Royal Mail and Communication Workers Union fail to reach agreement over staff pay

Royal Mail has today [5 April] confirmed that talks with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have reached a conclusion without an agreement after months of negotiation and strike action.

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “After 11 months of talks, including mediation by Sir Brendan Barber and Acas, we are deeply concerned that our talks with the CWU have concluded without an agreement.”

Beginning in August and continuing until 24 December 2022, last year saw Royal Mail staff take part in 18 days of strike action. The strikes were organised by the CWU over ‘pay and unagreed changes to terms and conditions’.

Royal Mail claims that it has improved its proposal multiple times, the latest being an offer of two options, both involving a 10% pay rise in instalments from April 2022 (which it says has already been paid) until April 2024.

In addition to this, the firm said that it would pay a lump sum of £500-£1,500, depending on which option was chosen, as well as amendments to its original proposal including later start times, the scrapping of changes to allowances for existing employees, and the implementation of a profit share arrangement.

The spokesperson for Royal Mail continued: “We made substantial efforts to reach an agreement, including making a number of further improvements to our offer. These improvements were all based on feedback from the CWU, and we were hopeful that the CWU would put a deal to its members.

“We remain committed to reaching an agreement with the CWU. We have been clear throughout the dispute that not transforming our network and working practices is not an option in a business losing more than £1 million a day. In the best interests of the business, our customers, and the job security of our postmen and women, change cannot be delayed any further.”

In a statement today, the CWU said: “Negotiations with Royal Mail Group concluded last night without an agreement.

“The company advised the union that the directors who have been leading negotiations are no longer available and that the board will be meeting today to determine their next steps.

“There has been progress in several areas and the union made it clear last night that we are willing to continue negotiations today and tomorrow to finalise an agreement. This offer has been reiterated to the company this morning.

“We will be consulting with the union’s Postal Executive later today, taking stock of the situation and considering all available options with regards to our next steps.”

This failure to reach an agreement comes after the two organisations committed in early March to re-open talk with the aim of resolving the dispute by 12 March 2023.


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