Issued by the Irish Postmasters’ Union
Friday, January 30, 2015.
The Irish Postmasters’ Union (IPU) is poised to ballot members on an An Post proposal to cut Postmasters pay for delivering social welfare payments.
An Post is moving to reduce Postmasters pay even though the company returned to profit last year and bonuses worth €800,000 were paid out to An Post Managers.
An Post sought savings of €4.6m in payments to Postmasters last Spring which was rejected by the IPU which represents 1,100 Postmasters across the country.
An Post’s and Postmasters’ contract determines that changes to payment rates can only come into effect by mutual agreement and therefore an Arbitrator was appointed last August to review the issue.
The Arbitrator recommended, in “interim findings” that the annual level of savings sought by An Post be reduced to €2.5m and further recommended that both parties enter a facilitation process during which all other issues could be addressed.
Postmasters wrote to An Post last November accepting the Arbitrator’s level of cuts, for a three month period (€625,000), during which a facilitation process should take place to reach a longer term agreement.
An Post has in the last week rejected the IPU’s offer saying it will not talk with the IPU until they accept the cuts on a permanent basis.
IPU General Secretary Ned O’Hara said it will now ballot its members on the An Post cuts.
“The IPU believes that this is an opportunistic attempt by An Post to cut Postmasters incomes and is not warranted. The company has returned to profit, has paid bonuses to Managers and has been investing in new services such as Post and Pay, PayPoint and Delivery Service Units which are taking business away from Post Offices and Postmasters.”
“There is a need to take a longer term view of Postmasters income because it is going to reduce anyway as more people return to employment and the volume of welfare payments reduce.”
“Unless the company is prepared to be fair and engage properly with Postmasters I cannot see any cuts being accepted. We know that there is a lot of support in communities for Post Offices because of the social role they provide. An Post needs to fully recognise this in its dealings with Postmasters.”
IPU President Ciarán McEntee said: “There is a pressing need to address all the issues facing the business and to identify and agree solutions. The Union believes that this can be achieved with constructive engagement by both parties.”
Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731.