Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Circular No IR/314/11


28th July 2011

Dear Colleagues


It has come to my attention that South West Trains managers have been initiating disciplinary action at Fact Finding meetings which therefore become the first stage of the disciplinary procedure. Under the employment legislation employees have the right to be accompanied at disciplinary meetings, however informal/investigatory meetings are not covered by this legislation and management can refuse a “request to be accompanied”.

The General Grades Committee has considered this matter and has taken the following decision:

“That we note the correspondence from Thompsons Solicitors outlining their legal opinion regarding the issue. Therefore we instruct the General Secretary to write to South West Trains informing them that any fact finding or other meeting that is convened without the ‘request to be accompanied’ being granted must not result in the following:

· The administration of a formal warning to a worker

· The taking of some other action in respect of a worker

· The confirmation of a warning issued or some other action taken

Branches and Regional Councils to be informed.”

I will now be acting on the instructions of this decision and I will keep you advised of any developments.

Yours sincerely


Bob Crow

General Secretary

Monday, July 25, 2011



22 July 2011



The TSSA and RMT unions today agreed to commit to formal talks which could ultimately lead to a merger of the two unions. Initial discussions will focus on closer working between both unions initially through a federation structure with a view to moving towards a merger.

Both unions also agreed that the door will remain open for other smaller specialist unions in transport who may be thinking along similar lines to join the discussions at a future date.

Commenting on the decision, TSSA General Secretary Gerry Doherty said :

“Today’s decision will hopefully be the start of a process designed to serve the interests of future generations of transport and travel trade workers. We owe an obligation to our children and our children’s children to leave better organisations that protect workers in the very uncertain future that

they currently face”

Speaking on behalf of the RMT, General Secretary Bob Crow said :

“This is a historical day for the trade union movement. These talks will bring together two unions each with over a hundred years of specialising in the transport industry in the interests of workers.”

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


My Ref: MRP: 1/8 15th July 2011

Circular No. NP/132 /11

To: The Secretary All Branches & Regional Councils

Dear Colleague,


As I am sure you are aware the Railways Pension Scheme (RPS) tri-annual actuarial valuation is presently being carried out by the scheme Actuary and as part of this consultation process the RMT, along with other trade unions, has been having discussions with railway management about these results.

The draft valuation results reveal that the majority of RPS sections are in deficit although some are showing a surplus. The Actuary has indicated that like other UK pension schemes which are in deficit this can be contributed to a number of factors, including poor investment returns and improvements in mortality.

As with past valuation, talks between management and the trade unions have centered on the affordability and sustainability of the RPS. The Actuary has outlined a number of options which could be used to reduce each sections deficit, which include further increases in employer and employee pension contributions and benefits changes.

The valuation results for each section are still to be finalised and whilst there has been discussions about reducing future pension liabilities, the RMT’s policy will be to protect existing and future pension benefits.

I would therefore like to remind all RMT representatives that no agreement should be reached on amending contributions or benefits, either through Pensions Committees or in direct discussions with the employer, without prior consent from Head Office. Details of any employer proposals should be forwarded immediately to Head Office.

The RPS 2010 Actuarial Valuation must be completed by 31st March 2012. If, however, there are any proposed changes to RPS pension arrangements a member consultation period will begin at least 60 days before the 31st March 2012.

I shall, of course, keep you advised of developments.

Yours sincerely,


Bob Crow,

General Secretary

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Organising Catering Grades


To advise that a Special Branch Meeting has been arranged Jointly with Deptford and Waterloo Branches on the 09th August 2011 at the Hole in the Wall Public House starting at 16-00 pm, your National Officers Pat Sikorski (Assistant General Secretary) and Brian Whitehead (Relief Regional Organiser) will be in attendance to address the meeting on this National Campaign this meeting is for all Catering Grades which include Select Service Partners Staff.

Following this Meeting on the 10th August a Recruitment and Retention Campaign activity will take place at Waterloo/Clapham Junction/London Bridge and Charing Cross Stations, where the assperations is to recruite and Organise all Catering Grades workers.

The purpose of this is following the sucessfull recognition agreements made by the RMT with Rail Gourmet and Select Service Partners Companies.

Circular No IR/288/11

To All Branches, Regional Offices & Regional Councils

Our Ref: HC/20/2

14th July 2011

Dear Colleagues


I am pleased to report that our National Catering Campaign has started off on a very positive note. We are only three days into the campaign yet over fifty new members have joined at Edinburgh Waverley, Newcastle and York. This proves once again that a well prepared campaign that involves our branches and grades conference are successful.

AGS, Pat Sikorski and Lead Officer, Brian Whitehead, along with the Org Unit and local reps are touring twenty six locations over a four week period. The essential part of our strategy is that our branches plan for monthly follow up visits to the catering outlets and workplaces. Similarly, we also need to encourage members to fill vacancies for reps as it’s our local reps who are best placed to recruit and retain.

Companies targeted were Select Service Partners, Rail Gourmet and ISS.


SSP is currently restructuring its workforce, however, it must be stressed that the RMT have consistently argued against the changes and the methods being used. Unfortunately, SSP management are imposing the changes in order to reduce their current one hundred and twenty seven different rates of pay down to four. Managers are assessing staff in their current roles. This has meant members effectively being downgraded with some losing several thousand pounds in pay per annum.

This is unacceptable to the RMT and we are encouraging any of our members who have fallen foul of an assessment, to lodge an individual grievance and contact Lead Officer, Brian Whitehead immediately. We are also looking at challenging this restructuring legally as we believe the majority of staff will suffer 'unlawful deduction of wages.'

I shall, of course, keep you fully updated on any further developments.




Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Inflation Rates

Tuesday 12th July 2011

Circular No. National Policy 127/11/MC

To the Secretary all Branches,

Council of Executive members,

Regional Councils and Regional Offices.

Dear Colleagues,

New Inflation Rates

The Office of National Statistics has just published new inflation figures for the twelve months to June 2011.

The Retail Price Index (RPI) for this twelve monthly period is 5%, down 0.2% from the previous figure of 5.2% for the twelve months to May 2011.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is 4.2% for the twelve months to June 2011. This is down 0.3% from the figure for the twelve months to May 2011.

By far the largest downward pressure to the change in CPI inflation came from recreation and culture where prices, overall, fell by 0.9 per cent between May and June this year compared with a rise of 0.5 per cent between the same two months a year ago. The fall this year was a record for a May to June period. The main downward effects came from games, toys and hobbies, particularly computer games, and from audio-visual equipment and related products, where price discounting this year of items such as digital cameras, DVDs and televisions contributed to the downward movement.
There were also large downward pressures from:

  • miscellaneous goods and services where prices, overall, were little changed between May and June this year compared with an increase of 0.6 per cent between the same two months a year ago. The downward effect came from a wide variety of goods and services with the largest contribution coming from insurance where premiums rose by less than a year ago
  • communication, driven by telephone equipment and services, particularly mobile phone charges
  • second-hand cars which fell in price this year but rose a year ago

By far the largest offsetting upward pressure to the change in CPI inflation came from food and non-alcoholic beverages where prices, overall, rose by 0.9 per cent between May and June this year but fell by 0.1 per cent between the same two months a year ago. The upward effects came from a wide range of product groups, most notably from bread and cereals, meat, and milk, cheese and eggs. In each case, prices rose this year across a range of products compared with falls a year ago.
There was also a large upward pressure from fuels and lubricants where prices fell this year by less than a year ago. Petrol pump prices fell by 0.7 pence per litre between May and June this year to stand at 135.6 pence per litre. This movement compares with a fall of 2.6 pence per litre between the same two months a year ago.

The next publication date will be 16th August 2011.

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