A permanent end to the postal dispute maybe in sight after Royal
Mail and the Communications Workers Union (CWU) reached an
agreement last month. The agreement on pay, modernisation and
support for pension reform, however, is still subject to a full
CWU members’ ballot, which closes on 27th November.
“This has been a long dispute,” said Dave Ward, CWU’s deputy general secretary, “but the agreement reflects the fact that change in the company will only be managed with the union and the workforce. We have made significant gains on pay and related issues, and the union’s role in negotiating change in the workplace has been strengthened”.
On the other side of the bargaining table, Royal Mail chief executive Adam Crozier said that the deal gives Royal Mail “a fighting chance of success in the future”.
The terms of the agreement include an increase of 5.4 percent on basic pay and overtime, a one-off lump sum of £175 per employee from an existing employee “share of savings” scheme and, according to Royal Mail, “the flexibility we need to modernise our operations”. The union said that the dispute over pensions has been “formally decoupled from the pay agreement”. The row over pensions has been a strong bone of contention during the dispute but now the union says it secured a number of principles to take forward to a consultation period separate from the main agreement. These include the right to retire at 60 for existing pension scheme members and the final salary scheme to be replaced for the future by a similar defined benefits scheme.