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Controllers’ Pay Update

21 April 2011

As outlined in our [last article->/article-129.php3?id_article=6539], the last Controller Grades’ pay meeting ended with an assurance that the company would provide a more meaningful and detailed response to our pay claim. As you can see from the [company’s latest response->/company/2011/149_attach120411.pdf], they have merely reiterated the original, unacceptable, offer with negative responses to each point of our pay claim.

The Revised Offer – More Words but No Improvements

As you know, your reps were disappointed that Network Rail’s first written response did not even respond to a number of the points raised in the pay claim. The latest document does refer to each of our points but in no way shows any willingness on the company’s part to negotiate on the terms you raised.

- A substantial increase in the basic rates of pay and other allowances: The company claims that their offer of 5.2% with effect from 01 January 2011 is “very competitive”. Your reps welcomed the opportunity to lend members’ experience to the Olympic Games plans. However, as part of a two-year deal tied to a no-strike agreement for the Olympic Games, your reps felt unable to accept the offer on the table. We believe that tying the pay deal to such unreasonable conditions is simply holding up pay negotiations and increasing our members’ frustrations with the company.

- Improvements to travel facilities: The company “note our comments” on the startling inequality between Network Rail Controllers and Train Operating colleagues receiving uncapped travel benefits. There is “no intention to review” the capped subsidy and NR make no mention of our other demands regarding travel facility improvements.

- A reduction in the working week to a maximum of 34 hours in a 5-day week: Network Rail refuse to acknowledge the pressures placed on staff to work excessive hours. They claim that they are doing better than other employers in the UK and Europe who treat staff even more unfairly, so feel justified in refusing to even look at improvements.

- Increase in the basic annual leave entitlement to 30 days and option to buy or sell leave: The response refuses to acknowledge the discriminatory nature of the service-related leave increase. No mention is made of our aspiration to apply the ability to buy or sell up to 5 days leave each year which is available to your colleagues on Role Clarity 1-4 contracts.

- Improvements in family friendly policies and arrangements: The claim referred to very specific improvements to the existing arrangements covering maternity and paternity leave, flexibility and childcare provisions. The latest response merely commits to reviewing policies in line with new legislation

- Company private healthcare scheme: There is no proposal to extend this from senior management grades to Controller Grades

What’s Next?

Your Area reps will be meeting soon to discuss TSSA’s response to Network Rail in respect of the offer as it stands. In the last circular, we asked you to engage with your reps so that they are able to represent your views in negotiations. Now that we’ve seen the company’s second response it is even more important that you do so.

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