Friday, March 1, 2013
Use Of Agencies in the Railway Industry
Circular No IR/146/13
To All Branches, Regional Offices & Regional Councils
Our Ref: BR1/13/1
1st March 2013
USE OF AGENCIES IN THE RAILWAY INDUSTRY
Further to my previous circular on the above matter dated 17th January 2013 (IR/36/13), the General Grades Committee has considered this matter and has taken the following decision:
“We note the further responses from Train Operating Companies as follows:
• Grand Central states that it uses Trainpeople at King’s Cross, jointly with First Hull Trains (although First Hull Trains states that it does not use Trainpeople). We instruct the General Secretary to seek a meeting with both employers to discuss the situation and seek to ensure that they are fulfilling their legal obligations under the Agency Worker Regulations 2010.
• Virgin states that it does not use Trainpeople and that its use of agencies is ‘negligible’. We instruct the General Secretary to write to Virgin seeking details of exactly what use it is making of agencies.
• Northern Rail confirms that it is using Trainpeople for revenue protection work. We note that Northern Rail’s use of agencies is subject to a current dispute with this union.
• East Coast states that it does not use Trainpeople. We instruct the General Secretary to seek clarification as to which other agencies it does use.
• South West Trains states that it does not use Trainpeople.
• Merseyrail states that it does not use Trainpeople.
• Greater Anglia states that it is reviewing all contracts with agencies. We instruct the General Secretary to immediately contact this company seeking an internal meeting at which this union can make the case for direct employment instead of the use of agencies.
• London Midland states that it has used Trainpeople ‘on occasions’. We instruct the General Secretary to write to the company seeking a meeting to discuss the situation.
We note the report from our Regional Organiser that Chiltern Railways uses the Evolution agency for cleaning duties and that its staff are paid £6.90 per hour, have access to advertised Chiltern vacancies and free staff travel to and from work; and that the company is exploring restructuring cleaners’ employment, including the possibility of bringing this work in-house and/or applying the Living Wage. We instruct the General Secretary to pursue these discussions in line with union policy.
Further to our letter to TOCs and London Underground Ltd, we instruct the General Secretary to write similarly to all other railway employers and to place responses in front of us. We instruct the General Secretary to ensure that our ‘Know Your Rights’ guide is printed without further delay. We welcome the translation of this guide into Russian and Polish and instruct the General Secretary to seek translations into Romanian and Bulgarian as well.
This matter is to be placed back in front of us in the event of any developments and in any case before the end of April 2013. Branches and Regional Councils to be advised.”
I will now be acting on the instructions of this decision and I will keep you advised of any developments.