Labour Court rec­om­mends An Post work­ers’ pay rise

Irish Examiner - - Business - Gor­don Dee­gan

The Labour Court has rec­om­mended that An Post’s 9,500 work­ers re­ceive a twophase 3.5% pay rise that will cost the com­pany €15m a year. The court rec­om­mended a 2% pay in­crease come into force and be back­dated to July with a fur­ther 1.5% in­crease to come into ef­fect next year. How­ever, in re­turn for the pay in­creases work­ers will have to de­liver €7.5m in an­nual sav­ings.

This in­cludes a re­duc­tion in 290 posts in An Post’s col­lec­tion and de­liv­ery op­er­a­tion to be im­ple­mented by the end of Novem­ber in ac­cor­dance with a process al­ready agreed be­tween An Post and the unions.

The Labour Court also rec­om­mends, as part of the cuts, the con­ver­sion of seven post of­fices to con­trac­tor status and for this be com­pleted by the end of this year.

The court ruled the par­ties are to con­clude dis­cus­sions re­gard­ing An Post’s pro­posal to re­duce the size of its mails pro­cess­ing net­work within six months from the date of the rec­om­men­da­tion.

The planned two-phase, pay-award fol­lowed a pay award of 2.5% in May 2016.

How­ever at the Labour Court, An Post said sav­ings equal to 50% of the cost of the 2016 pay rise of 2.5% have not been achieved. It said its fi­nan­cial and trad­ing cir­cum­stances have re­mained chal­leng­ing. It said it has made real progress in re­spect of the con­tri­bu­tion of pric­ing and growth to the fu­ture fi­nan­cial vi­a­bil­ity of the core busi­ness, by ear­lier this year achiev­ing share- holder ap­proval for a sig­nifi- cant in­crease in prices.

“While this will re­sult in a rev­enue in­crease an­nu­ally there may be an ac­cel­er­a­tion of mail vol­ume de­cline aris­ing from this level of in­crease, but this may take some time to im­pact,” An Post said. It said even if “ad­di­tional ‘efficiency’ mea­sures” are agreed which equal or ex­ceed 50% of the cost of a 3.5% pay rise, “it would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate to award an in­crease of that amount in any cir­cum­stances”.

A spokes­woman for An Post said a fur­ther rec­om­mended 1.5% pay in­crease in 2018 will be con­sid­ered by the board this month, de­pen­dent on the de­liv­ery of ad­di­tional cost sav­ings.

She said: “An Post is re­struc­tur­ing its whole busi­ness and adapt­ing to the rapid changes in mails and re­tail­ing — most par­tic­u­larly the de­cline in tra­di­tional let­ters, the growth in on­line shop­ping de­liv­er­ies and the move away from tra­di­tional cash pay­ments.”

The Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Work­ers’ Union rep­re­sents 8,500 An Post work­ers and it con­firmed it ac­cepts the 3.5% Labour Court pay rise rec­om­men­da­tion. Gen­eral sec­re­tary, Steve Fitz­patrick said: “The efficiency mea­sures agreed with the com­pany will ben­e­fit both work­ers and the com­pany.”

Pic­ture: Dan Line­han

An Post has pro­posed to re­duce the size of its mails pro­cess­ing net­work.

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