UK Post Office workers to vote on 9% pay deal

LONDON (Reuters) – Post Office workers are being asked to vote on a 9% pay offer following “an extremely lengthy dispute” with employers, Britain’s Communication Workers Union (CWU) said on Saturday.

“It’s our view that the money now on offer marks a considerable step forward – several steps forward – from what was initially an unacceptable position on the part of the employer,” said CWU acting deputy general secretary Andy Furey.

Thousands of Post Office workers have been in dispute over pay since early last year, holding eight strikes and other forms of industrial action.

The CWU said the deal, which has been endorsed by its postal executive, would provide lump sum payments for all workers ranging between 1,925 pounds ($2,354.28) and 3,000 pounds, as well as a wide array of additional benefits.

It will now be put to a ballot of members, with voting beginning early next week and closing on April 11.

“We are pleased that the CWU agree that the offer we have put forward provides a fair deal for their members and that they will be recommending a yes vote,” a Post Office spokesperson said.

    “We hope to get a positive response from their members so we can get the new pay rates in colleagues’ pockets as soon as possible.”

The Post Office workers dispute is not linked to an unresolved Royal Mail Group workers dispute.

Britain has seen waves of disruptive labour strikes in recent months as hundreds of thousands of transport, health, education and public-sector workers demand better wages to keep pace with surging inflation and an accelerating cost of living.

With UK inflation rising to 10.4% in February, the Bank of England is watching pay settlements closely as it weighs any further rises in interest rates.

($1 = 0.8177 pounds)

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Mike Harrison)