Circular No: IR/306/16
To All Branches, Regional Offices & Regional Councils
Our Ref: BR2/14/2
17th July 2017
BREACH OF AGREEMENT, GUARDS AND COMMERCIAL GUARDS – SOUTH WEST TRAINS
I am writing further to my Circular (IR/287/17) dated 10th July 2017 in relation to the above matter and where I informed you of management’s unwillingness to address our concerns and their continued breach of the two sections of the GRA 7.1.1 & 7.2.
Our Lead Officer and SWT Guards Company Council Representatives have recently met with the company to discuss this matter further under the Avoidance of Dispute. In the meeting the issue was raised regarding padding turns utilising spare to move to spare, which was discussed in great detail and debate over a considerable amount of time. It was during this debate last year that the then Customer Service Director agreed that this practice was not within the spirit of GRA and asked the union to provide a clear set of words, which was reflective of everyone’s understanding and interpretation from the discussions.
During the recent Avoidance of Dispute meeting it became clear that the current Customer Services Director believed that on the basis of the information he has received from the previous Director, the form of words provided would likely mean a change to the Terms and Conditions. The union’s negotiating team informed the company that the matter still remains with GRA being incorrectly interpreted by some areas of management and that the form of words provided clarification on the issue and did not require any change to the overall GRA. Despite our best efforts the Director informed us that he would need to talk to First before making any commitments as there could be an impact on the Terms and Conditions of service, which would be affect the change of the franchise rules in the last 12 months.
The National Executive Committee has considered this matter and believes the best possible way forward is to call a ballot for Strike Action and Industrial Action short of a strike. Therefore, ballot papers will be sent to members’ home address on Friday 21st July and will need to be returned by no later than First Post on Tuesday 1st August 2017. I urge you to advise members to ensure their details such as their home address are correct by urgently contacting the RMT Switch board on 020 7387 4771 and asking for the membership department, where their details will be amended. Alternatively, members can contact the RMT Freephone Helpline on 0800 376 3706 or by emailing the helpline at firstname.lastname@example.org and notifying them of any updates.
I will of course keep you fully advised of any further developments and future decision on this issue. I would be grateful if you could bring the contents of this circular to the attention of your members.