Royal Mail tables new offer in pay and conditions dispute

Royal Mail has proposed a new offer aimed at resolving a dispute over pay and conditions.

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have staged a series of strikes in recent weeks, with more planned next month.

The company said the offer is worth 9%, including a 7% salary increase over two years, plus a lump sum payment of 2% this year.

It said in a statement: “The offer is subject to agreeing a programme of change with the CWU, including changes to Sunday working, start times and flexible working, so that Royal Mail can re-invent and compete in the growing parcels market.”

Chief executive Simon Thompson said: “Royal Mail made a loss of £219 million in the first half of the year. This once again demonstrates that the need for change at Royal Mail is urgent.

“We have always been clear that the more we can change the business, the more we will be able to pay our people – both now and in the future.

“We urge the CWU leadership to accept the change and pay offer without delay, call off damaging strike action, and help us to transform the business. That is the only way to secure Royal Mail’s future and ensure job security for our people.”

Talks between the union and the company have been held at the conciliation service Acas, and planned strikes in the next two weeks were called off following a challenge by the company.

The union said on Sunday that, following a letter from Royal Mail’s legal team, it had decided to withdraw industrial action notices over the next two weeks.

It added that strikes will resume on Saturday November 12.

The CWU accused Royal Mail of “declaring war” on postal workers by “dismantling a 500-year-old service”.

The union said the offer announced on Monday includes “more unacceptable changes” and a “derisory” 7% two-year pay offer well below projected inflation for both years.

“This reaffirms the company’s whole approach of imposing change rather than negotiating it,” it said in a statement.

“Not only is the offer not applicable to Parcelforce and fleet employees, but the company have confirmed that, as of tomorrow, new entrants will be brought in on lower terms, and will be introducing owner-drivers into Royal Mail – a service that will be comparable to Uber.

“There are also proposals to close mail centres, with wholesale site closures being mooted part of an overall programme, and changes to Sunday working.”

The CWU accused Royal Mail of breaking “every imaginable protocol of negotiations”.

The union’s postal executive will meet on Tuesday to consider further strike action.

A spokesman said: “These proposals are about dismantling a 500-year-old service and destroying the lives of those who serve it.

“Make no mistake – Royal Mail bosses have just declared war on your postie.”