Royal Mail agrees to long-term future of sorting office nursery

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The CWU campaign to save Mount Pleasant nursery at Royal Mail’s Farringdon site has been won.

The long-term future of the London nursery is now secure and it will be fully refurbished over the summer, to the relief of parents with young children who were facing a tough choice between finding childcare elsewhere or leaving their jobs to look after their children.

CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward said: “Saving Mount Pleasant nursery is fantastic news for the parents who rely on this facility. I’m really pleased we’ve managed to secure a solution with Royal Mail which keeps this facility open for the long-term as it’s an important benefit of our members.”

Royal Mail announced last summer they intended to close the nursery as part of cost saving measures. Months of campaigning by the union, postal workers and the families which rely on the facility forced Royal Mail into a review giving the nursery a ‘stay of execution’ in September 2011. CWU has since worked with Royal Mail and the nursery provider Kiddycare to scope workable operating models which meet the costs of running the nursery while protecting affordable childcare for workers.

The solution involves increasing the basic charge to Royal Mail employees from £112 to £122 per child per week (for full time care) and opening up ten of the 29 places to children of parents outside of Royal Mail at a higher cost. National Education Grants, which entitle all three and four year olds to 15 hours of free childcare per week during term time, will also be used to reduce Royal Mail’s costs.

CWU equality officer Linda Roy explained: “We’re elated that this crucial facility has been saved. If the CWU had not opposed Royal Mail’s proposed closure of the crèche last November some of our members would have faced a difficult choice of paying exorbitant childcare fees elsewhere or terminating their employment. We’ve also secured an agreement to monitor the nursery to ensure that it is meeting the needs of our members and their children. Everyone should be delighted with the outcome.”

The nursery is now looking forward to a refurbishment and welcoming new toddlers.


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