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Controllers’ Pay – No Deal Today

1 April 2011

Your negotiating reps, Tony Dovener and Peter Hall, along with myself and the Assistant General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, met today with the intention of discussing this year’s pay and conditions award for Controller grades. The company appeared to have given little consideration to our pay claim. This is despite the fact that meaningful consultations had taken place between you and your reps to formulate it. It is somewhat disrespectful, to say the least, that Network Rail did not even bother responding to most of the issues you raised.

Move Along, There’s Nothing to Agree Here

From the outset, your Reps made it clear that, while a pay offer of 5.2% isn’t a bad figure (despite the latest RPI figure of 5.5%), the strings attached are unacceptable. For example, Train Operating colleagues who work beside you in integrated control centres receive uncapped travel benefits. You on the other hand, get a 75% subsidy capped at £2250. The company’s proposal would have seen no increase in this until at least 2013. No one can predict with any certainty the ever-raising cost of rail travel. Suffice to say that the Government intends to see fares rise by at least 3% above inflation year-on-year. It just can’t be fair that you get penalised for travelling to work while the person next to you gets a free ride!

After less than half an hour of negotiations, it was clear that there was no basis on which agreement could be reached. We hope that the company realises that they need to come back with a meaningful response to your claim. We made it perfectly clear that we are seeking a one-year deal that includes a removal of the cap to the travel subsidy or a significant increase to it. We also told them that we are happy to discuss staffing requirements, additional payments, etc. for the Olympics within a separate forum. We really don’t see how a one-off event should be tied to an award that impacts directly on the way you earn your day-to-day livelihood.

What’s Next?

Network Rail have agreed to make a meaningful response to your pay claim. In the meantime, we need you to continue to engage with Reps to ensure that the next round of negotiations is not another waste of everybody’s time.

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