The figure is a ‘posties bonus’ that is earned on top of their annual salary and is paid to reward employees who take the time to not only shake for coins, but also have the foresight to delve further in to the cards on the hunt for high value paper.
His offer to pay the money back to the intended recipients comes on the back of the decision by Royal Mail chief executive Moya Greene to pay back £120,000 she received towards the cost of a new house. This was on top of her nearly £500,000-a-year salary and other bonuses which all total £1.47m.
“I realise that in times of austerity it is wrong that I should continue to accept the money sent to villagers in birthday cards” Mr Thornley said. “If our chief executive can take moral stance on bonuses she shouldn’t be really have been paid in the first place, then so can I.”
Although the move has been welcomed by the village’s residents, it has been condemned by the Communication Workers Union.
“We have spent many years and numerous strikes trying to uphold our members pay and conditions” a spokesman for the CWU told us.
“The ‘finders keepers’ clause has been around since 1934 and Mr Thornley’s actions are an insult to all those posties that got arrested for theft, fighting for the right to intercept customers’ gifts”
Mr Thornley’s moral crusade will start next week when he will begin redistributing his gains, but he has warned his customers not to expect a lot.
“The total I earned from cards last year was actually £585 and an Ann Summers gift card, but as the cash element of the bonus has already been spent, I shall only be returning the named cheques I couldn’t cash in.”