Union members back “first class” pay deal from Post Office Ltd

Union members back “first class” pay deal from Post Office Ltd

Post office workers in the UK have “overwhelmingly” backed a new pay deal after a record-breaking industrial dispute. The Communication Workers Union said 95.4% of voting members approved the pay deal for employees of the Crown network — post offices owned and operated directly by Post Office Ltd, rather than subpostmasters or franchisees.

Turnout in the vote was 74%.

The CWU said the deal based on a pay rise of up to 7.5% was achieved after the longest-running industrial dispute in its history.

The union, which represents more than 4,000 employees in the loss-making Crown post office network, first balloted its members regarding strike action back in February 2013.

Strike action began at Easter of 2013, including 12 individual one-day strikes along with sales boycotts for certain financial products. Strike action was suspended in December 2013 as contract talks resumed.

The dispute challenged Post Office Ltd’s pay freeze for Crown network staff, which the state-owned company insisted was necessary because of the £37m-a-year losses being racked up by Crown post offices overall. The union was also protesting the outsourcing of more than 70 of the remaining 373 Crown post offices to retail partners.

This week, the CWU described the 7.5% pay rise secured in the wake of the strike action as “first-class”.

The deal comprises a 3.9% wage increase with effect from the start of April 2014, and a 3.4% increase to be paid in percentage point installments in return for efficiency targets begin met.

Crown post office staff will also be given lump sum payments of £3,300, with part-timers given pro-rata payments, also linked to targets being met in the Crown network’s transformation programme.

Andy Furey, the CWU national officer, said the above-inflation pay increase was “fantastic” for employees.

“This was one of the CWU’s longest-running industrial disputes and we’re delighted that Post Office workers have overwhelmingly voted to accept the pay agreement,” he said.

“Post office workers have stayed strong throughout these protracted negotiations and I’d like to thank them wholeheartedly for their support and patience.”

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