Delegates at the Communication Workers Union’s annual conference say they are giving Royal Mail Group notice that if no national agreement on a “straight, no strings pay increase” can be reached by the week commencing May 2, 2022, then the union will move into a position of formal dispute with management.
The emergency motion, which described workers as “dishonoured” by Royal Mail management, said that workers deserved a pay increase to “reward them for their exceptional contribution during the nation’s moment of need,” and to “protect them and their families from the current cost of living crisis.”
The motion also condemned Royal Mail for “finding any number of excuses” to “either not reward, under-reward or delay” pay increases.
Deputy General Secretary Terry Pullinger said: “We know what our members have done through the pandemic, we know they deserve a pay rise – one that rewards them for what they’ve done, but also protects them from this cost-of-living crisis.
“You would think the company would be working with that in the best way they can, but instead they have insulted our members by making an offer which is an absolute disgrace – that offer is nothing.
“We are giving them one week – and if we’re not in sight of a no-strings pay award, we’ll instigate the four-week resolution process at national level.
“They want to smash up this great public service and fill their pockets with gold. We have to fight with everything we've got.”
Royal Mail says it has offered to the CWU a package worth up to 5.5 per cent this year. The offer includes a pay increase of up to 3.5 per cent and in addition a new ‘above and beyond’ bonus worth up to two per cent of salary this year, for CWU grade operational staff who achieve it.
Royal Mail says it is the industry leader on pay and terms and conditions.
A spokesperson said: “We have been clear that we want to agree a deal as soon as possible to recognise the great work of our people, while ensuring that Royal Mail can grow and remain competitive into the future in a fast-changing industry. We have offered a deal up to 5.5 per cent, the biggest increase we have offered for many years.
“We’re disappointed to hear that there was a motion at the CWU conference to seek support for a potential ballot for industrial action if significant progress isn’t made on a deal by the end of next week. This feels premature given we have only had one meeting and we have already put meetings in the diary next week for as soon as the CWU conference finishes.
“Our industry is characterised by a race to the bottom on pay and terms and conditions. We will not join that race and will retain our place as the industry leader on pay and terms and conditions. We value the work we do with CWU and remain committed to agreeing a deal for tomorrow, not just today.”