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Devolution Phase 2 Update

22 July 2011

Yesterday TSSA National Management Reps met with the company to consult on the proposals for Phase 2 of Devolution. A similar consultation will take place on Thursday July 28 for staff in bands 5-8. The proposals covered Kent, LNW, Wales and Western, plus additional changes to the Phase 1 routes - Scotland and Wessex - in line with the Phase 2 model. To the surprise of the reps, it was announced in the meeting that, following a decision taken by the executive this week, there will no longer be a "Phase 3" of devolution. Instead, all remaining routes will be devolved simultaneously. This will almost certainly put back the timescales for devolution of the Phase 2 routes, while bringing devolution of the "Phase 3" routes forward.


A New Way of Working

The success or failure of Devolution can only be judged once the Route Managing Directors (RMDs), General Managers and other positions are in place and making decisions. However, the consultations so far – despite some disagreements and wrong moves along the way – have been generally regarded by reps as constructive. The company have become increasingly confident in sharing information with us at an early stage, breaking from the traditions of withholding relevant information, dodging questions and refusing to engage in any way that could be considered meaningful. We can speculate as to the drivers responsible for the change in style but must focus on encouraging senior managers to engage with our members through the relevant reps structures.

One Wales, Many Reorgs!

Before meeting the company, your reps made it clear that there were some major issues with the consultation proposals. Principally, our concerns relate to:

· The People Process for treatment of displaced staff

· References to the Wales Route, which has not yet been consulted on or created

· Asset Management, which is to be reorganised prior to devolution.

Until we have clarity regarding the posts affected by the proposed reorganisations, we cannot consult effectively with our members. This view was raised and discussed at the consultation meeting. Following an adjournment, the company responded by sharing the available details of the Wales Route proposals (subject to consultation) as follows:

· The operational boundaries of the route will be the same as Wales & Marches at present.

· Approximately 15 new posts will be created in the new route.

· No bands 1-4 staff will be directly affected in LNW, however the “One Wales” maintenance depot will be reorganised through consultation at some point in the future, with potential impacts on bands 5-8.

· Some staff in the current Western Route will be affected by the creation of the Wales Route, primarily Route Area Managers with potential for some displacement.

Area Level Route Consultations

Following National Consultation, the proposals for each individual route will be consulted at Area Level. Due to a number of vacant posts in some of the Area Councils, it was agreed at the Management Consultation that members could be co-opted to represent the views of their colleagues. We anticipate that Network Rail will agree to the same principle during 5-8 National Consultation. Please contact the members’ helpdesk if you are willing to be co-opted as a representative. As soon as the details of Area Consultations and the names of appropriate representatives are available they will be published here.


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