The Royal Mail board has approved the agreement broached with the Communication Workers Union to end a long-running battle over pay and pension reform.

The two parties announced they had reached an agreement last week after more than a month of mediation, but it remained subject to approval from the postal operator's board and CWU members.

In an update today Royal Mail confirmed its board had okayed the agreement, and the union will recommend its members vote in favour of it.

Key points of the new agreement include:

  • A 5% pay increase backdated to October 2017, which will also apply to 2018-2019
  • A 2% increase in pay from April 2019
  • A shorter working week, reduced from 39 to 38 hours (subject to trials)
  • Commitment from Royal Mail that it will move towards a 35 hour working week by 2022.
  • Final delivery times will be 30 minutes later. The adjusted delivery deadline will be 3.30pm in urban and 4.30pm in rural areas.

Last year CWU members voted to strike in the lead up to Christmas, but the planned action was called off when Royal Mail won a high court injunction against it.

Royal Mail chief executive Moya Greene (pictured) praised the two parties for demonstrating that "disputes can be resolved without recourse to damaging industrial action".

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She added: "This agreement marks a new chapter for Royal Mail and the CWU. Following the conclusion of a helpful mediation process and further talks, we have delivered the right result for Royal Mail and our stakeholders.


Moya Greene, CEO, Royal Mail

"This is an affordable and sustainable solution that enables us to continue to innovate and grow and to meet the intense competition with confidence.

"Royal Mail and the CWU will continue to work together as we build on our position as the leading delivery company in the UK. I'm pleased that, under this agreement, we will continue to offer the best terms and conditions in the delivery industry by some distance."

She added that in light of the new agreement, adjusted group operating profit before transformation costs for 2017-18 would stand "at least £680m".