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Alstom West Coast Traincare: Redundancy and Reorganisation Update

17 July 2018

A meeting took place on 12th and 13th July with the Company to begin the formal consultation on its proposal to cut 200 jobs and introduce new ways of working. The Company has previously stated its intention to significantly reduce the cost of Pendolino maintenance in an effort to make it a more attractive proposition for whoever takes over the new West Coast Partnership next year.

The Company stated that life cycle costs of Pendolino are significantly greater than a modern 125mph EMU, with maintenance costs being a major factor in this. The Company’s proposal will focus maintenance operations on Manchester, with Glasgow and Wembley as corrective maintenance centres, and Oxley and Liverpool as stabling locations. It is also proposed to change working arrangements for a number of remaining roles to create a “more agile approach”. The Company presented more detail on their proposals and the discussion focussed on the following main areas:

Redundancy

All three Unions are determined to ensure any redundancies are carried out on a solely voluntary basis. The Company has agreed to this approach, and will now offer an enhanced voluntary redundancy package as follows;

  • Basic redundancy calculation as per Alstom Redundancy Scheme Severance Payments table
  • Additional 20 days’ pay for all leavers
  • PILON (pay in lieu of notice)
  • Option to be paid all pension contributions for notice period direct (rather than in to the pension scheme)
  • £1,000 training grant
  • Outplacement support
  • Pre-retirement & financial planning advice

The opportunity to express an interest in voluntary redundancy will open shortly and is on a “no commitment” basis for either party.

Working Arrangements

The presentation already shared with staff indicated a possible change to unpaid meal breaks, however the Company has now dropped this proposal so there will be no change to existing paid meal break arrangements. The following summarises the proposal, much of which is still subject to further discussion before agreement is reached;

  • Permanent night shifts at Glasgow, Oxley, and Manchester will see a reduction from 196 to 182 shifts worked per year
  • Staff to be ready for work at the start of their shift (swipe on and in PPE)
  • 15 minutes at end of shift for EOSB and wash up
  • Greater flexibility between teams required
  • Flexible start/finish times subject to operational diagram changes
  • All staff to be monthly paid
  • Joint commitment to seek to reduce sick absence (currently 6-7%)
  • Locally agreed rosters to be introduced within 4 weeks of implementation

Review of Job Roles and Depot Arrangements

The Company proposed changes to a number of existing job roles, and presented more detailed information on current workloads at each depot to support their proposed staffing requirements. These two issues are interlinked to some extent, and following discussion it was agreed for further work to be carried out by reps and management before the next meeting as not all roles are required at each site, and the staff numbers may be affected by the final agreement on the number of roles and the role descriptions. This will be subject to further discussion at the next joint meeting scheduled for 16th August, together with an initial discussion on appropriate rates of pay for each new role.

Next Steps – Your Union Needs You!

TSSA is keen to ensure you have the best possible package should you choose to leave, and the best possible working environment and job security if you remain. We will not compromise on your health and safety or agree to any worsening of your hard fought for terms and conditions. We currently have no reps in the Company to help us with this task, so if you are a TSSA member affected by the proposals please consider becoming a rep to help us safeguard your own and your colleague’s futures. We are always more effective when we have active reps with the relevant job knowledge participating in the process. If you require any further information on the contents of this circular or are thinking about becoming a TSSA rep, please contact winesj@tssa.org.uk in advance of the next joint meeting due to take place on 16th August.

If you have moved home or changed your contact and/or work details, you must advise us of these changes. This will ensure you receive important circulars and advice from TSSA. Please contact our Helpdesk on 0800 328 2673 to update or change your personal details, or log in to My TSSA via the website. Please also discuss the contents of this circular with your colleagues, and encourage any non-members to join. The more members we have, the stronger we are. The quickest way to join is on-line here.

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