I propose to take Questions Nos. 297 to 301, inclusive, together.
An Post is a commercial State company with its own Board and has a mandate to deliver a viable postal delivery service and post office network. The management and operation of the company is an operational matter for the Board and management of An Post.
In recommending a 2% pay increase from 1 July 2017 in An Post, the Labour Court also recommended that a number of efficiency measures be implemented in order to fund 50% of the cost of the pay increase. One of those measures related to the conclusion of discussions in relation to An Post’s proposal to reduce the size of its mail processing network. The Recommendation provides that 50% of the savings arising from the closure of a Mails Processing Centre will contribute towards the Union’s cost of the pay award.
An Post has advised that there was no specific report in relation to the closure of the Cork Mail Centre although there were reports from a number of sources, including international consultants, which helped An Post make a decision on the matter.
My Department was informed of the decision to close Cork Mail Centre on Tuesday, 25 June 2019.
An Post has given a commitment that all staff will be offered strong exit packages, redeployment opportunities within An Post’s delivery and Post Office networks in the Cork area (currently employing nearly 1000 people), further education grants and support in securing jobs with new employers. In addition, all relevant State supports will be made available to the workers impacted by the closure of the Mail Centre.
I have not received a request to meet the union in question and it is a matter for the company and the union directly. I understand that An Post has, and is continuing to, engage with the union to ensure the best possible outcome for affected staff.