Royal Mail and union leaders have reached an agreement in principle after 11 months of negotiations in a dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.
Royal Mail said it had reached a negotiators’ agreement with the Communication Workers Union (CWU), the details of which will be made public once it has been ratified by the union’s executive committee, which is expected to take place next week.
Workers had staged a series of strikes last year, affecting its 112,000-strong workforce.
The joint statement said: “After almost a year of talks, Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union are pleased to announce they have reached a negotiators’ agreement in principle.
“The proposed agreement will now be considered by the executive of the union before being voted on by the union’s membership.
“An announcement on the detailed content of the proposed agreement will be made when it is ratified by the union’s executive committee. It is expected this will take place next week.”
The CWU general secretary, Dave Ward, and deputy general secretary, Andy Furey, said: “We have reached a negotiators’ agreement with Royal Mail group.
“The CWU postal executive will now meet and consider the agreement on Monday and Tuesday, and we are putting in place plans to brief representatives across the union’s structures.
“On the basis that the negotiators’ agreement is endorsed by the postal executive, we will put in place a full communications plan to engage members.
“Thank you for your support and patience. It has got us to this point.”
Last week, the CWU refrained from announcing new strikes by Royal Mail workers.
At the time, Ward said the union’s leaders did not believe more strikes were the right thing to do but there may come a time when more industrial action was called.
There were 18 strike dates called last year including during the run-up to Christmas.
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) and former TUC general secretary Sir Brendan Barber had been called upon to help with the negotiations between the sides.
The Acas director of dispute resolution, Kate Nowicki, said: “Following constructive Acas talks, we are pleased to have helped the CWU and Royal Mail reach a proposed agreement. I want to thank the parties for their commitment and patience in Acas talks that allowed us all to find a positive way forward.”
Royal Mail and Communication Workers Union reach deal on pay