Postal Dispute – Further Action in the North West
CWU members working in Crown Post Offices will be on strike in the
North West will be taking a further day of strike action commencing
on Monday 16 July 2007 and Thursday 19 July 2007.
Over 98% of the workforce in the North West took part in the strike
action last Friday; it shows the extent of the overwhelming support
of the workforce to achieve both a decent pay rise and an agreed
approach to automation and major change.
In calling further action the union’s main objective remains to
reach a negotiated agreement.
To demonstrate our commitment to
achieving a settlement, the union has tabled yet another fresh
offer. The next strike can be avoided if Royal Mail agrees to engage
in fresh and meaningful negotiations on the following:-
* Modernising the company and improving efficiency by taking the
workforce with us
* Delivering on our
commitments to permanently raise the value and status of postal
* Agreeing a
resolution to pension issues
* Working together to
face up to the challenges of competition
Neither the union, nor its members are opposed to true modernisation
that enables us to enhance, not lessen, the service we provide. To
date Royal Mail has not tabled one proposal on the introduction of
Royal Mail continue to claim that they are cash strapped, yet only
this week they have managed to find enough to pay their managers up
to £6,000 each in bonuses. This has enraged our members who have
been offered 2.5% with strings and in the case of staff who work in
Crown Post Offices a pay freeze over the next three years which
equates to an average loss of £6,500 over this period.
Regional Secretary, Carl Webb said, this strike day can be avoided
simply by the Royal Mail Chairman Allan Leighton agreeing to enter
into meaningful negotiations.
If he again is dismissive of his
employees then there will be further strike action.
Working carers should have tax-free vouchers
businesses and working carers in the North West are being urged by
Carers UK to sign up to a new national campaign to give carers the
same rights to tax-free vouchers for additional support as working
parents currently enjoy for childcare costs. In the North West
over 307,000 people balance work with caring for an elderly or
disabled family member or friend.
The voucher system would enable carers in employment to buy in a
range of accredited extra services to help them manage their caring
responsibilities. It would include services such as additional home
care, gardening, chiropody, shopping trips and other daily
activities. The system would help businesses retain their most
loyal and experienced staff. According to a new report from the
London School of Economics, currently 70% of carers aged under 50
years and 80% of those aged 50-60 are forced to give up work to
Carers would be able to allocate a proportion of their salary to
care services which would not be subject to income tax or National
Insurance (NI). Therefore, they would be able to purchase services
greater in value than their total salary sacrifice. As with
the existing childcare vouchers scheme, employers would not be out
of pocket as they also benefit from NI exemptions which would cover
It is predicted that, if the care voucher system were implemented
nationwide, an investment by the Government of £37m would generate
£83m worth of care services - equal to funding 5.5m hours of extra
home care. The research also shows that the system may
stimulate the market for extra care services at a time when many
local authorities are struggling to meet the needs of the
ever-increasing number of elderly and disabled people. Nearly 80% of
local authorities have made drastic cuts and are only providing
services to those adults with the very highest levels of need.
Already there is a groundswell of employers, carers, charities and
childcare organisations backing the campaign.
Imelda Redmond, chief executive of Carers UK, says:- "Working
carers have just as tough a role as working parents in taking care
of a loved one. Having access to quality care services would make
all the difference, just as skilled childcare does. It is
unacceptable that, every day, carers are forced to choose between
work and caring because they are not properly supported. This
system of care vouchers strikes exactly the right balance between
Government, employer and carer - and will help address the urgent
need for more and better care services."
To find out more about the care vouchers proposal and sign up to the