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DB Cargo: Important Update - New Working Arrangements

30 June 2017

DB Cargo is pressing ahead with its “go live” date of 2nd July 2017 despite there being numerous major and serious issues still outstanding. TSSA has asked repeatedly for the “go live” date to be delayed which would ensure all issues can be resolved to allow for a smooth transition period, but this has been refused by the Company.

 This whole process from start to finish has been shambolic to say the least with senior Managers and HR personnel leaving mid-way through the process. Agreements and processes have been ignored which undermines the good work your staff reps have done on your behalf throughout this process. 

We have now made it clear to the Company that if they do not meet with us to resolve all issues as soon as possible, we potentially could enter into a dispute situation and will support members with valid legal claims against the Company for failings that result in a detriment to them.

Interim Measures - Rosters

TSSA has agreed to a 12-week period only between 2nd July – 30th September on alterations to rostering agreements. This basically means that rosters during this time may not fully adhere to the rostering principals as agreed during consultation and which are detailed in the Hand Book. The reason for this is to allow the company to train staff to be competent in new roles and to allow for a staffing review to take place. Of course, this should have been done months ago, but DB Cargo failed to do this. We could have taken the decision to stand by the agreements reached on rosters, but we also have a duty to protect the business and therefore your livelihoods, so we need to ensure work can be covered so as not to potentially cause issues with customers.

Therefore, we have agreed the following:

·        Maximum Flex Weeks as per the Hand Book can be implemented for only 12-week period from 02/07/17 – 30/09/17 for all training to be completed

·        After the 12-week training programme has completed Flex weeks will reduce and base lines of work will be placed on the roster

·        All CDMs will now go back to basics and look at all proposed rosters and tweak to a more workable roster

·        rosters for the next 12-weeks may mean you working more than your 35 hours, however over the 12-week cycle your hours should average 35 hours per week and not break the Working Time Directive. Any overtime will be paid for each hour worked over your contractual 35 hours. BUT there is no agreement on enforced overtime.

Mobile Operatives will NOT cover for Operations Supervisors.

We have an agreement that on 1st October 2017 all rosters will adhere to the rostering principals as set out in the Ground Staff Hand Book. Failure to comply with this agreement will result in a dispute situation.

Company Vehicles

Any Ground Staff member who currently has a Company vehicle will continue to do so in the “new Organisation”. There are no if’s and no but’s as we have a written agreement from Lee Bayliss confirming this position. Anyone who is asked for the vehicle back should immediately contact their staff rep.

Contracts of Employment

DB Cargo have advised TSSA that they intend to issue new contracts of employment for all staff. Contracts are negotiable and subject to agreement with your recognised Trade Union(s). The contract that is currently being discussed is for Ground Staff. TSSA and our solicitors have real concerns with numerous elements of the contract which we believe are detrimental to our members. We have proposed several changes to the contract including some elements to be totally withdrawn. At this moment in time the Company are still refusing to agree to all the changes we have asked for, therefore we cannot agree on a new contract.

Contracts are collectively negotiated, so you do NOT need to sign a copy, and we strongly advise you not to. However, DB Cargo may issue you with a copy of the contract and if you do sign it, you do so at your own risk!

New Posts – SRG & New HUBs

DB Cargo have recently (2 days ago) issued TSSA with a precis document proposing to introduce 5 SRG posts. Whilst these posts are welcome and are intended to minimise any compulsory redundancies, they still must be formally consulted upon. TSSA needs to ensure that any new roles have the best terms possible associated with them. We have told DB Cargo that until we can sign off on these new posts no-one should be made compulsory redundant. After all, DB Cargo have had long enough to consult with us on new roles. It is extremely unfair to apply pressure to Trade Union reps, who are already under immense stress and pressure from dealing with numerous issues associated with this mess of a consultation, to agree to new roles without due processes taking place. Without formal consultation on new roles, there would be nothing to stop the Company in the future from just getting rid of them!

Several “new” HUBs have just appeared without consultation. We have asked the Company to provide information on these new HUBs and that they must be consulted on ASAP.

DB Cargo are showing total disregard to agreed processes and procedures and I personally cannot decide if this is deliberate or if some managers simply do not understand Consultation and its procedures, which in itself is a worry!

TSSA will continue to challenge the Company on issues that arise from this shambolic process.

New “Policies”

The new “policies” the Company refer to are actually your contractual terms. They are: Redundancy, Sickness and Absence, London Weighting and Relocation.

TSSA was successful in ensuring there will now be NO change to your redundancy terms.

DB Cargo initially proposed to significantly reduce your Sickness payments, which was met by complete resistance form all the Trade unions. Given the united stance and pressure applied on the Company by TSSA and our sister trade unions, DB Cargo have had no choice but to revert back to your original entitlement of 6 months full pay and 6 months half pay. However, there is still a need to formally negotiate on the fine detail which includes ill health retirement/payment. 

London Allowance and the Relocation policies do not have the same detrimental effects as the above terms carry, however, they too still require further negotiation before signing off.

Once we have agreed contractual changes, we shall of course advise members.

Your staff reps are working incredibly hard, in only what can be described as exceptionally difficult circumstances, to get you the best deal possible.

Your staff reps are your voice when negotiating with senior managers and therefore need your support. They have encountered many difficult and stressful situations throughout this process but they continue to ensure your best interests are priority. They have been placed in extremely difficult positions throughout this process as they too are DB Cargo’s employees too. They have had to make difficult decisions that may not be 100% popular with members, but they have done so with my full support, because without them the outcome for staff would be much worse.


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