Labour Court recommends An Post workers’ pay rise

The Labour Court has recommended that An Post’s 9,500 workers receive a two-phase 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 shareholder approval for a significant 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.”

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