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DB Cargo: Outcomes & Agreements

18 September 2017

TSSA met with DB Cargo Management last week to discuss, negotiate and reach agreement on outstanding issues from the recent re-organisation. Next month will be a whole year since this process first began, and it has been an utter shambles all the way through. TSSA's main objectives have never changed, it was and always will be our sole aim to protect and save as many jobs as possible. We shall continue to ensure our members best interests are put first, which we did in this re-organisation by forcing DB Cargo to withdraw their proposals to slash your sick pay and redundancy terms. Of course, there were some concessions and casualties through this process, but these were minimised by your staff reps working extremely hard on your behalf.

TS Grades & Control – Your staff reps have been extremely successful in protecting and securing many jobs that were to be axed by the Company. Many jobs were saved by your staff reps putting forward good arguments to keep your roles in the business. We have also been able to re-grade many jobs to protect salaries and in some cases increase them.

Training, Rosters and Competent Rate of Pay - To allow all Ground staff to gain their full competencies, we agreed to a 12-week grace period (until 30th September). DB Cargo confirmed several times that this was enough time for them to get all Ground staff trained and to allow for rosters to be agreed to the rostering principals as set out in the Hand Book. This has not happened. DB Cargo came to us last week to ask for an extension until 31st December to carry out staff training, which we do not have an issue with, but when they also wanted to extend the time for you to receive your full competent rate of pay, TSSA stood firm and demanded that all Ground staff receive their full competent rate of pay from 1st October 2017, as it is not their fault the business could not deliver on their commitment and failure to do so would result in a dispute situation. I can now confirm you will receive your full rates of pay from 1st October.

Rosters will also be implemented as of 1st October 2017 and should adhere to the rostering principals as set out in the Ground staff handbook. Rosters must be agreed locally and if they are to exceed 35 hours must do so with the agreement of the staff affected. Rosters need to average 35 hours over your roster cycle, and if not, then your staff reps should be advised.

Recruitment - Several Hubs have been identified to have a review of staffing levels. DB Cargo has confirmed that there will be additional posts required and once they have been identified they will formally consult with TSSA.

London Allowance – will be paid to all staff who live within a 40-mile radius of Charing Cross Station.

HUBs – You are required to commute/work within a 60-minute radius of the first location nearest your home within your dedicated HUB. Please speak to your staff reps if you require further clarification on this issue.

Agency Staff – DB Cargo have confirmed that agency staff will continue to be used for short-term projects and until vacancies have been filled. Agency staff should not be used continually and certainly not to cover up the fact that additional staff are required. Please keep your staff reps updated about the use of agency workers in your area.

Terms & Conditions (Policies) – As you should be aware, DB Cargo wanted to change four key areas of your T&Cs (policies as DB Cargo refer to them). TSSA and our sister trade unions have remained strong and resisted changes that would directly affect you.

  • Redundancy – Will remain unchanged.
  • Sickness and Ill Health – will remain unchanged. (DB Cargo wanted to reduce your sickness pay from 6-months full pay & 6-months half pay to just 2-months full pay and 2-months half pay!)
  • London Allowance – will now be paid to all staff who live within a 40-mile radius of Charing Cross Station.
  • Relocation (PTR&R) – This policy has NOT been agreed by TSSA and we will not be doing so. DB Cargo’s proposal is to radically change this policy which means those of you who change work locations and travel to work over a certain amount of time will no longer receive compensation for doing so, even when it’s through no fault of your own! Also, anyone who requires moving to a new house will do so on lesser terms than what others in the Company have previously enjoyed. TSSA will continue to demand this policy remains unchanged.

Company Vehicles – It was agreed during consultation that all previous “Home Workers” would retain their Company vehicles in the new organisation. Although TSSA has this in writing the Company are now choosing not to honour this agreement. As this only affects 4 members, there is little we can do in terms of industrial action. Therefore, I have negotiated two options for those affected:

  1. As this only affects Operations Supervisors, you can down grade to a Mobile Operators position, keep your vehicle and have your salary protected
  2. Remain as an Operations Supervisor and keep your vehicle until 31st December 2017 (three-month extension).

Rail Terminal Services (RTS/RO staff) – DB Cargo’s Neil Ethel has confirmed to TSSA that a formal precis document will be issued no later than 30th September to begin consultation on changes affecting RTS/RO and other Terminal staff. Once we have this we shall then be speaking to all members to gain their views and any counter proposals. If you are not a member yet – you must join before 30th September to ensure you have a voice and are represented at these important meetings. We also need a local rep “spokesperson” from each Terminal to liase with your full-time officer during the consultation period, this will ensure all members at all locations have a say in what happens to their jobs.

TSSA will continue to secure the best possible outcomes for all our members. TSSA is the only recognised trade union for Terminal staff and TS grades. Your next pay anniversary date is 1st April 2018 and your staff reps will be submitting a pay claim on your behalf in December and starting pay negotiations in January 2018. Make sure you speak to your staff reps and tell them what is important to you. After all, it is your jobs and your pay.

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