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2010 Pay

24 January 2011

A further series of discussions have taken place with Amey both before and since Christmas and some headway has been made but we are still not to where we want to be.

Latest position
- An increase of 1% to base pay for all members of the collectively bargained rail population, effective from 1st April 2010;
- Conditional on accepting the above offer, an additional 1% increase, effective from April 2010, to the ex-Atkins employees who transferred as part of the CEFA contract to recognise that they did not receive a pay increment during 2009, despite promises to the contrary;
- Enter into meaningful discussions to clarify the collectively bargained population within Amey and for Amey to respond formally regarding TSSA’s request to consider extending collective bargaining.

TSSA’s position

I have to say that this is a poor offer, even allowing that the country is coming out of a recession:
- The offer of 1% is significantly below the February RPI figure that is traditionally used in the railway industry as an indicator for the expected award in April. In February 2010 RPI stood at 3.7%. By December, RPI Inflation had increased to 4.8%. Members are deeply affected by all of the increased costs, including VAT – and much more;
- At the time the company confirmed that a general 1% offer was their Final Offer, we also learnt that directors had elected to take their bonuses despite then expecting employees to be happy with 1%;
- In the AmeyColas Joint Venture, Colas Rail is currently offering 1.5% which is the subject of a TSSA Referendum Ballot as I write. This causes a disparity with the Amey workers in the JV because they are being offered a lower increase. Since the JV came into existence both companies have offered the same amount. In their latest letter, Amey are refusing to address this discrepancy because, they say “there has never been an intention to mirror the outcomes of these negotiations [with Colas Rail].” This is despite the huge savings the company made with all of the redundancies in the autumn of 2010.
- In respect of the ex-Atkins staff, our claim was for an increase to take effect from September 2009 when promises were made. At a meeting in January 2010, TSSA were told that director authorisation was awaited but the deal was done. Since then the company has claimed that there was no such agreement and whilst we have fought to get where we have it is still well behind what others received in 2009 and is for a group who are the lowest paid in the Structural Examiner community.
- We ran a Referendum Ballot in April 2010 that gave us a clear steer over members’ rejection of the offer as it stood at that time (only the 1% general increase). Subsequently, a series of further meetings took place but matters were put on hold by what most of us see as Amey’s attempts to undermine the pension scheme. Indeed, Amey stated that they were not prepared to pursue the pay negotiations until the pension matters were concluded. This introduced a delay in reaching a conclusion on pay that is wholly attributable to the company – even if they seek to blame the trade unions.

There is a history with Amey over the past year:
- Apart from Pay, in the Summer and early Autumn of 2010 those of you who are members of the Railway Pension Scheme participated in TSSA’s highly successful campaign opposing the draconian measures the company wanted to take. As a result, the company had to make a U-turn and come back with proposals that, whilst not ideal, most of you were prepared to live with.
- There have been redundancies. In Amey Consulting because the company wouldn’t agree a no-compulsory redundancy agreement, we balloted the members and secured an 86% support for our position. 81% of respondents then said they would take industrial action. This changed the subsequent consultations with the company so that many people were able to retain their jobs;

In relation to Pay, TSSA ran a referendum ballot of members at the end of April 2010 which returned a 67% rejection of the company’s offer and a 57% support for industrial action. Your reps are mindful that this ballot took place some time ago and that there have been some changes since then. We are due to meet again, shortly after which I will write to members to confirm how this matter is to be taken forward.

How can you help?

Ask your colleagues who are not TSSA members to join today so that they get a vote in any future ballots we run, including for industrial action. Membership forms can be downloaded from this website.

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