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Claim for Improvements to Pay & Conditions of Service for Bands 1-4 Staff 2011

19 April 2011

1. This document sets out TSSA’s formal claim for improvements to rates of pay and various other conditions of service for Bands 1-4 staff employed by Network Rail.

2. The TSSA has undertaken a major survey of our members and their colleagues. The survey had a four figure response rate and is the most comprehensive that the TSSA has undertaken. It has reinforced our concerns about a number of elements of Network Rail’s pay structure. This pay claim is based on the results of that survey and it seeks the following benefits for our members.

3. With effect from the pay anniversary date 1 July 2011 TSSA is seeking:

- An increase in the ‘pay pot’ that is at least equivalent to RPI plus 0.5% and no less than that offered to bands 5 – 8.
- A pay rise which is distributed fairly
- A commitment to developing a fair and transparent pay structure
- A review of long hours and the extent of unpaid overtime
- An extension of flexible and remote working policies
- An extension of travel subsidies and facilities

An increase in the ‘pay pot’ that is at least equivalent to RPI plus 0.5% and no less than that offered to bands 5 – 8.

4. For too long management grade pay awards have fallen behind the settlements for the staff they manage. RPI plus 0.5 is what is necessary for Management grade pay to stand still in regard to differentials with the staff we manage. It does nothing to reverse the substandard awards of recent years (0% in 2009 and 2% in 2010).

A pay rise which is distributed fairly

5. We have lost confidence in the PRP structure, and we seek a minimum pay award of RPI as an across the board payment regardless of perceived performance. We are prepared to accept that the additional 0.5% be used to reward exceptional performance.

6. Our survey has demonstrated that the current PRP system does not have the confidence of staff, with just 15% of staff supporting its retention. It also appears that last year; the distribution of pay was arbitrary. With, for example, 78% of bands four who were rated good, receiving less than a 2% pay award. While 41% of those who were ranked as exceeded received 2% or less, just 3% of them beat inflation while 4% received no pay award at all.

7. The current PRP system simply fails to reward performance.

A commitment to developing a fair and transparent pay structure

8. In 2008, Network Rail accepted TSSA’s arguments that the forced ranking element of PRP was having a distorting and unfair impact on pay and reward. At the time, they also: ‘agreed to meet with the TSSA regarding possible improvements to the current pay structures’. Despite that commitment, our members pay rise is still calculated on the figure that they had been paid when forced ranking was abandoned.

9. Our survey also suggested that women are disproportionately underpaid (we estimate a gender pay gap of £4,500 for both band three and band four managers). We believe that the extent of a gender pay gap is a good indicator of the extent to which pay is distributed arbitrarily and unfairly.

10. We are therefore looking for a commitment to a) measure the equal pay gap between women and men and explore the reasons for it with a view to taking steps to close the gap, b) a commitment to sample at random 10% of woman managers with a view to establishing if they are being unlawfully paid less than equal pay for work of equal value with that of male colleagues, c) to share with the TSSA, for the most populous 10% of roles, data on the lowest pay, the highest pay, the median and inter-quartile range for that role.

A review of long hours and the extent of unpaid overtime

11. Our members are often expected to work over and above their contractual hours, with no recognition of the impact this has on domestic and other external commitments. We want the company to work with us to commission an independent survey of all management grade staff to identify the extent of a ‘long hours culture’ and to identify best practice in reducing this stressful and ultimately counter-productive culture. This could include training both the individuals and their managers.

12. Where people are genuinely required to work in excess of their hours, particularly at weekends, then we would want overtime payments to be available.

An extension of flexible and remote working policies

13. Network Rail seeks to be a progressive employer, yet its approach to flexible and remote working does not meet that aspiration. Given the impending office moves, we would like to see a commitment to explore best practice with regard to both flexible working (including ‘compressed hours’) and remote working, particularly when people are expected to hot-desk in any event. In particular we do not want people to be forced to exit the industry simply because their job has been relocated when they cannot, if they can perform their role from a remote location, or through a combination of remote and flexible working.

An extension of travel subsidies and facilities

14. We wish to see travel facilities made available to all staff. This is to recognise the increase in distances staff are required to travel to get to work and is a logical step following year on year increases to travel subsidy. For those staff who require travel subsidies we seek the removal of the cap on travel subsidy for season ticket holders. This is particularly important in the context of the proposed relocation of large numbers of staff to Milton Keynes.

Conclusion

15. We look forward to a constructive response to the substance of our claim as outlined above.

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