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Amey: All Rail Company council

29 January 2013

Update from the All rail Company Council meeting held on 24 January 2013

 

Meeting

For those new members among you it is important to clarify that there are various meetings which take place with the company at different levels. Ideally most issues should be able to be resolved locally but where this is not possible there are divisional councils based around the business functions such as Consulting Rail etc that should be in operation. Where issues at divisional level go unresolved or for issues that span the entire rail business there is the ability to raise these at the All Rail Company council. Unfortunately the last meeting of this forum was July 2012 and as a result there was much to be discussed including the terms of reference for future meetings i.e. how they should run and be structured going forward as there have been issues in the past such as the company not arranging regular meetings, or sticking to dates, providing minutes in a timeous manner, resolving issues raised etc, etc.

Unfortunately the meeting was not long enough for all of the agenda items and TSSA requested that a further meeting is held in the near future to discuss the terms of reference. We will outline some of the key areas of discussion from the meeting and whilst this circular won’t cover everything hopefully it will give members a flavour of the issues being raised and the discussions being had with the company.

Amey Consulting Collective bargaining Agreement

On a positive note the Collective Bargaining agreement which both TSSA and Amey Consulting Rail had been working to for many months was finally signed in a short ceremony before the meeting started. Thanks again to all of those members who helped widen out collective bargaining by joining TSSA and continue to encourage new staff and colleagues to join us to make your voice stronger, later on in this briefing it will become clear why we can never assume that signing this agreement assures us of everything that we will desire and how it is important to remain vigilant and maintain that strength continuing to challenge the company where they may seek to undermine this agreement.

Collectively bargained Pay

HR outlined that within Amey Inter Urban where we had managed to widen out collective bargaining (CB) that they had finally arranged to send out the one off opt out letters to staff. For those that choose to become collectively bargained the 3% pay rise backdated to 1 March 2012 will be in the February payslips. When you receive your letter if you simply do not respond by the deadline then you will be included in the CB Group and receive the pay rise.

Undermining Collective Bargaining

TSSA raised issues around a group of staff in the ITS department within Consulting Rail having been included in collective bargaining after the opt out process in early 2012, during that year they were moved out of Consulting rail with no consultation with staff or the TSSA (in breach of our CB agreement), although it looks like this was a mistake and the group will be moved back into Consulting rail. When the staff within the group queried why they were only receiving 1.75% rather than 3% pay rise they were told that they were no longer within CB! HR advised us that they plan to review individuals timesheets to evaluate how much work they carry out for Rail but we reminded HR that during our latest pay negotiations they had refused to include individuals working in support functions like HSEA and commercial that carried out predominantly Rail roles. In brief TSSA outlined that they cannot keep changing the goal posts and if they didn’t include the ITS group within CB “They would have an issue with TSSA”. It is therefore important that we continue to build our strength and representation so that we can find out quickly when issues like this occur but also so that we can rally together to challenge the company when they treat you unfairly. It is unlikely in this situation that the company are going to play fair without members demonstrating that they won’t take it lying down so make sure you get your colleagues to join us, watch this space!

Breach of pay agreement

TSSA raised concerns around Apprentices in CEFA not receiving a pay rise due to them starting work after 1 March 2012. Part of the pay agreement specifically mentioned Apprentices, Trainees and graduates some of who receive incremental rises generally every year, the agreement specifically spells out that the incremental rises should increase in line with the pay deal. Therefore TSSA’s understanding is that Trainees and apprentices within the CEFA contract should be paid as below:

 

Apprentice

*

Trainees

 

*

 

2011

Mar-12

Mar-13

2011

Mar-12

Mar-13

Entry

16,000

16,480

16,892

20,000

20,600

21,115

Year 1

18,000

18,540

19,004

22,500

23,175

23,754

Year 2

20,000

20,600

21,115

25,000

25,750

26,394

Year 3

22,000

22,660

23,227

28,000

28,840

29,561

Year 4

24,000

24,720

25,338

     

Year 5

28,000

28,840

29,561

     

* figures in column based on 2.5% may differ if Amey Pay pot is higher

Unfortunately the company have not provided us with information on pay rates outside of CEFA or for Graduates to provide as accurate data as above, to be clear the incremental rises above are subject to attaining certain goals. In essence the company have set out a rate for the job and it would be unfair to start staff on a lower salary than there peers. We are awaiting feedback from HR on whether they will rectify this situation but in the meantime if you are an Apprentice and currently only being paid £16,000 or a Trainee only being paid £20,000 you should contact us on ameyreps@tssa.org.uk

Allowances Working party

Part of the Pay agreement was based around dealing with certain issues and allowances across the rail business with a view to seeing if it will be possible to standardise, harmonise and consolidate these. This working party is due to report back by 1 March 2013 but so far the company hasn’t provided the data necessary to work on this meaningfully which was due to be provided to us by the end of 2012. A meeting is scheduled for 1 February 2013 so we had requested the data by 25 January but at the time of writing this data still hasn’t been received for us to analyse. Your input is always valid and again we’d encourage you to speak to your rep or email ameyreps@tssa.org.uk

Masternaught

TSSA had again raised concerns around how individuals were being informed of supposed speed transgressions and a presentation was carried out to further explain the process of Masternaught by a member of the HSEA team. This lead to many concerns being raised around the level of time being spent monitoring driving behaviours, the rational of why it had been implemented in the first place compared to how it is being used now. We also raised the concerns about the accuracy of the system and the lack of a clear policy on its use. It was agreed that some of the workplace representatives would have a further session with the HSEA to delve deeper into our members concerns.

What next

We will seek to update you about issues being raised with the company either through these circulars or ideally more direct with members meetings where the reps can brief you but our ability to work on your behalf relies on us having enough information. With some of the examples above it is far easier to deal with groups of people who have the same issues to seek to resolve them collectively so don’t suffer in silence or wait till tomorrow to raise your concerns contact us today by speaking to your local representative or emailing us ameyreps@tssa.org.uk or alternatively if you think that you could act as a contact or even become a rep to help us help you then let us know.

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