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Oct 10, 2022 |

NFSP Communications Team

The NFSP does not agree that the increased remuneration offer from PO to postmasters is a “step in the right direction”, following their recent message to postmasters, as reported on the Convenience Store website last week.  

The remuneration offer does not come close to what is needed and demonstrates a lack of understanding and desire to address the real problems postmasters are experiencing today.

The additional; £3 million outlined by PO group chief Retail Officer, Martin Roberts may sound like an impressive headline figure but spread across the whole Post Office network will amount to around £260 per postmaster*.

The level of anger and frustration in the postmaster community is unprecedented due to the treatment by PO towards their defacto business partners

Recent NFSP research found that 70% of postmasters are currently earning the National Minimum Wage of £9.50 per hour or less, from income generated by their post offices. Across the UK, postmasters employ approximately 40,000 staff at minimum wage or higher. Neither the current nor the proposed remuneration will cover the cost in paying their staff, let alone the additional and spiralling costs of running a business in the current climate. Further, there are a number of transactions that postmasters have to carry out for which they are not remunerated. Postmasters are effectively often working for free. As a consequence, they are increasingly relying on the retail side of their business to subsidise the Government-owned Post Office

The 3.7% pay increase offered by the Post Office is significantly below the 6.7% NMW increase, and that is before additional costs are factored in. PO are making much of "doubling the banking fees". However, this is not the case with all post offices and does not account for the time taken to complete banking transactions

In addition, the NFSP is concerned that banks are effectively trying to crash the cash economy, something which gov is legislating to protect. Banks are now contacting their customers with restrictions on the amount of cash they can pay into their bank accounts via the post office

As banks abandon high streets and communities; it is local post offices that support the consumers for their banking needs. Yet income generated to provide these vital services does not cover costs.  NFSP is calling on Government to do more to protect access to cash within the UK and prevent the banks from placing profit before provision.

The NFSP calls upon PO to recommence talks and work with us to provide a settlement for postmasters that properly reflects their value and ensures financial security for them and their staff. We are also calling upon the Government to increase its annual subsidy to ensure that PO can remunerate postmasters fairly and to provide ongoing support for energy costs well beyond the Government’s 6-month Energy Bill Relief scheme.

* Based on approximately 11,500 postmasters across the UK

** The latest remuneration offer results in a rise from 16p to 32p for Mains office but only 13p to 26p for a Non-Mains