An Post has welcomed the decision by members of the Irish Postmasters’ Union (IPU) to accept the terms of an historic deal concluded between An Post and the IPU on the future of the Post Office Network.
The deal, which was put to the almost 1,000 IPU members following the endorsement of the IPU Executive was achieved following a three-month mediation process and provides for a radically modernised vision for the Post Office Network for the long term.
Under the deal, a new contract will be offered to postmasters which will facilitate the development and renewal of the Post Office Network and the expansion of new services offered by An Post. Additionally, some postmasters who wish to retire will be offered a voluntary severance package. There will be no compulsory closures of Post Offices as a consequence of this new deal.
Welcoming the result of the ballot, Debbie Byrne, Managing Director of An Post Retail commented:
“ The acceptance of this historic deal between the IPU and An Post is extremely positive and now allows An Post and Postmasters to work together to deliver a sustainable and bright future for the Irish Post Office network and the communities that we jointly service.
An Post recognises the deep and vital social contract that we have with communities across the State. The endorsement of this deal by the IPU membership allows us now to move forward offering every community a revitalised post office service aimed at better meeting customer needs - e.g. lunchtime opening - and by providing more services in more locations with the objective of driving more customer visits and appealing to broader demographics. This vote is a strong vote of confidence in the future of a revitalised Post Office Network”
Ms Byrne said the acceptance of the deal by the IPU members provides a firm basis for An Post, the IPU and individual postmasters to work together to deliver an enhanced and renewed Post Office Network nationally.
“We look forward to working closely in partnership with postmasters to secure the delivery of an enhanced level of sustainable post office services nationally. The revitalised Post Office will have a focus on three key areas involving ;
Post offices becoming the backbone of ‘out of home’ e-commerce in Ireland for parcel pickup and drop off with a range of added-value services such as AddressPal, a virtual address for UK & US sites that don’t deliver to Ireland:
- Post offices providing a wider range of community banking & financial services:
- Post offices becoming the One-Stop-Shop for more Government Services:
Ms Byrne said that following the acceptance of the IPU ballot, the development of these services and new post office formats will begin immediately and will be implemented over the next three years.
Debbie Byrne also said that An Post will work with postmasters who have indicated that they wish to avail of a retirement package and commented;
“Our core priority will be to ensure that communities that are served by any retiring postmasters will continue to have access to post office services locally. We have published a Protocol on the provision of post office services for communities where a postmaster wishes to retire and we are establishing an independent review mechanism of An Post’s decisions concerning future post office provision. I am confident that these initiatives will help to sustain and support the deep connection that An Post has with communities through Ireland and enable us to continue to meet their post office and postal needs.”
Source: An Post