Tuesday, March 30, 2010
ROSTERING, COMPLIANCE WITH PTR&R AND DELIVERY OF T3 POSSESSIONS - NETWORK RAIL OPERATIONS
Since the ballot result was announced your union has attended further talks with the company but regrettably management has so far failed to come up with anything to resolve this dispute. Despite the best endeavours of this union insufficient progress has been made on the main issues of rostering, compliance with the Promotion, Transfer, Redundancy and Resettlement Agreement and safe delivery of T3 engineering possessions.
You will have seen the latest letter from Iain Coucher, the Chief Executive, setting out their latest proposals. The letter can be downloaded here: http://tinyurl.com/yccrxb8.
These proposals do not resolve this dispute. On rostering management say they will abide by National Principles on rostering arrangements yet will bring in a new "Fatigue and Risk Index" that no doubt they will hide behind every time they breach the existing principles.
On the PTR&R Arrangements it is true that in 1994 signal workers went on to salaried conditions but the same agreement stated that the existing redundancy arrangements would remain in place. So if a signaller is displaced then vacancies would be filled using the criteria that as long as someone has the ability to do the job the seniority in service would be the defining factor.
We cannot let management use "suitability" to put their preferred candidate in to the post. On T3 Possessions we have asked Network Rail to divulge all secondary action trials that means secondary protection currently carried out by infrastructure staff can be examined by the Union. We don't want T3's being done away with and suddenly introduced by a hypothetical 'T4'.
However, Network Rail has changed their stance slightly and I have today hand delivered a letter to the company seeking urgent discussions to try and resolve this dispute as obviously time is running out.
Therefore, whilst we are still prepared to carry on talking, your General Grades Committee has decided that it is necessary to call on members to take industrial action as follows:-
1. Members are instructed to take strike action by ceasing work and leaving the workplace between the hours of 0600 and 1000 on Tuesday 6th, Wednesday 7th, Thursday 8th and Friday 9th April 2010.
2. Members are also instructed to take strike action by ceasing work and leaving the workplace between the hours of 1800 and 2200 on Tuesday 6th, Wednesday 7th, Thursday 8th and Friday 9th April 2010.
INDUSTRIAL ACTION SHORT OF A STRIKE
Members are instructed to take action short of strike action by not working any overtime or undertaking any on call duties between 0600 hours on Tuesday 6th April 2010 and 0600 hours on Saturday 10th April 2010.
It has been brought to my attention that some Network Rail managers are trying to sow confusion by telling members that they have no legal right to walk off the job. This is a lie. The union has complied with the law by giving the company the appropriate notice of the action to be taken. It will be entirely up to Network Rail management, not RMT members, to take whatever steps they may deem necessary to secure the safety of the network. The union has taken legal advice on this very issue from the leading QC specialising in employment law, John Hendy, and he has backed our position up to the hilt.
The ball is now in Network Rail's court. The industrial action can be averted quite easily if the company has the will. All we want is:-
* A commitment that the company will abide by national agreements and not impose rosters* A commitment that Network Rail will abide by the PTR&R arrangements * A commitment that the T3 proposals will not be re-introduced.
We will continue talking to the company in an effort to reach an acceptable solution. In the meantime I urge you to stand firm and continue to support your union's position in this dispute.
I thank you in advance for your support
UNITY IS STRENGTH SUPPORT YOUR UNION TOGETHER WE CAN WIN
* download attachment: http://tinyurl.com/yccrxb8
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Circular No: IR104/10
26 March 2010
ROSTERING, COMPLIANCE WITH PTR&R AND DELIVERY OF T3 POSSESSIONS -NETWORK RAIL OPERATIONS (BR5/0314)
Further to previous correspondence, this matter has again been considered by the General Grades Committee and the following decision has been taken:
“That we note that meetings have taken place between our representatives and Network Rail on Tuesday 23rd, Wednesday 24th and Thursday 25th March to resolve this dispute. Unfortunately, despite the best endeavours of this union insufficient progress has been made on the main issues of rostering, compliance with the Promotion, Transfer, Redundancy and Resettlement Agreement and safe delivery of T3 engineering possessions. Therefore, industrial action is now inevitable.
Accordingly we instruct our members to take strike action by ceasing work and leaving the workplace between the hours of 0600 and 1000 on Tuesday 6th, Wednesday 7th, Thursday 8th and Friday 9th April 2010 and also between the hours of 1800 and 2200 on Tuesday 6th, Wednesday 7th, Thursday 8th and Friday 9th April 2010 and to take action short strike action by not working any overtime or undertaking any on call duties between 0600 hours on Tuesday 6th April 2010 and 0600 hours on Saturday 10th April 2010. We call on all our members to stand firm and to support in full this action by joining picket lines on leaving work and attending mass meetings to keep themselves informed. The General Secretary to inform Network Rail that we remain available for further talks to resolve this dispute in full.”
A personal letter will shortly be sent to members covered by this decision and I shall, of course, continue to keep you advised of all developments as and when they arise.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Strike action between 06.00 and 10.00 hours and between 18.00 and 22.00 hours on the 6th, 7th and 8th and 9th of April.
Maintenance (infrastructure) staff:
Strike action from 06.00 hours on Tuesday 6th April to 23.59 hours on Friday 9th of April.
An overtime ban, ban on rest day working and a ban on on-call duties to be in force throughout this period for both groups of staff running through to 06.00 hours on Saturday 10th April.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
“RMT negotiators have worked flat out to try and reach an agreement that protects rail safety, job security and working agreements in the disputes involving signalling and maintenance staff on Britain’s railways. Despite long hours of talks we have received nothing concrete from Network Rail that addresses the key issues.
“It remains the case that Network Rail, in a drive to slash 21% from their budget, want to axe 1500 maintenance posts, lump maintenance functions onto over-worked signallers, rip up agreements and impose changes that will quite clearly undermine safety across our railways and make another Hatfield, Potters Bar or Grayrigg disaster an inevitability.
“RMT members could not sit back and wait for Network Rail to drag our industry back to the dark days of Rail Track with their cash-driven cuts plans. We have decided to stand up and fight and the ball is now in Network Rail’s court to come back with meaningful proposals aimed at resolving these disputes.”
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Event Date: April 13 2010
RMT, along with transport unions from other European countries, is calling on the European Railways Agency (ERA) to give a clear commitment that rail safety and jobs will not be sacrificed in the interests of competition and profit.
As a first step we are calling for a mass protest at the offices of the European Railway Agency in Lille, France on Tuesday 13 April 2010 at 11.00. It is essential that RMT members play as full a role as possible in this demonstration, which the union has been instrumental in calling.
RMT is calling on all transport unions and organisations that defend public transport and the environment to oppose the systematic destruction of national rail networks, jobs and safety standards brought about as a result of the implementation of European Union rail liberalisation packages.
further info and FREE TRAVEL details: firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7829 8307
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
March 17 2010
RMT in talks with Network Rail tomorrow over safety-critical job cuts
RAIL UNION RMT will be taking part in top level talks with Network Rail tomorrow (18th March) in a bid to reach an agreement that protects rail safety, job security and operational arrangements following a massive 77% vote for strike action last week by 12,000 RMT rail maintenance staff over the company’s cuts plans.
RMT have drawn attention again this morning to the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) report from two weeks ago which identified four major areas of concern over the Network Rail plans:
Failure to carry out practical tests on the cuts plans
Specific concerns on the continued problems on the West Coast Mainline where the bulk of the job cuts are targeted
Reductions in safety-critical working hours
Cutting back on safety lookouts and safety briefings.
ORR also highlighted “inadequate employee engagement” and warned that they will have “no hesitation in taking immediate action if safety to passengers and employees is put at risk.”
Over 150 MP’s have now signed the Early Day Motion opposing the planned Network Rail cuts and calling on the government to intervene directly to call a halt to the threatened axing of 1500 safety-critical posts.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
“We head in to talks with Network Rail with the very clear intention of seeking an agreement which ends the threat of compulsory redundancies amongst safety-critical maintenance staff and which puts the safety and security of our railways above the drive to slash budgets to hit arbitrary savings targets.
“We have secured a huge pool of public and political support for RMT’s “Rail Cuts Cost Lives” campaign, alongside an overwhelming mandate from our members for action if that’s what it takes to reverse these cuts. That puts us in a strong position as we open up these direct talks with the senior management at Network Rail.
Geoff Martin 07831 465 103
0207 255 9146
Monday, March 15, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
REORGANISATION OF NETWORK RAIL MAINTENANCE
The ballot of you and your colleagues has concluded and the result is as follows:
Question: Are you prepared to take strike action?
Total votes cast
7816 Number voting YES 6055 Number voting NO 1709 Spoilt papers 52
Question: Are you prepared to take industrial action short of a strike?
Total votes cast
7816 Number voting YES 6955 Number voting NO 723 Spoilt papers 138
Your union’s Executive Committee will now discuss the next steps in the dispute at a meeting next Friday - 19th March - in light of the massive mandate for action that has been delivered by our members. I can also inform you that I have issued a further call to Network Rail Chairman Rick Haythornthwaite today to re-open talks on the maintenance cuts plans.
You and your colleagues were faced with a stark choice in this ballot. You could have either sat back and waited for these cash-led maintenance cuts to lead to another major disaster on Britain’s railways or voted to take action to stop the attack on rail safety. You and your colleagues have now overwhelmingly voted to take action.
RMT remains available for talks with Network Rail and we would hope that in light of the overwhelming mandate for action delivered by you and your colleagues today that Mr Haythornthwaite will respond to our request for meaningful discussions aimed at ensuring that the staffing levels required to deliver a safe rail system are maintained.
I would like to thank all members for delivering such a magnificent vote for strike action and industrial action short of a strike.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Committee have now had opportunity to consider this matler and they have made the
"That we note the resolution from our Waterloo Branch and the General Secretary is
instruded to seek an urgent repoft from our Lead Officer on this issue. Fufthermore the
General Secretary is instruded to seek an urgent assurance from the company that they will
comply with the PT&R arangements at all times as agreed with this union; if the assurance
is not forthcoming a dispute situation will exist between this union and SWT. The General
Grades Committee to be kept informed of all developments. Waterloo Branch to be advised."
Accordingly I have written to SWT on this matter and asked the Lead Officer to investigate
this matter on my behalf.
I will continue to keep you advised of all developments.