintaining final salary pension schemes has risen in recent years. This is due in part to the recession and the Government’s policy of printing money to help the economy. Royal Mail is impacted by this as much as any other company
- Royal Mail proposes to use some of the £2billion of assets in the Royal Mail Pension Plan to keep it open for existing members, subject to certain conditions
- Royal Mail is consulting with Plan members on a proposal that would see no changes to members’ contribution rates, retirement age or accrual rates
Royal Mail is disappointed that the CWU has announced it intends to call for a national strike ballot of its members in Royal Mail at its policy forum today (August 1 2013).
Talks are on-going between Royal Mail and the CWU and we are committed to seeking an agreement. Since 2011, Royal Mail has been in talks with the CWU to reach a new agreement following the Business Transformation Agreement 2010.
Parcelforce Worldwide employees are not included in the proposals being debated by the CWU.
Royal Mail proposed a legally-binding three-year highly competitive agreement to deliver its agenda for growth and industrial stability that included an 8.6% increase in base pay over three years. It has been rejected by the CWU. We believe that a ballot on strike action is inappropriate. Disrupting the service Royal Mail provides to its customers is not helpful.
Royal Mail operates in a very competitive market, especially in the parcels market. We recognise that customers have a choice and can move their business very quickly. We want to reach agreement with the CWU as soon as possible to give customers and employees continued stability.