Festive greetings everyone,
As the welcome Christmas rush gets into full swing, we continue to face many issues.
With PUDO, as the Evri service rollout continues, there are emerging procedural complications coupled with the fact that to date most branches have yet to actually offer the service! As I write, just 12% of post offices are operational with Evri in Northern Ireland albeit, mostly located within ‘strategic partner (multiples)' locations. DPD service remains largely non-existent for post offices in NI and is a real bone of contention.
Amazon accounting remains in question as the handheld device offers no help with the volume of items handled. I would suggest utilising an interim activity of, for example, a 5bar gate system to gauge correct remuneration for your branch as reports strongly suggest there have been underpayments. All PUDO issues are currently being flagged by the NET for remediation.
On a positive note, following strong representation from the NFSP, we are now in meaningful discussions with Post Office on back office payments (operational excellence) applicable to the whole network. We are finalising details and are working towards these benefiting the network from April 2024.
Also pending is the expectation of a new initiative dubbed ‘Space to Rent’ whereby postmasters can provide space on their premises for bank representatives to conduct banking business with their customers. Days and times will be best suited to the branch and may be short slots, half days or even a daily rate. Details of this and how to register your interest will follow at a later date.
The NFSP have escalated political engagement this past year and this activity has been most visible at Holyrood, the Senedd and Westminster. As Stormont is yet to resume, we in Northern Ireland have made significant inroads with many of our MPs to ensure their complete understanding and to secure their total support for our many concerns for the future.
Finally, may I take this opportunity to remind everyone of the NFSP Conference from May 11 to 13 next year at The Slate, Warwick University. We particularly welcome participation from members that have not attended Conference before.
Wishing you and yours a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Non-Executive Director Northern Ireland