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Consulting – Dispute and Ballot

8 November 2010

All TSSA members outside of CEFA are advised that a dispute has arisen between TSSA and Amey Consulting over the company’s failure to agree to a no-compulsory redundancy agreement.

Previoulsy I advised you that the company has also deemed consultation complete – even though it isn’t - and is progressing to individual meetings.

Referendum Ballot

We are asking all members outside of CEFA to participate in a Referendum Ballot in connection with the company’s refusal to agree to a no-compulsory redundancy arrangement. The ballot is being conducted electronically and can be found at:

Why should I participate?

There are four key reasons who you should support the union:
- We don’t agree with compulsory redundancies full stop, especially in a company the size of Amey. If you agree with us, vote YES for the union’s position
- A no-compulsory redundancy agreement protects staff who do not want to leave the business by ensuring that management takes seriously the need to re-deploy displaced people. If you agree with us, vote YES for the union’s position
- Amey Consulting don’t want to be burdened by a no-compulsory redundancy agreement despite the Amey slogan that “People, our Strength.” What it should say is “People, our strength…whilst they are useful.” We do NOT agree with that - that you can be cast aside when no longer useful in your current role only to be placed in a vague re-deployment process or offered a Voluntary Redundancy package inferior to ones recently offered to Rail staff in AmeyColas and Amey Inter Urban. If you agree with us, vote YES for the union’s position
- The current round of redundancies mean 27 people in Rail may leave the business. You may think that you are not affected this time but what happens next time? Most work comes from Network Rail whose future funding is currently under review by the government because they think that it doesn’t provide value for money. Reductions in Network Rail expenditure have already been passed onto contractors – that is why, for instance, so many jobs have been lost in Amey Colas. We believe, whatever management say, that there is a likelihood of future redundancies in Amey Consulting and so we want guarantees NOW that will protect people in the future. If you agree with us, vote YES for the union’s position.

Please make sure that you participate in the ballot which closes on Friday 12th November. Dependent upon the result will be how we take this issue forward. We need to ensure a maximum participation from members to produce a decisive vote – so make sure that you take part!

What else is TSSA doing?

We have taken a series of other actions that you need to know about:
- I wrote to the company on 5th November informing them that we believe the company has not fulfilled its collective consultation obligations in a number of areas and especially in terms of selection criteria and the provision of clear and understandable processes for pay protection, relocation and travelling time. I have also relayed my belief, based on legal advice, that the company may be exposing themselves to age discrimination claims over the Voluntary Redundancy process and have made the claim that all staff should be moved up to BR Red Book conditions;
- A form of words has been produced and should be used by staff at their individual consultation meetings. We were due to discuss selection criteria and had previously objected to some of the suggestions made by management. As a consequence, we do not know what they are actually using and how they are using it – which means that you don’t either! What we do know is that what was proposed appears to be subjective and designed to produce a result intended by management – which means individuals are being targeted - that is hardly fair!

The following form of words should be read out and handed over with your name clearly added:

"I object to having selection criteria applied to me that neither my representatives nor myself have any knowledge of. The company deemed consultation complete before selection criteria could be properly discussed and the actual workings of the system become known. I believe that the approach that has been taken is subjective and not objective and could lead to unfairness and the targeting of individuals. For this reason, I put the company on notice that in the event of my redundancy I will seek to take my case forward for unfair dismissal."

- I am in the process of seeking legal advice about management’s handling of the consultation. When I have more details I will write to members again suffice to say that at this stage I am optimistic.

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