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Babcock Rail: TUPE update S&C North

13 August 2014

An update for members on the current TUPE transfer consultations

 

Latest position

Consultations have been ongoing with the various companies (Babcock Rail, Amey and Sersa) for some months now although they have only been truly in earnest since 8 July 2014.

The transfer is due to take place at 19 August 00:01 at this point in time staff will transfer from Babcock rail to either Sersa or Amey Services Ltd, these two companies will be operating a joint venture. We have been seeking commitments that staff will be treated the same regardless of the company that they work for and have had some verbal reassurances on this although nothing in writing as yet. Therefore a meeting with the trade unions has been set up after the transfer date to negotiate certain items like the collective bargaining arrangements, principles on how staff will be treated across both companies etc. It is important to stress that all of your current terms and conditions will transfer with you to the new employer.

Some of the key topics in our consultations were:

- Railway Pensions – For those that are currently within the Railway Pensions scheme (RPS) only those with protected status or indefeasible rights will be able to stay within the RPS in Amey. The companies are proposing to put those that are non-protected into an inferior Defined Contribution scheme which will be enhanced from their other arrangements, Amey will be writing out to you with details in the near future. We have stated that we fail to agree on this item but may need member’s assistance in challenging the company on this.

- Workplace locations - we are concerned that these still haven’t been clarified and will seek further information on 14 August

- Higher Grade duties (HGD) – Those that have been on for longer than 6 months will be entitled to stay on those arrangements and both Amey and Sersa have agree to honour this.

- Bonus payments – Any contractual bonus schemes as identified by Babcock will be honoured

Guidance for members before transferring

We would advise members to carefully consider their options before transfer, we understand that there may be some jobs being offered within Babcock but it is clearer to understand what work will be available to you in the longer term if you follow your work through TUPE transfer. If you are transferring you should consider doing the following before 19 August:

· Ensure you have a copy of all contractual particulars (letters of appointment or promotion, copy of contract and any variations or any other proof detailing any entitlements to various payments or benefits in kind). If you do not have this you should put a written request into Babcock asking for all of this information and it may even be wise to consider lodging a Subject access request or SAR’s under the data protection act to ensure that you receive everything contained in your personal file. The following link may assist you in doing this: http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public/personal_information

· For those in the Railway Pensions section you should establish with RPMI whether you are protected, Indefeasible right or non-protected and ask for clarification in writing (info@rpmi.co.uk) – this is important as for those who are not protected Amey and Sersa are planning to move you into a defined contribution scheme. You will be receiving a letter from the companies detailing the Pension arrangements.

· Higher Grade duties – if you have been on Higher Grade duties for more than 6 months, Babcock should be formalising the payment arrangements with you prior to transfer, if they have not then please contact your workplace rep

Once staff transfer we would advise you to:

· Promotions – we are aware that there may be vacancies in the new organisation and we would advise that if individuals apply for and accepted into a new role or promoted post transfer that you do not sign anything contractual and instead ask for the Trade unions to be negotiated with in relation to the Contracts. We would advise you to contact your rep or Alan Valentine (Details below) if this affects you.

· Whilst there will be a joint venture between Amey and Sersa they are 2 separate companies and in terms of understanding your employment rights and being able to resolve any issues that you come across whilst working in this Joint venture it will be crucial that you understand which company you work for post transfer. We recommend that you request clarification in writing of which company you are working for after 19 August. If you don’t receive this within a reasonable timeframe (say 2 weeks) we suggest you raise this with your TSSA rep.

It will also be important to ensure that you have a strong voice in the new contract whether you end up working for Amey or Sersa so please consider standing to be a rep or a workplace contact. We currently have no Health & Safety representatives from the groups who may transfer into the Joint venture and we would like to build up a network of staff reps to assist Mark Hardeman and Thomas Jamieson who will be transferring across.

If you are interested in finding out more about being a rep then please contact my colleague who is the lead officer for Amey and is based in the South Wales & Western Region in our Bristol office, Alan Valentine to email click here or call him on 07775912829.

It is also important that we maintain a position of strength so that we can deal with issues from a position of collective strength therefore please encourage you colleagues who are not in any union to join us, they can do this via our website at:

www.tssa.org.uk/join

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