Sunday, April 24, 2011

Alex Gordon (National President is in attendance at the Branch Meeting on the 28th April 2011...

Alex Gordon RMT National President is in attendance at the Branch Meeting on the 28th April 2011, Alex will be addressing the Branch on National Issues that are being dealt with.

If you can come along and here your elected president speak, and Alex will also be available to take questions from members.

Hope to see you there...

Friday, April 22, 2011

RMT Wessex Regional Office Relocation


Circular No MF/18/11


7th April 2011

Dear Colleagues

RMT Wessex Regional Office Relocation

With reference to the above, I am pleased to announce that the Wessex Regional Office has now moved from Ocean Village in Southampton to a conveniently situated office near Southampton Central train station.

The full details for the office are as follows:

RMT Wessex Regional Office

2nd Floor, The Podium

Queens Keep

1-4 Cumberland Place



SO15 2BH

Tel: 02380 335412

Fax: 02380 333637

Yours sincerely


Bob Crow

General Secretary

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Health and Safety Constituences (Retail Grades)

Hi All

To advise you all following recent e-mails that I have sent out to all regarding the above, the RMT have been in negotiations with SWT as have TSSA  to look at the Constituencies within the Retail Grades, to advise you all that the agreement has now been finalised and has been signed and agreed by the RMT Regional Organiser and that the Health and Safety Representatives will be grouped in with the respective Area Managers Area and this has been part of the Union's request for paid release to attend the Health and Safety TUC course Stage 2, and more importantly to tidy up the Health and Safety Representatives Areas and Constituencies.

Also the elected Representatives that are in office at the moment will need to be re-elected into the Vacancies that are going to be created, this is because we cannot identify what dates all RMT Health and Safety Representatives started and finished the term of office, so it has been agreed that all positions will be new Vacancies and that the Regional Organiser will be writing to all Branch Secretaries shortly advising them of the changes and seeking nominations through the respective Branches of the Grade Groups for nominees to be elected by the Branch to fill the new Vacancies , and when this is completed the Company will be advised who are the elected Health and Safety Representatives and the Union will arrange for them to attend the respective TUC Health and Safety Course.

To confirm that the existing  Health and Safety Representatives will remain in post until the closing date of the nominations which also will be added in the letter from the Regional Organiser, from then all existing H&S Representatives will stand down.

In regards the changes to the above this the 1996 Agreement Procedure 2 (Health and Safety) has also been amended to reflect the above, I will shortly e-mail you the final draft agreement of the positions/constituencies and the copy of the change to Procedure Agreement 2, which will enable you to have an idea of how many vacancies are available.

To confirm that all Guards/Fleet and Drivers Health and Safety Positions remain unchanged, and this only affects  Revenue Protection/Rail Operators/Clerical Officers/RCO's/Retail Shunters

Branch Secretaries If you can bring this to the attention of the Branch members at your respective Branch meetings , and if you require any further information on this please do not hesitate to contact me, I have sent this to all existing Health and Safety Reps that I have on e-mail.

Inflation Rates Circular

Circular No. NP/071/11/MC

12th April 2011


Dear Colleagues,

Inflation Rates Circular

The March rates of RPI and CPI were published by the Office for National Statistics on the 12th April 2011. The next publication date is the 17th May 2011.

March 2011 retail prices index rate is 5.3%.This is down from 5.5% in February. The Government’s preferred measure of inflation, CPI, is at 4%, down from 4.4% in February.

By far the largest downward pressure to the change in inflation came from food and non-alcoholic beverages where prices, overall, fell by 1.4 per cent between February and March this year compared with a rise of 0.3 per cent between the same two months a year ago. The 1.4 per cent this year was a record fall for a February to March period. The downward effects were widespread and reflected supermarket led sales this year. The most notable contributions came from fruit where prices fell by 4.7 per cent this year (also a record February to March movement) but rose by 0.7 per cent a year ago, and bread and cereals where prices fell by a record 2.6 per cent this year compared with a fall of 0.2 per cent a year ago.
There were also large downward pressures from:

  • recreation and culture, principally from games, toys and hobbies (particularly computer games), recording media and data processing equipment
  • air transport, where fares rose by less than a year ago, particularly on European routes

The largest upward pressures to the change in inflation came from:

  • housing and household services: prices, overall, rose by 0.4 per cent between February and March this year compared with 0.1 per cent between the same two months a year ago. The main upward effect came from domestic heating costs where average electricity and gas bills rose this year but were unchanged a year ago
  • purchase of vehicles, where prices rose this year but fell a year ago, particularly for second-hand cars

In pay submissions the RMT will continue to emphasise that your financial commitments have increased at a much greater rate than inflation and your living standards have suffered as a result.

Yours sincerely,


Bob Crow

General Secretary

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Abolition of the Default Retirement Age

7th April 2011 My ref: EO/33



Circular No. NP/067/11

Dear Colleague,


As from 6th April 2011 the law that allowed employers to retire employees at age 65 (the default retirement age) without having to explain why is being phased out. When discrimination on the grounds of age was made unlawful in certain circumstances in 2006, a provision of the legislation enabled employers to retire employees at age 65 without having to explain why, providing they carried out a certain procedure, which allowed for employees to request to work beyond retirement. In future, employees in theory will be able to choose when they want to retire. If the employer forces someone to retire, they will have to justify the decision at an Employment Tribunal if challenged by the employee.

Transitional arrangements have now been set out after considerable confusion caused by legislative drafting errors by the ConDem Government. If an employer retires someone because they are 65 then both the following must apply:-

  1. The notice of retirement must have been given to the employee before 6th April 2011.
  1. The employee must be aged 65 or over (or the employer’s retirement age, if that is higher) by 30th September 2011.
  1. If the member has been given this notice, they still have the right to request to work beyond that retirement date and the employer must consider the request as set out in The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006. (This procedure is readily available from Head Office.)

Any dismissal on the grounds of retirement notified from 6th April on, if not objectively justified by the employer, will amount to unlawful age discrimination under Section 13 of the Equality Act 2010.

Whilst employees may now have the right to remain in work after age 65, the change in legislation no longer requires employers to make arrangements for or provide access to the provision of insurance or related financial services to those over 65 or state pension age, whichever is the greater.

The abolition of the default retirement age may be welcome by some but we need to ensure that our members can retire with dignity and at a time of their choosing. We do not want a culture where it becomes acceptable to work until you drop.

Yours sincerely,



General Secretary

Direct Line: 020-7529 8821

Direct Fax: 020-7529 8808