On the 10th February 2022, I outlined the terms of a two year pay agreement, which was accepted overwhelmingly in a nationwide ballot of members in An Post. Since then, the two-phase pay increases totalling 5% have been paid by An Post, further agreement on improvements to Pension have been achieved. Since the initial pay deal was concluded, CWU has been engaged in ongoing detailed direct discussions with An Post Senior Management in respect of the company Transformation Programme, Sharing of Savings and the staff impact issues associated with implementation of agreed changes.
I am pleased to advise that we have concluded agreement on those issues and that agreement has been accepted unanimously by the CWU Executive Council. Although the agreement is for the Group of Unions, I regard it to be a matter for AHCPS and Fórsa to decide for themselves their acceptance or otherwise.
Today, I met with all Branch Representatives to explain the full details including the benefits of the agreement for members in An Post. The agreement is comprehensive, dealing with all aspects of the company business which are summarised below. A copy of the complete document and associated correspondence, which was issued following assistance from the Labour Court appointed Monitoring Group, is available on our website. This enabling agreement provides certainty for members in respect of the enhanced pay increases and undertakings to address the staff impact, as the agreed changes are implemented. The agreement also provides certainty for the company to progress implementation in a timely manner of its required changes to ensure the sustainability of the business. It is important to consider the outcome of discussions in the context of the postal sector internationally facing major challenges with An Post reporting a loss for the last two years totalling €60m. It is critical that this be reversed going forward over the next couple of years.
Pay Financials – Summary
Cost of Living/Transformation
All members will receive a tax-free €750 voucher, pro rata for part time staff, which we expect will be issued in November 2023. We have secured this for all of the 9,000 (8,500 CWU) employees in An Post, in recognition of the continuing cost of living crisis and ongoing co-operation and support for the company transformation.
Revised Universal Clerk pay scale with a 2% increase in pay on each incremental point with 3% at the max of the scale, effective from the 1st January 2024. The increases are fully pensionable. A further review of the pay scale, as set out in the company correspondence, will take place to reduce the number of increments and increase the starting pay in the interest of recruitment and retention of staff.
C&D Postal Operatives without a Change Allowance
- A 3% change allowance effective from 1st July 2024;
- Additional 2% change allowance effective from 1st January 2025;
- The 3% will be consolidated on 1st January 2025; and
- The 2% will be consolidated on 1st January 2026.
These payments also apply to Indoor Administrative Operatives not in receipt of a change allowance.
Consolidation of 2.5% Change Allowance backdated to 1st January 2022.
Consolidation of 2.5% Change Allowance effective 1st January 2023.
Delivery Service Managers
Revised Salary Review, incorporating grade and performance pay as applies in the Clerical Admin, will be introduced from the 1st January 2024. Market movement will be paid which increases their pay by 0.7% from the 1st January 2023, bringing to a total of 3.2%.
An allowance of €15 will attract to these posts (subject to meeting agreed criteria) on implementation of the redesign of the DSU.
The agreement includes a major transformation programme across all aspects of the company’s business nationwide. The transformation changes have been agreed on the basis of sharing savings as agreed in the WRC pay agreement, in accordance with the previously accepted Labour Court Recommendation 21563. The changes will be implemented, with staff impact dealt with under the existing Change Agreements. Implementation and verification of the savings will be overseen by the Monitoring Group.
Retail, Corporate Centre & Clerical Admin
Agreement to relocate to the EXO was contained in the WRC pay agreement in 2021 with delays attributable primarily to COVID. In addition to the move, revised working, remote/hybrid working and all back-office functions, including State Savings, have been progressed primarily under Project Simplify. While not all staff at Company Headquarters will relocate to the EXO, the Union has ensured all members receive the full benefits. The Union has also agreed to convert 6 Offices: 3 in Dublin and 3 in the provinces. The company has also agreed to engage further with the CWU on developing a career path, together with training and development supported by a robust Human Resource Management system.
Final Mile Transformation
A complete redesign of all Delivery Service Units will take place over an 18-month period commencing with the first 20 Offices on the 12th June 2023. The designs will be based on existing standards and methodology, taking into account the learnings from the Test & Learn exercise. The critical change in approach is the early local input in advance of the final design proposal being presented. The Test & Learn exercise confirmed that the technology captures the most up to date information. The revised local engagement process will be 14 weeks from start to finish. It should be understood, as outlined in the C&D Agreement, “It is management’s responsibility to plan, organise and operate the business”. The role of the Union is to sense check and validate the accuracy and ensure sufficient resources are in place to perform the work. The scale of the redesign schedule and timelines will be a major test for management. It will also be a major undertaking for the CWU organisation, and while I am certain of our ability to rise to the challenge, I commit to having in place whatever supports and resources are necessary to assist Branches. We have commonality with the company to ensure a fit for purpose design is in place at all DSUs and of course that we share the financial benefits to the agreed timelines.
Managers’ Pay & Grade
The agreement completes a review of the pay and grade of Delivery Service Managers. Similar to the Clerical Admin Managers, they will move form a service-related incremental scale, to a performance-based pay model. Working Leaders are not included at this point, but they will have 2.5% of the Change Allowance consolidated with effect from 1st January 2023. Discussions on the Working Leader role and pay, as well as PAMs in Mail Centres, will commence by the end of Q3 2023.
As part of this agreement, DSMs will receive an extra 0.7% pay, backdated to 1st January 2023. A review of CAD Operations, grades and pay, has begun and is expected to conclude within the next six months.
Revised staffing associated with the move to the EXO and the temporary occupation of the GPO has been agreed. As opportunities arise, the company will engage third party suppliers to perform Cleaning and Patrols work. The Union will continue to engage with the company to ensure that any staff impact issues arising are addressed.
Joint Business Steering Group
A Joint Business Steering Group comprising of Senior Management/Principal Union Leaders, will oversee implementation of the agreement.
In completing the above agreement, I believe we have secured the best terms possible for members. I also believe the company will deal with the resultant staff impact issues as they arise in a fair and reasonable fashion. These will be dealt with under existing agreements and where agreement on any matter is not possible, we have access to the Monitoring Group and an opportunity to make our case there. In the recent pay agreements, we undertook to co-operate with the company’s Transformation Programme on the basis that we have a shared objective to ensure the success and viability of the business and in return, we would also share the savings arising. Both parties have certainty to 2026 with a joint objective of a sustainable profitable company providing first class service to customers, together with decent pay, pension, and conditions of employment. In this regard, I believe Government as a shareholder has an obligation to do more and it is now my intention to follow up on this with them.
Finally, CWU members are carrying most of the burden for the delivery of change, necessary to ensure the viability of the business. We have demonstrated time and again our commitment to this essential service. As your General Secretary, I believe my role is to provide the leadership in the best interest of our members and I do so in confidence of your support.