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Amey Consulting: CEFA proposed changes

4 August 2014

An update for members on recent talks with the company, please ensure that you respond to our survey so that your voice is heard.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CEFA-AdditionalDuties

What has been happening

Over the last few months we have received reports from members not happy with (amongst other things) the introduction of additional duties as a result of the Control period 5 (CP5) CEFA contract. Part of the issues being raised are in relation to the additional work being added onto staff who are now expected to carry out Hidden Critical elements (HCE) work, Level 0 and Road Vehicle Incursion (RVI) work on top of their current duties often with substandard or no training and for no additional recompense. Furthermore in Scotland the original proposals were to see a Senior Examiner role introduced which would see a dedicated group of staff carry out this work for an approximate £4,000 pay increase if appointed into the role. These proposals were removed which has caused significant anger in the group of examiners working in Scotland.

Since becoming aware of these issues TSSA have been pushing to have talks with Amey to set out a framework on how this work can be introduced in a fair way that recompenses staff for carrying out these duties and we have so far had 2 meetings to discuss this and other issues (Handhelds, Performance improvement, On call, Terms and conditions and Master naught – although all at very early stages of discussion and no agreements have been reached).

So far a proposal has been tabled by Amey which essentially plan to pay the Lead examiner on site a payment of £25 if carrying out HCE, Level 0 or RVI work, but there are caveats to this offer in that:

· The payment is for one examination only irrespective of the number of shifts to complete the entire examination

· No payments will be made for sites that have been rejected and require a return visit

· There is clause seeking to prevent us making similar claims for any future additional work

This is an overview but a copy of the current draft proposals can be accessed by clicking here.

Amey have asked us to respond on this and other issues by the 15 August but felt that this particular item was so important to staff working in CEFA that we should seek your views before your representatives meet to fully discuss this issue and formulate a response to the company.

Your Reps views

Having discussed the proposals with your representatives and workplace contacts there are severe misgivings with the approach that Amey are taking. We have attempted to convey the unrest that there is on the ground about how staff generally feel they are treated but we are uncertain that Amey are fully grasping the strength of feeling on this and other issues as despite there is no formalised agreement in place they are still asking some staff to carry out these Safety critical duties either with (in our opinion) inadequate or no training which involves no practical on site use of the new equipment and to our knowledge has not been risk assessed. The reps feel that this safety critical role should be done by a dedicated, well trained and experienced team not an examiner who may have never done one before or hasn’t done one for 3/6 months. If this examination is not done properly the structure could fail and examiners will be held responsible affecting their livelihood and families. Therefore they are recommending that you reject these proposals and give us a strong mandate to go back to the company with.

But we need to ensure your opinions are heard

We still have many reps vacancies in the York Hub and if we could fill those positions that would significantly aid us in ensuring that we can be more representative of members views but that will still never be a replacement for having your views direct which is why we have produced a short survey to get your feedback on the proposals, if you can fill this in before Friday 8 August this would assist us greatly in responding accordingly to the company, this survey will also be open to the Network rail staff working on CEFA in LNW and will be open to non-members as we hope that they will see the benefit of what your membership subscriptions bring and will choose to join us (www.tssa.org.uk/join).

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CEFA-AdditionalDuties

In the meantime we are conscious that these are not the only issues that you face in the workplace and we would encourage you not to sit in silence if you feel you are being treated unfairly. Often we have anecdotal evidence of poor employment practices and we need your assistance to flush these out and provide us with information. Examples of these could be:

· being asked to sign up to Zero hours contracts

· being told to put less hours than you have worked on your timesheets

· Trainees or apprentices being prevented from receiving their next pay increment

· Being asked to work with inadequate breaks between shifts

If you don’t know who your rep is please contact our members helpdesk on 0800 328 2673 or email helpdesk@tssa.org.uk

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