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Employment

Post Office staff to strike over 'degrading' real terms pay cut

The one day strike is set to take place on May 3.

Post Office staff will go on strike next month. Image credit: Sludge G / Flickr

Post Office staff are set to stage a national 24-hour strike over a pay offer they say amounts to a real terms cut.

Pay was frozen for staff in 2021, and they were offered a 2 per cent pay rise at the start of April, alongside a £250 one-off lump sum payment.

But with inflation hitting 7 per cent in March, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) says this amounts to a real terms pay cut.

CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey has called the offer “an insult”. The action on May 3 was voted for by 97.3 per cent of the union’s Post Office members.

“This is the first national Post Office strike for a number of years and the responsibility for this situation lies 100 per cent with the senior management and their stubborn, arrogant and downright disrespectful attitude towards their workforce,” he continued. 

“They have told us that they’re freezing pay in keeping with official government and public-sector pay policy. But that’s an outrageous and dishonest excuse as the government’s austerity measures do not apply to the Post Office.”

The Post Office is owned by the government and overseen by the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy. Civil service pay rises have been capped at 3 per cent, with unions furious at the decision they say shows ​​”utter contempt” for a service that has worked through the pandemic. 

Workers in administrative and call centre positions, as well as clerical staff, will all walk out, affecting Crown Post Offices as well as smaller sub-post offices.

But a Post Office spokesperson said that they “want to assure our customers that the vast majority of our 11,500 branches are unaffected by this decision and will remain open throughout the day.”

Some 2,000 members of the CWU will be joining the strike, with the union saying that all cash collections and deliveries will be halted at the 114 Crown Post Offices. 

Furey continued: “Unless The Post Office see sense and pay up, this will just be the first strike and other dates will follow.”

Latest official figures show average pay across the economy increased by 4.8 per cent from November 2021 to January, also lagging behind inflation.

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