Parcelforce Mixed Resourcing Review
Liverpool Parcel Report 2010
I really don't know how to start this report because it has been a funny year for me; first off I had the misfortune to be diagnosed with bowel cancer so from late January until May I was off work. Thanks to my sub Mal Woods who stepped in to cover my role during my illness everything went smoothly. I did return briefly to attend the budget setting meetings to make sure the unions opinion was heard and taken notice of. There had been some talk during my absence of hours being taken out of the night shift. After some debate we reached an agreement to carry on with the same numbers, all other cuts where met with opposition and its been proven the correct choice with traffic still growing even during the recession.
Now back in work my next task was to take part in Annual conference where we took a number of proposals to the table on Owner Drivers, Security, Agency, Courier, Man & Van use and Health & Safety. My own wish would be for other branches to send and support Parcels Reps by sending delegates to the Parcels and Postal Group Conferences, in recent years it seems to me that most propositions generally come from Liverpool and a few other branches from the south.
Following on from last year Quality & Service has seen great results thus keeping extra monies in our monthly pay, the depot is still near the top of the table unlike our local teams. In general, Moral has been good over the year it was probably tested at times with the Pay Talks lasting over six months even though our colleagues in Royal Mail had been sorted.
Over the years in doing this job I have found you can't please all of the people all of the time, but I can say nobody has lost any earnings and everyone who has needed the assistance of the union has been given the best service it can provide.
As the year went on the biggest topic on the floor has been the Pay issue we have seen increased traffic and more staff and vans on site and yet the business didn't appear to want to honour their commitments earlier in the year to give us the pay rise they agreed we deserved. Just in time for Christmas the deal was finally done and the biggest turnout we have had for years in a ballot returned a Yes Vote. The traffic has regularly been over 8k well above the planning model and is predicted to rise again over the coming months with several more big contracts to come onboard. Terry Pullinger asked us to trust and keep faith with his efforts on pay during the year and I think I can speak for everyone when I say he has again come through for all of us the Parcels section. Terry is up for re-election again this year and I hope that he gets another term to represent our members in parcels.
As part of my role I have pushed to get as many staff as possible transferred from agency to Parcelforce contracts while also balancing the need to accommodate those who may be surplus in other RM companies. This is always a difficult issue with the country being in recession the business is wary of loosing contracts and dropping revenues. We have challenged the business to manage the owner-drivers properly and are now seeing the rewards with the CWU membership growing.
We have continued to utilise the CWU Learning Centre at the depot recently running a Spanish course, we have also seen Admin staff complete an I.T course. In the New Year we will be running a customer service based NVQ Course in partnership with Knowsley Community College.
In closing can I thank my work colleagues for their support over a difficult year for me personally, can I thank Mal Woods for stepping into my shoes over the last year and can I thank Mark Walsh and the branch for their support in 2010.
All the best for the New Year to everyone
In the Merseyside Amal Branch.
Liverpool L.d Unit Rep
CWU Merseyside Amal
Parcels Yearly Report December 2010
This year seems to have passed quicker than ever and as always health and safety has played a prominent part in the passing months.
As we pass through the year into winter, nationally safety has been in the headlines for many reasons; two items that I particularly would like to highlight are the change of government, its intended assault on Health and Safety legislation and the CWU's Bite Back campaign.
The general election in May brought about a change of government for Great Britain, with David Cameron's Conservatives being joined in a coalition by Nick Cleggs Liberal Democrats. The new coalition has announced its intention to bring to an end the U.K. `s “over the top” health and safety culture, with coalition leader Cameron bleating “ It is clear that what began as a noble intention to protect people from harm has mutated into a stultifying blanket of bureaucracy, suspicion and fear that has saturated our country, covering the actions of millions of individuals as they go about their daily lives."Cameron then goes on to cite cases that have been highlighted in the national press, such as children playing conkers, being told they must wear safety glasses. The power to exaggerate is obviously one of David Cameron's hidden talents. There will always be instances of officials being overzealous when it comes to health and safety, this is mainly due to lack of training and or misinterpretation of Safety regulations. When people aren`t sure what exactly to do, they tend to over compensate and err heavily on the `` wrap them in cotton wool`` side of things. This then brings about national headlines of a safety gone mad culture. The coalition's attempts at weakening health and safety legislation should be resisted and attacked at every possible opportunity. The 1974 health and safety at work act was brought about to ensure the health, safety and welfare of people at work and replaced the woefully inadequate factories act. The benefits it has brought about to every man woman and child in the U.K. is incalculable. Education is the key to eradicating the headlines that let down true safety professionals.
The CWU `s Dangerous Dogs ``Bite Back`` campaign is led by National Health, Safety and Environment officer Dave Joyce. This last six months has seen massive strides towards its target of new legislation, Dave explains`` Despite the high - and rising - numbers of dog attacks, not just on our people but in society as a whole, including the deaths of six children under the age of five since 2006, the number of prosecutions is woefully low. Around half a million people get bitten or attacked each year, but there are fewer than 650 successful convictions annually under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act, with most owners found guilty receiving just a paltry sentence. The CWU argues that the main weakness of the 1991 Act - in so far as it affects public-service workers - is that it does not apply on private property, a gap in the law that leaves not only our members, but also gas, water and electricity workers, district nurses, home helps, health visitors, care workers and even meals on wheels volunteers without legal protection from attack. Just a few of the many advances the campaign has made these last few months are.
New legislation to be introduced in Scotland in February 2011 and also in Northern Ireland in mid 2011
U.K. government after strong initial resistance to the campaign, have held high-level talks with backers of the campaign including Dave Joyce. DEFRA have issued 2 new sets of guidance with regard to dangerous dogs.
Royal Mail Group has issued a new dangerous dogs safety policy and risk control measures.
The campaign has gathered momentum and under the tireless efforts of Dave Joyce it appears to be heading towards a very successful outcome.
Locally the year in parcels has been very busy with the business`s continued success and growth being a real ``good news story`` for everyone at Parcelforce. The recession bit hard on all fronts of industry but thanks to joint efforts by the work force and management Parcelforce definitely bucked the trend. When the work place is very busy it is easy for people to take their eye off the ball as far as safety is concerned. This is not the case at Liverpool depot and this has been Bourne out on a number of occasions over the last months. January was in particular a bitterly cold month, which made delivery very unpleasant on some days. Towards the end of the month we had 2 days of really bad snow making roads impassable and driving became dangerous due to the severe conditions. Whist other depots were indecisive and dithered to make decisions, Liverpool's Operations Manager Andy Elliott put safety firmly first and with maximum consideration given to the safety of the workforce and members of the public, made a decision to suspend most operations for two days.
Of course a number of owner-drivers put profit before safety and made a futile attempt at delivery but their greed was rewarded with little or no success. Andy's decision was warmly welcomed and the workforce repaid the business by pulling out all the stops to clear the backlog of parcels over the next few days.
Safety indoors is also a big concern and maximum effort is always placed on Health and Safety. In June one of the two booms in use at Liverpool depot suffered a weld failure this could have resulted in a very nasty accident. Swift action was needed to ensure that no member of the work force was put at risk at Liverpool Depot or throughout the business and also to keep operations moving as smoothly as possible. Andy Elliott was away at the time overseeing operations at another depot. I attempted to contact Paul Devlin the CWU Area Health and Safety Rep. But Paul was on duty in Northern Ireland and was unable to be contacted. I photographed the weld failure and spoke directly to Dave Butler Parcel forces head of safety informing him of my concern and emphasising the need to act fast. I also sent Dave copies of the weld failure. The incident was then managed correctly with input from all necessary parties i.e. Andy Elliott, Dave Butler, the Boom designers and I. This resulted in a satisfactory outcome with safeguards put in place to avoid any future repetition of the worrying incident.
One other thing that I continue to push both locally and nationally is the business`s failure to adhere to safety legislation and correctly manage the safety risks to owner drivers, colleagues who are asked to assist owner drivers and members of the public that are asked to assist owner drivers. This problem is now at national level in the hands of National Health, Safety and Environment Officer Dave Joyce after Stirling work by Paul Devlin Area Safety rep.
Trying to circumvent safety legislation is not a very clever practice and I am extremely hopeful of a satisfactory outcome in the future.
On a personal note I continue to maintain my own personal development as a rep. through education, I have recently started a 6-year safety degree course and have received encouragement from CWU sources and Parcelforce operations manager Andy Elliott. The degree course takes up an awful lot of the very little and precious, personal family time that I have left, but all being well it will lead to better representation of CWU members and an even stronger relationship with Parcelforce management.
I have also recently been elected as Deputy Area Health and Safety Rep. This will bring me more experience and enable me to have a much closer working relationship with Paul Devlin.
To summarise this yearly report, Health and Safety at Parcelforce Liverpool is in good health with the prognosis being that with mutual CWU / management respect, understanding and co-operation, things will improve to even higher standards for the benefit of all, over the coming months and years.
Finally thanks are due to many for their personal help and or encouragement over this last half year.
National Officers, Terry Pullinger and Dave Joyce. Branch Sec Mark Walsh. Area Safety Rep Paul Devlin. R.M. Area Safety Rep Bobby freeman. John Pettit Unit Rep. A Elliot Operations Parcelforce.
Mal Woods Parcels Health and Safety Rep.