ANNUAL REPORT 2010
As we conclude another decade, what vision do we now set ourselves for the future? Without doubt it has been an extremely fraught year locally and nationally. From a local perspective the closure of Copperas Hill and the relocation to Warrington was always going to be our main process of thought during 2010, the only major city in the country without a mail centre was always going to be a hard thing to accept and the change to our members working lives regarding traveling, new duty structures etc, was never going to be an easy process for all those concerned the tireless effort and successful negotiations our representatives have achieved over the last twelve months has been commendable. But before we leave the subject of our membership in Warrington to continue into 2011 (the clue was ‘our membership') the principle officers of the branch were tasked through the year to achieve continued membership of our workforce who have transferred to Warrington, One year later there is still no conclusion to this matter, and our efforts previously has so far brought little reward However the point still needs to be made, all current members who transferred to Warrington are still members of the Merseyside Amal until Headquarters deem otherwise we remain extremely confident that this issue will be achieved in our favour not least because of recent petitions, ballots, and indeed the terms and structure of the National Rules concerning Members wishes.
It always seems to me that subjects nationally now take a more serious perspective from previous years, it's like somebody, somewhere says ‘if they think they had it bad this year wait till next year'. Politically, the election of the Conman coalition government was always going to be greeted with despair and frustration whilst recognizing that Labour never did itself any favours in the final year of tenure, what on earth will the next five years bring. No sooner were the ballot papers counted and all our ‘friends' who championed the cause of public ownership for Royal Mail are now queuing up to stab us in the back under the banner of privatization . This branch as you would expect has been at the forefront of campaigns for continued support under public ownership, not just at parliament level but also at local and regional also and it needs to be mentioned that we had a strong presence at the Liberal Conference in Liverpool during the autumn.
From an Industrial perspective following on from more Industrial unrest during 2009, the National Agreement headlined Business Transformation- and beyond 2010, gave us yet another broader scope into transforming our working lives into an allegedly brighter future, the seminar in Bournemouth in the spring raised many questions prior to the decision to implement the agreement by ballot, not least of all from a delivery perspective to remove the individual cash figure for Door 2 Door items and replace it with a new Delivery Supplement , it needs to be said that the advantages to such an agreement will be more fruitful in the years ahead rather than short term and also the reduction in the working week is always the right move forward. We have also agreed a three year agreement on future pay structures. As with all National Agreements all functions involved will express pluses and minuses, and it is up to us to achieve our objectives within the terms of reference. Before I leave this paragraph another aspect of the agreement is the recognisition of the agreement to ‘Transforming Relationships' without doubt something which needed to be addressed a long time ago but whilst recognizing our part under this banner, I am yet to see this promised ‘Woodstock Renaissance Period' that the agreement so promised from our illustrious employer, for my part our representatives our still being frustrated during negotiations with the employer, not least of all during revision processes, All our functions throughout the year have faced there own issues and to the best of there ability they will strive to achieve there aims.
With the transfer of our work to Warrington and the impact of staffing levels within that unit can I place on record my sincere thanks and appreciation to all our people who have left the business during the previous year, for your continued support during disputes and otherwise in your working lives.
During the last year this branch has agreed to convene Branch Honorary Membership on my predecessor and branch activist of long standing repute Simon Roberts. Simon was always at the front of any dispute and his voluntary dedication and support for this branch and beyond is now sadly missing he was a prominent delegate during Annual Conference and his presence was always greatly appreciated. Also it needs to be said at the time of this report the branch and the union in general will say a sincere farewell to three of its main activists, Pat O Hara, Marissa Clarke, and Kevin Kennedy. The loss of any activist will always leave a void in the union aims to continue to achieve our aims and aspirations, firstly to Pat, thank you for your friendship, guidance, and overall support during the twenty years of my union representation roles within this branch,
Your dedication to the unions cause is a lesson to us all and above all the positions you held at local and National Level and your election to National President was I ve no doubt not just a proud moment for yourself, but also the effect it had on this branch. Marissa has held the position of Area Administration Representative for nearly ten years since the election of another one of our own to the National Executive, Jane Loftus. Your aspirations and commitment to achieve your goals in the Admin Section was greatly admired and your commitment to the cause never waned I also would like to place on record my sincere thanks for your friendship and dedication to the CWU.
Last, but certainly not least Kevin Kennedy, sadly Kevin is not in the best of health and in the last few months has retired from the business, I've said to many people informally Kevin was the best Branch Official we never had in the Merseyside Amal! His intellect and negotiating abilities within the Logistic & Distribution was legendary and his support to Ernie Jackson during his time as Ernie s substitute was well known through the branch and once again I would like to place on record my sincere thanks for your unswerving efforts to the union cause.
In conclusion as with all my reports can I place on record my sincere thanks and appreciation to all Branch Officials, Area, and local representatives and comrades at National and Divisional Level for all your dedication and support during the last year and special thanks to Mark, Ray, and Eric for your support and efforts, and to all our members with a message that we will continue to uphold and always set out to better your terms and conditions within this branch.