2017 – Lack of Progress and Talks
After extensive work in 2016 to agree a comprehensive plan for the Post Office Network including Postmasters, An Post and Government the promised report of the Network Renewal Working Group remained unpublished into 2017.
Similarily the planned roll out of Pilot Service Hub Post Offices from the Service Hubs Working Group had not materialised.
This led to frustration among Postmasters who protested both outside and inside the GPO and also at the Constituency Office of the then Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Castlebar.
Postmasters repeatedly highlighted the urgent need for a plan, investment and additional services for the Network to secure its future.
Postmasters and An Post agreed to engage in a new series of talks during the summer. These talks broke down and the IPU later rejected an An Post proposal in October 2017 which it said would threaten the future of the Network rather than develop its future.
2018 – New Contract
Talk recommenced in early 2018 and in Spring a new contract and Plan was agreed between An Post and the Executive of the IPU.
The plan was then balloted on and supported by the IPU’s membership.
The plan gave a commitment to a Post Office within 3km in all urban areas and 15km, or to a community of 500 people, in all rural areas.
A new Postmasters’commercial contract was also agreed, together with a commitment to increasing the range of Government services, and An Post led financial services, delivered through the Network.