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Colas Rail High Output Employees TUPE transfer to Network Rail

30 October 2014

Call for members to assist TSSA prepare for the upcoming TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment rights) to Network Rail on 31 March 2015.

 

Change of contract

Network Rail have now formally written to Colas Rail outlining their intention to bring in house the work currently carried out by the Amey Colas High Output Joint venture and the High output Plant Maintenance contract with Colas Rail. Therefore there is a TUPE transfer scheduled for 31 March 2015 which will see those in scope having a change in employer from Colas Rail to Network Rail.

Whilst this may seem a long way off the recent transfers of staff working on S&C and Plain line contracts has highlighted the importance of our members ensuring that they are as prepared as possible for this change.

We would stress that unlike your colleagues who have transferred to other infra-structure companies, transferring to Network Rail does potentially offer additional benefits. Most notably the access to a final salary pension scheme after accruing 5 years’ service even if you are not currently contributing towards a pension or in a final salary pension.

However your colleagues who have transferred this year have had many issues such as:

· Clarifying contractual particulars

· Unpicking and proving local agreements that have been made in the past

· Receiving information in a timely manner to be able to challenge incorrect information

· uncovering situations where staff haven’t been receiving the (far higher) collectively bargained pay increases when they should have been.

It is of vital importance that to be able to resolve these issues in a way that truly benefits our members that you put forward workplace representatives to act in your interests in this consultation process. We say vital because we need people who are aware of the local nuances and are able to effectively communicate with members on the ground and be involved in the TUPE consultations that should be starting in the near future.

Current representation

Unfortunately we currently have no local representatives working within the High Output group and we wish to ensure that members come forward in the coming weeks to represent their fellow TSSA members and co-ordinate members feedback, questions and concerns as part of the consultation process and potentially suggest solutions to any issues that may be brought up as a result of the transfer.

Whilst we don’t yet have dates for consultation meetings we would still like to ensure that as a Union we are as prepared as possible in advance of them starting as there is various work that needs to be done as soon as possible and this can only be done effectively with our members input. We must stress it is in your best interests to have workplace representatives as part of this process who can be supported by more senior representatives of the Union and provided with necessary training if people come forward quickly enough to allow us to arrange this.

Having members involved in this process will also assist in ensuring that any agreements made with Network Rail as part of the consultations can be monitored and enacted after the transfer takes place.

How do I help TSSA help Me?

Consider standing to represent your colleagues, if you are interested in doing this then please contact Iain Anderson on andersoni@tssa.org.uk for a nomination form before the end of October but ideally as soon as possible. Depending on the interest shown we may then need to run elections but if we are able to get a minimum of 1 representative per workplace that would be a good starting point.

It’s important to stay strong

The more members that we have before the transfer the better informed we and they can be and the stronger position we will be in if Network Rail propose any changes that are unpalatable for members, if you can recruit a non-member they can join us online at www.tssa.org.uk/join

Other things that you can do

· Find a copy of your contractual particulars ideally through your own documents but if need be by requesting this through HR (in some instances it may be prudent to request your whole personal file)

· Clarify your pensions arrangements i.e. if you are an active member of the Railway Pensions scheme do you have protected, Indefeasible rights or are you non protected? (you can find out by contacting RPMI) – Alternatively you may currently be contributing to a Defined contribution scheme which doesn’t guarantee you a set amount upon retirement.

· Talk to colleagues and discuss who would be best to represent you

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