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Virgin Trains Pay Negotiations 2013: Update No. 2

10 May 2013

On Thursday 09th May, your TSSA Representatives met Virgin Trains management for the second time to discuss pay and other issues.

 

Pay

Following the rejection of the 3% offer at the last meeting, a number of different of options were tabled and explored. The final offer set down by the company was 3.3%. The joint unions stated that there was still a gulf between this offer and our aspirations given the current cost of living and the guaranteed profits under the negotiated management contact.

Also discussed at this meeting as potential inclusions in a pay settlement, were the re-introduction of food to First Class pass holders and a working party to explore the reduced ticket prices for families and friends. TSSA and the other unions will take away this offer for consideration on the next steps.

Uniforms

The reps attending the meeting set out the multiple issues that have arisen following the arrival of the new uniform in particular the thinness of the blouses, sizing issues and the poor quality of the material. In response management claimed to have put in measures to allow returns, a promise of £20 to purchase suitable underwear and a postponement of its introduction. Furthermore management claimed there have only been a few isolated complaints and the overall feedback has been positive.

In reply the unions made it clear that these actions were wholly inadequate, a mere sticking plaster which will not resolve the problems. Virgin staff pride themselves on wearing the uniform and are dismayed at the idea of now having to wear such poor quality. They are also angered by the way management have completely ignored and rubbished their concerns despite the issue being raised consistently since the new uniforms were unveiled. The combined unions notified the company that they were now in dispute with Virgin Trains over the issue. TSSA will send out advice to all members regarding what to do on the go live date on the 27th May.

Workbrain

Despite constant promises throughout the year from the company that the weekly pay statements would be reinstated to include net pay. Virgin management finally admitted that the current provider ATOS is unable to provide this facility. Discussions held with other ITproviders found they too are unable to provide it due to new HMRC arrangements. The unions stated that they felt this was a breakdown in trust between ourselves and the company as we have acted in good faith throughout the process unfortunately this was not forthcoming from the other side.

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