LTB 225/23 – OFCOM REVIEW OF THE UNIVERSAL SERVICE OBLIGATION
5th September 2023
TO: ALL POSTAL BRANCHES
OFCOM REVIEW OF THE UNIVERSAL SERVICE OBLIGATION
You will have seen the announcement this morning that the postal regulator, OFCOM have announced they are to undertake a review and subsequent consultation on the USO. The full details of the announcement can be read here https://www.ofcom.org.uk/news-centre/2023/ofcom-to-produce-potential-options-for-the-future-of-the-universal-postal-service
The OFCOM announcement has been expected for some time and the response from Royal Mail is entirely predictable.
Attached to this LTB is the CWU press release. We encourage Branches to share this with local media outlets and briefings to members.
The Business Recovery, Transformation and Growth Agreement commits both parties to exploring where they maybe opportunities to approach the regulator jointly and examine the potential for expanding the role of postal workers.
The USO has been deliberately run down over a sustained period so that Royal Mail can create the environment for this debate to take place. The dismantling of the USO, destruction of quality of service and the ever-rising price of stamps is part of a strategy to accelerate letter decline. No responsible employer would take this approach.
The CWU is not against change. We have an extensive track record to prove this. We want this review to seek and take on board the views of our members who have witnessed first-hand the running down of the USO. We also want any outcome to be based not on potential shareholder profit but on the protection of the service, jobs, and the future of the company.
In the coming days and weeks, we will be launching an extensive engagement programme on the future of the USO with our own members. This will include live sessions, podcasts, workplace activity and reps’ briefings. We will also be meeting with and briefing politicians at all levels.
This debate is too important to leave to Royal Mail and OFCOM.
Dave Ward Andy Furey
General Secretary A/Deputy General Secretary (Postal)