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  • Royal Mail
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    23 April 2013
    Royal Mail disappointed with CWU’s decision to hold a consultative ballot
  • Royal Mail is disappointed with the Communications Workers Union’s decision to hold a consultative ballot of its members on a range of issues
  • Royal Mail stressed this is a consultative ballot by the CWU to understand its members’ views on a range of issues
  • A consultative ballot is not a ballot for industrial action
  • We are committed to seeking an agreement with the CWU on the way forward in Royal Mail that equips the business for the future and is fair to our employees

Royal Mail is disappointed with the Communications Workers Union’s decision to hold a consultative ballot of its members on a range of issues. The CWU, at its annual conference today, made the arrangements for a consultative ballot of its members on a range of issues. This will take place in May. Royal Mail stressed this is a consultative ballot by the CWU to understand its members’ views on a range of issues. It is not a ballot for industrial action.

Royal Mail’s position on these issues is set out below.

Royal Mail/CWU discussions – We have had ongoing and detailed discussions on a range of issues, including pay, with the CWU which will continue after the conference. We are committed to seeking an agreement with the CWU on the way forward in Royal Mail that equips the business for the future and is fair for our employees. In the last year, with the CWU, we:

  • Signed a ‘Job security, Resourcing and Managing Change’ agreement with the CWU which reinforces our joint commitment to the modernisation of Royal Mail
  • Agreed that we will continue to have a predominantly full-time workforce
  • Agreed the extension of enhanced voluntary redundancy terms
     

Access mail – Royal Mail is fully committed to the delivery of mail entrusted with us under Downstream Access contracts. All of our customers’ mail is important to us. It needs to be delivered.

Access mail accounts for almost one in two of all the letters we handle. It was previously loss-making. In 2011/12 we made a profit of £80 million on Access mail after modernisation and before other exceptional costs. Price rises and a new regulatory framework that we secured, made this turnaround possible.

Direct delivery – Ofcom published guidance in March setting out its regulatory approach to protect the Universal Service in the event of growing direct delivery competition. Ofcom has the power to intervene if it considers direct delivery competition threatens the sustainable provision of the USO.

In March, Royal Mail welcomed Ofcom’s acknowledgement of its duty, powers and willingness to act to protect the Universal Service if required.

Access to external capital - The Postal Services Act provides a framework within which Royal Mail could access external capital. Any sale is a matter for the Government. Royal Mail is honoured to provide the Universal Service to more than 29 million addresses across the UK. The Universal Service is enshrined in law through the Postal Services Act 2011. The six-days-a-week, one-price-goes-anywhere, affordable service can only be changed by both Houses of Parliament. Ofcom, the independent regulator, has a primary duty to protect the Universal Service. It has ruled out any changes to the scope of the Universal Service.

This means:
- The six-days-a-week, one-price-goes-anywhere, affordable service is protected by law
- Daily deliveries to rural areas will not be reduced in the event of Royal Mail being provided with access to external capital
- The services used by small businesses are protected and we provide good value for money. Ofcom said last month that Royal Mail’s services are affordable to consumers and small and medium sized businesses
- UK stamp prices are among the best value in the EU. In five of the six weight steps for First Class and Second Class mail, the cost of UK stamps are ranked in the bottom half of prices when compared with other EU countries. In some cases, the UK is the cheapest

Media Inquiries

Mish Tullar
Director of Media Relations
Mish.Tullar@royalmail.com
07423 524154