PostNL ties mail carrier salaries to national minimum wage

PostNL has reached an agreement with leaders of the BVPP union on a new collective bargaining deal for 17,000 mail carriers, to run throughout 2012. The agreement, which is subject to ratification by union members, will see salaries for postal workers pegged to the national minimum wage, so any changes in the minimum level will be reflected in BVPP members’ pay packets.

New postal workers will receive pay at the level of the minimum wage, currently around EUR 1,400 a month, while those employed for at least one year will receive a salary 2% above the minimum wage.

Mail carriers in the service for three years or longer will be paid a rate 4% above minimum wage, the union said, adding that in future it will be pushing to see wage levels even higher than the national minimum.

PostNL said today that its deal means higher pay for those who had been mail carriers for a longer time period, and said that the agreement also provides more flexibility for mail delivery staff to take unpaid leave.

“PostNL is pleased to have reached an agreement on a collective labour agreement for its mail carriers,” the company said. “With the agreement PostNL has reached a new milestone in achieving fair conditions of employment in the mail carrier sector.”

The deal also clarifies the rules on when mail carriers should be compensated for having to wait for their mail because of processing delays, and what happens when they run out of time to complete their delivery rounds.

“First step”

The BVPP said pay levels for postal delivery had not changed since 2009, and that the tying of salary levels to changes in the nationwide minimum wage levels was a “first step” in improving the situation.

“If we reject this agreement now we have nothing, and will have to weather a long period until something better can be achieved,” the union negotiators advised members.

PostNL, which employs a total of 77,000 people, is currently in the process of seeking major cost savings to turnaround losses and cope with the strains of an underfunded pension programme.

The company said it has also discussed similar arrangements with other postal unions, Abvakabo FNV and CNV Publieke Zaak, but the unions are currently refusing to sign the agreement because PostNL does not want to link existing wage levels for workers employed for long periods to changes in the national minimum wage.

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