Belfast Telegraph

Finally, a postal deal that delivers

By Alan Jones

A deal aimed at ending the long-running postal workers’ dispute was agreed yesterday, including a 6.9% pay rise over three years.

The working week will be cut and postal workers will have greater job security, while agreeing to deliver a “transformation” of the business.

The Communication Workers Union said workers will also receive lump sums of around £2,500 as well as weekly basic pay supplements and other improvements such as extra maternity and paternity pay.

The deal averts the threat of fresh disruption, although it is subject to a ballot of union members.

The Royal Mail and Communication Workers Union have been holding peace talks for over two months following a spate of walkouts last year, which led to millions of letters being delayed.

The action, in a bitter row over jobs, pay and services, led to targets for the delivery of first and second class letters being missed.

An 80-page agreement was made following the marathon talks, which includes a 2% pay rise in April, followed by increases of 1.4% and 3.5% in subsequent years. Workers will receive a lump sum payment of £400 on ratification of the agreement, followed by £1,000 linked to delivery of workplace changes, and further bonus payments.

Dave Ward, the union's deputy general secretary, said: “It's been a long time coming, but this deal delivers on the major issues which postal workers have fought for. There's a balance of pay and operational changes which will help offset job losses and ensure our members are fairly rewarded for change.

“The agreement recognises the reality of automation, competition and the financial challenges facing the company, but it does so in a way that puts the interests of CWU members at its heart.

“Now that we have reached this agreement it is clear that business transformation can be delivered. As a result, we're determined to address the pensions issue and establish whether the Government will now finally accept its responsibilities, as the owner of the company, to find an acceptable solution.”

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