CWU will now not strike before 3rd December.

The CWU have announced yet another (and this time final) extension for negotiations has been agreed with the Royal Mail.

They said in a statement that “In light of significant progress made the postal executive agreed to the company’s offer to extend the validity of the industrial action ballot until the final permissible date, 3rd December 2013 – the last date that notice of strike action can be served“.

CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward added “We are confident that negotiations will conclude during this extended period and that a final agreement will soon be placed before the executive council for endorsement in the very near future“.

Great news, that sounds like we probably won’t be hit by Royal Mail strikes this Christmas.

Unusually the Royal Mail have been silent and not put out a joint statement with the CWU to date, nor placed a press release on the Royal Mail News and press site, possibly because they’re in the silent period while their half year results are announced. However the CWU have given an update on negotiations so far:

Legal Protections: Should reach agreement

An extensive legally binding undertaking from the employer on all the issues put forward by the union has now been secured. These protections will extend beyond 3 years. There are a couple of final points to resolve but it is not anticipated that these will prevent an agreement being reached.

Pay: Undecided

An improved closed offer from the company is currently under consideration.

Pensions: Issue removed from strike threat

Negotiations have been concluded on pensions and legally binding commitments on the future of the RMPP alongside additional improvements to the Defined Contribution Scheme which have been secured. The company has accepted that members will be balloted on a pensions agreement separately.

Industrial stability, new culture and agenda for growth: Excluded from a no-strike deal but should be agreed

A section on industrial stability which strengthens the existing IR Framework with new mediation procedures is in the process of being finalised. The agreement will not include any commitment to binding arbitration or a no strike deal. The new approach will also offer CWU unprecedented access to business structures and provide the opportunity for real influence on the future direction of the company.

Delivery workload issues: A possible sticking point

Whilst some progress has been made there are still difficult areas to resolve and a fresh approach is being considered.

Future parcels and letter strategy: Should be agreed

Drafts have been exchanged and it looks likely that there will be no issues preventing an agreement on future strategy.

Company charter: Should be agreed

The company has accepted the principle of a charter setting out the values on how Royal Mail Group will operate in the future. Drafts have been exchanged and it does not look like there will be any issues preventing a final agreement being reached.

Ongoing programme of work: No outstanding issues

There are currently no issues in this section which will prevent us from reaching agreement.