Postmasters vote to accept deal aimed at protecting post offices

The IPU says it will work to ensure new services are rolled out "as quickly as possible"

Postmasters vote to accept deal aimed at protecting post offices

Photo:/RollingNews.ie

Postmasters have voted to accept a new deal aimed at 'growing and modernising' the post office network.

The executive of the Irish Postmasters' Union (IPU) had previously agreed to the plan - which means there will be no compulsory closures of post offices - but needed approval from members.

80% of members voted to support the plan, with 20% voting against.

In a statement, the IPU said it will "now work ahead with An Post to deliver implementation of the plan – and importantly to ensure the roll out of promised new Government and financial services as quickly as possible".

An Post revealed its plans for post offices last month, describing it as a 'new vision'.

The IPU said it would include a €50 million investment in the network, arguing it represented the "best possible plan to sustain as large a network as possible into the future".

According to An Post, it is planning to increase the services available at post offices - saying they want them to become a 'one stop shop' for local and central government services.

It also said it would work to safeguard the network, stating: "In rural Ireland An Post will seek to ensure that all settlements with over 500 people will have a Post Office – 20 new post offices being opened nationally.

"In rural areas 95% of the population will be within 15km of at least one Post Office."

An Post says it does not plan to have any 'compulsory closures' of post offices, but said 'consolidation' would occur in some areas when existing postmasters retire.

The company posted a post-tax profit of €8.4m in 2017 - compared to losses of €12.4m the previous year - citing an increase in stamp costs, reduction in costs and increased parcel revenues for the financial turnaround.