Trade union the Communication Workers Union (CWU) has been fighting on behalf of Post Office workers in an ongoing pay dispute. Following a significantly improved offer from Post Office management, CWU general secretary Dave Ward has said that striking workers should be “proud” of what they’ve achieved. It comes after a series of strikes in 2022.
The offer for Post Office workers
The CWU announced that a deal had been reached on 24 March. Key aspects include:
- A “consolidated” pay rise of 9%, starting on 1 April 2023.
- Lump sum payments “for all workers”. These will be between £1,925 and £3,000.
- Giving workers 30 days annual leave after seven years’ service. Previously, workers were only entitled to it after 10 years’.
The agreement has been unanimously endorsed by the union’s postal executive.
Post Office workers have been fighting a management-imposed pay freeze since Spring 2022. The CWU noted:
A series of eight strikes and various other forms of industrial action from May to December led to stoppages at all 114 Crown Post Offices, as well as huge disruption in supply chain work.
The CWU and its Post Office workers have been in an ongoing dispute with bosses for most of 2022 over pay offers from the company. The dispute centres around workers rejecting a pay freeze for 2021/22. They also dismissed a pay offer of 5% with effect from 1 April 2022, plus a £500 one-off lump sum. Strikes took place in May 2022, followed by more actions over the summer. The last strike was at the end of September 2022.
At the time, CWU’s postal deputy general secretary Andy Furey said:
This dispute has always been about a company having respect for dedicated public servants who, as key workers, provided unprecedented customer service during the pandemic. The determination of these people hasn’t swayed, and nor has their sense of betrayal. They won’t accept their living standards being smashed by people running a service that generated tens of millions of pounds in profit out of our members’ efforts. There is more than enough money for a reasonable pay rise – implementing this real-terms pay cut has always been a management choice, not a necessity. We urge management to see sense, get into real negotiations and cut a fair deal to avert these strikes.
Making their voices heard
CWU Post Office Area Rep Alan Robertson has said of the new offer:
It looks like a very good deal – it’s been a long time coming, but it’s definitely come on a lot further than what we were first offered… It’s down to the membership staying strong and taking solid action – in the strikes and in the action short of strike. For once we’ve got some good news. I will of course be voting YES and urging members to do the same.
Meanwhile, Furey said:
We would like to thank our Post Office members for their support throughout the dispute. This agreement could not have been reached without their unwavering commitment.
We would also like to thank our representatives for their valuable assistance. This agreement is the best that can be achieved via these negotiations and as such, the Postal Executive is recommending our members support the agreement by voting yes in the forthcoming ballot.
CWU general secretary Dave Ward added:
This deal simply would not have happened without the bravery shown by striking Post Office workers all through last year. Without their clear determination, this dispute couldn’t have moved on to where we are now. They should be proud of themselves, and I hope they let their voices be heard in this upcoming ballot.
The dispute is unrelated to the Royal Mail Group dispute, which remains unresolved.
Featured image via smartC – YouTube