CWU secures member support on Royal Mail pensions deal after two-year campaign

The Communication Workers Union, representing Royal Mail staff has secured the support of its members on its agreement with Royal Mail on pay and pensions, it has been revealed.

According to the union, an agreement was settled following a ballot vote to accept a deal reached in talks with Royal Mail Group covering pay, pensions and working conditions.

Following its two-year campaign for Royal Mail staff and members of the CWU voted by a margin of nine to one in favour of the deal.

The deal was struck after a vote for strike action by the union’s members in October 2017 and following the intervention of an independent mediator.

The new pension scheme will be the UK’s first collective defined contribution pension and will offer a guaranteed cash lump sum. The CDC scheme will be launched subject to necessary legislation.

The Royal Mail defined benefit pension scheme will close, as planned, on 31 March 2018. The firm's cash balance scheme will offer a 13.6 per cent employer contribution and contributions for members of the existing defined contribution scheme will be increased.

In addition, Royal Mail and the members union have agreed on a three-year pay deal and two-hour cut in the working week.

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “The overwhelming ballot result is a credit to the whole union from our negotiators, the postal executive and reps but particularly our members. As a union we will ensure these standards are maintained and we will force Royal Mail to uphold the terms and spirit of the Four Pillars Agreement.

“This dispute saw the union reach new levels in terms of engaging our members and smashing the Anti-Trade Union industrial action laws. Ahead of the New Deal for Workers March on 12th May, this agreement and campaign clearly demonstrates if unions organise, engage and inspire members then you can and will win.”

CWU deputy general secretary (Postal) Terry Pullinger added: “The massive vote in favour of the deal reflects the strong degree of membership support for the Union’s Four Pillars and Pay campaign which has delivered real improvements to our members’ employment and retirement security.

“The Union is committed to work with Royal Mail to improve industrial relations, deliver better services and products for customers and safeguard the six day Universal Service Obligation (USO) to secure the future of this great British institution.”

Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have told the government to introduce legislation to allow companies to offer collective defined contribution (CDC) schemes, following the agreement between the two to offer Royal Mail employees a CDC scheme.

In response to this, however, Pensions Minister Guy Opperman stated: “We’re not in the business of creating legislation, bespoke pieces, for one individual organisation.”

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