Tuesday, March 30, 2010


29th March 2010

Dear Colleague


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.


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


* download attachment: http://tinyurl.com/yccrxb8

Yours sincerely

Bob Crow

General Secretary

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