Strike action at the Royal Mail has been “narrowly avoided” after the organisation brokered a landmark agreement with the Communication Workers Union (CWU).
The dispute began when Royal Mail imposed a 2.9% pay rise in April, but the new agreement – secured after “lengthy and complicated” negotiations – overturns that, providing new money for salaries.
The agreement, which will now be voted on in a ballot of CWU members, includes:
– Consolidated pay of 2.9% which will now flow through to all allowances including London weighting, backdated to 3 July 2006
– Achieving efficiency savings will add an extra 1% to basic pensionable pay and weekday overtime rates, backdated from 5 June 2006. In addition, 40% of all efficiency savings over this financial year will be put into basic pay meaning that postal workers may receive four pay rises this year
– Significant pension investment with no change to retirement age or staff contributions, dependent on government investment
– Job security, with no compulsory redundancies and no compulsory change from full- to part-time work
– Firm commitment to work with the union to grow the business in a competitive environment with new products and services rather than ‘slash and burn’ downsizing.
Billy Hayes, general secretary of the CWU, said: “This is a progressive and unprecedented agreement that will deliver significant benefits to postal workers.
“Royal Mail has responded to our clear vision of higher pensionable pay, job security, pension investment and a progressive attitude towards managing and growing the business.
“Unlike management, we will now give postal workers their democratic right to have their say on this agreement in a ballot.”