The recent agreement between the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and Royal Mail has been a hot topic in the UK. The two organizations have been in negotiations for some time, and the agreement finally reached in April 2021 has been received with mixed reactions, with some seeing it as a positive outcome while others believe it falls short of expectations.
The agreement covers a range of issues, including pay, job security, and pensions. Royal Mail has agreed to a 2.7% pay rise in 2021 and a further 1% increase in 2022. The union has also secured a commitment from the company to maintain full-time jobs, which is a significant win for the CWU given the trend towards casualization and part-time work in many industries. Furthermore, the company has committed to no compulsory redundancies.
Another key area of the agreement is pensions. The CWU has secured an increase in the company’s contribution to pensions, which will result in a £400 million boost. This is a significant win for the union, which has been campaigning for improved pensions for its members.
However, some have criticized the agreement as not going far enough. Some have pointed out that the pay increase is below the rate of inflation, meaning that workers will effectively be taking a pay cut. Additionally, the agreement only covers a two-year period, which means that negotiations will have to be reopened in the near future. Some have argued that a longer-term agreement would provide greater stability and certainty for workers.
The agreement has also been criticized for not addressing the issue of job security for casual and part-time workers. While the commitment to maintain full-time jobs is welcome, it does not offer any guarantees for those working on a casual or part-time basis. This is a significant concern given the trend towards casualization in many industries, including the postal sector.
In conclusion, the agreement between the CWU and Royal Mail has been a long time in the making and has resulted in some significant wins for the union and its members. However, there are still concerns that the agreement falls short in some areas, and negotiations will need to be reopened in the near future to address these issues. Nevertheless, the agreement is an important step forward for the postal industry and demonstrates the power of collective bargaining.