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Statement on CWU strike proposal in Post Office admin and supply chain

Press release   •   Dec 11, 2014 15:46 GMT

STATEMENT ON CWU STRIKE ACTION IN POST OFFICE ADMIN AND SUPPLY CHAIN ON 12th DECEMBER

BUSINESS AS USUAL IN ALL POST OFFICE BRANCHES – STRIKE ACTION DOES NOT INVOLVE PEOPLE WORKING IN POST OFFICE BRANCHES

  • Post Office undertaking biggest transformation in UK retail history to become commercially viable and reduce reliance on public money
  • Changes must be made to reduce costs – the Post Office wants to work with the CWU on its proposals
  • Changes taking place will not impact on customer service
  • CWU’s suggestions of widespread compulsory redundancies completely unfounded
  • Post Office offering fair and affordable pay increases of six per cent over three years

The Post Office has said that the CWU is being irresponsible in its decision to press ahead with strike action on 12th December in its Admin and Supply Chain network. It urged the CWU to reconsider the business’s offer of a six per cent pay rise - plus cash payments for colleagues in Supply Chain – over three years or the use of an independent expert to settle the dispute through a transparent process of binding arbitration.

The Post Office reassured customers that the strike action does not include people working in the 11,500 Post Office branches across the UK. It stressed that its branches will be very much open for business as usual.

The Post Office said the CWU’s suggestion that it was imposing widespread compulsory redundancies was untrue and that its proposals are designed to avoid this. It said the union's figures are inaccurate - fewer than five per cent of CWU represented colleagues are affected by its proposals to make changes across its Admin and Supply Chain.

Keith Rann, Head of Supply Chain said: "It will be business as usual our branches, as the strike action does not include people working in our 11,500 branch network. The CWU’s decision to press ahead with strike action is misguided and can only cost its members money in the run up to Christmas.

“The CWU’s claims we are imposing widespread compulsory redundancies are simply untrue. We must make changes to reduce our reliance on public money and sustain our business, and we cannot meet their unrealistic demands for the taxpayer to pay for the continuous employment of people who we cannot find a role for within our business.

We will of course be working closely with our people to ensure that they are treated fairly and fully consulted on all the options available to them.”

Post Office wants to work with the CWU on its proposals which ensure that anyone affected by the changes, that it must make to reduce costs, is treated fairly. Compulsory redundancy would be an absolute last resort once all other options – including another job in the company or a fair voluntary redundancy package – have been considered. It said it remains committed to resolving this dispute by inviting an independent expert to judge our offer and decide whether it is right through a process of ‘binding arbitration’.

The Post Office is undertaking the biggest transformation in UK retail history to become commercially viable and reduce reliance on public money. It said that the CWU has demanded a “no strings attached” pay increase and that any deal must be linked to delivering changes to make this part of the business more competitive for the future. Making these changes is a vital part of our plans for the future, which involve not just maintaining our current levels of service to Post Office branches and businesses across the country, but growth as well.

The Post Office’s pay offer follows the same self-funding principle as the deal agreed with the CWU earlier this year for people working across the Post Office’s Crown network.

The Post Office’s pay offer to the CWU is linked to their commitment to working with the Post Office to deliver cost savings. The Post Office proposals comprise of a three year pay deal, which includes:

  • 2014/15 A 2.1% consolidated pay increase effective from 1st April 2014, plus for people working in Post Office Supply Chain, lump sum payments of up to £700 to be paid between January and March 2015;
  • 2015/16, and 2016/17, an increase in basic pay in each of the two years of 1.9% per cent, plus for people working in Post Office Supply Chain lump sum payments of £500 payable in December 2015 and £200 payable in December 2016

Ends:

Notes to Editors:

For more information, please contact:

Ruth X Barker

Post Office Press Office

Tel: 020 7 250 3138

Mob: 07945 769021

Email: ruth.x.barker@postoffice.co.uk

Twitter: @postofficenews

About the Post Office

The Post Office (Post Office Limited) has an unrivalled national network of over 11,500 branches across the UK, more than all the high street banks combined, and sits at the heart of communities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. The Post Office has made a commitment to maintaining its network of branches at its current size and reach. It provides around 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.

The Post Office serves over 17 million customers a week and a third of small businesses. Some 99.7% of the total population live within three miles of a post office and over 97% live with one mile of a post office. For many rural communities, the post office is the only retail outlet. Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information, visit http://www.postoffice.co.uk/.

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