The deal to end the ongoing and bitter postal dispute between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) has been agreed.
The union’s postal executive has endorsed a deal aimed at ending the row over pay, working practices and job losses.
The CWU’s 130,000 members will now be balloted on whether they will accept the deal before the long-running dispute is finally ended.
Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, was bullish on the deal: “This has been a long dispute but the agreement reflects the fact that change in the company will only be managed with the union and the workforce,” he said.
“We have made significant gains on pay and related issues and the union’s role in negotiating change in the workplace has been strengthened.”
The key areas of the agreement include:
Pay: A pay rise of 6.9% over 18 months, coupled with a lump sum of £175 immediately and a further lump sum of £400 linked to local implementation of change.
Flexibility: All flexibility and change will now be directly negotiated with the CWU. There will be no change to working hours without agreement. All automation to be subject to further agreement with CWU.
Other areas: The agreement also includes productivity arrangements, attendance patterns – including no change to Saturday attendances – and network changes.
Pensions: Any pension reform has been formally de-coupled from the pay agreement. The issue will now be subject to a formal 90 day consultation process. The union wants to protect existing worker’s final salary scheme and secure rights for new staff.
In a joint statement the CWU and Royal Mail said: “Royal Mail and CWU recognise that the scale of the recent dispute has the potential to damage relationships between managers, reps and employees.
“Everyone wants to put the dispute behind us and we are all committed to restoring good industrial and employee relations at all levels.”