THE ROYAL MAIL has reached a settlement to end its long-running dispute over the pay and working practices of its workers.
Staff will receive a 6.9 per cent pay rise over three years, beginning in April, and full-time workers will get extra payments worth up to £2,500 when all agreed changes have been made. Workers will see their week cut by one hour to 39 hours a week.
In return, the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents 145,000 postal staff, has agreed to the use of new machinery and working patterns.
The deal will allow Royal Mail to continue with its £2bn modernisation programme, which uses more complex machines that require less staff. This will allow the group to compete against leaner players like Dutch rival TNT, who have been eating away at the Royal Mail’s market share for years.
Adam Crozier, Royal Mail’s outgoing chief executive, said: “It’s a good and fair deal for our people, and it’s a good deal for our customers as it ensures stability over the next three years.” David Ward, CWU deputy general secretary said: “It’s been a long time coming, but this deal delivers on the major issues.”