It is detected that Javascript is turned off in your web brower. Please turn it on to load the page correctly. For more reference about how to turn it on, please refer instructions how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.

NFSP statement regarding PO’s Postmaster NED roles

Apr 8, 2024 |

Following Post Office Ltd’s (PO) announcement regarding the application for two postmasters to join their Board as Postmaster Non-Executive Directors today, the NFSP again wishes to express its serious concerns about the role of PO Board Postmaster NEDs.


To be clear, we are not saying anything directly about the individuals but have concern about the role and its effectiveness within an organisation whose culture is still problematic. The Horizon Inquiry keeps unearthing instances of PO ignoring concerns raised by various parties. Instead of roles that look good for PR, PO should actually do the work and negotiate with representative bodies. Until PO is willing to negotiate and listen to the NFSP, we feel that we are unable to support these roles.


An example of this is the Operational Excellence Initiative announced last month on which Post Office refused to negotiate a fair and reasonable rate with the NFSP, despite being the only representative body who can represent postmasters in negotiations with PO.


In his statement advertising the roles, PO Chief Executive Nick Read said that having Postmaster NEDs helps to rebuild trust and helps to modernise the business. He added that it ensures postmaster perspectives are always central to PO’s decision-making and that now, more than ever, PO needs postmaster involvement to shape the long-term direction of the business.


However, in recent press articles, postmaster NEDs have expressed that they feel ignored and unwanted and there still exists a guilty until proven innocent culture within PO. If postmaster perspectives were central to PO’s decision-making, then PO would have enabled the NFSP to fully consult with postmasters ahead of the implementation of the Operational Excellence Initiative.


After all, it was the NFSP during the 2019 Remuneration Review who recognised that postmasters were not remunerated for all of the work they do on behalf of PO. We pushed for PO to look at how postmasters can be remunerated for this work that primarily would be classed as back office, and PO agreed to carry out a time and motion study in 2023.


The NFSP held a meeting in January this year to discuss Operational Excellence with postmasters. Colleagues gave their views on how it could be improved and their thoughts on the level of remuneration. This was fed back to PO in January, but the NFSP only heard back at the end of March at the same time as PO’s announcement of their proposal.


In a poll run by the NFSP, 91% of members indicated that they felt PO’s remuneration proposal should have been for a higher amount.

If the Postmaster NEDs were involved in this process, the question needs to be asked if PO actually listens to them and if there is any point in the roles.