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Devolution - What's going on and how can you have a say?

15 March 2011

We recently published a circular outlining our concerns around Network Rail’s announcement of plans to change the way routes are managed. Since then, Network Rail have given a briefing to the TSSA National Management Council on how they believe the first stage of these proposals will take shape. The first formal consultation meeting has been scheduled for 21 March.

“Phase 1” – Scotland and Wessex

This first stage - referred to as "Phase 1" applies to the existing Wessex and Scotland routes, is proposed to "go live" on 26 April 2011. HR have now provided consultation documents outlining the initial proposals, which consist of what they term a “Drag and Drop” of ring fenced staff into the new organisation and the creation of a Route Managing Director to oversee all operations in the affected routes. The good news is that Devolution will mean fewer staff being forced to move to Milton Keynes. We will pressing for details at every opportunity and share this information with you as soon as we know more.

Regardless of the implications for the running of a safe railway, or for our members’ job security and treatment in the Network Rail of the future, your reps’ biggest concern for this first stage is not the proposals themselves but the way in which we are being consulted.

There’s no doubt that devolution has the potential to be the most radical change to the running of our railway since privatisation, yet information was leaked to the press before your reps were given any information on the proposals. As usual, the company claim that they are committed to proactively engaging with trade unions and that they have learned lessons from the recent maintenance reorganisation consultations, yet the early signs are that they will continue to say one thing and do another.

We all know that trust is lacking in Network Rail, just look at the take up of the last round of SMART pensions despite huge pressure to join from the company. As TSSA members and activists, we need you to be our eyes and ears on the ground to ensure that the tragic mistakes of privatisation are not repeated and that devolution doesn’t move us towards another Railtrack.

TSSA Needs You!

Your reps will of course be at the forefront of all consultations with members as Network Rail moves towards devolution of all routes. If you have concerns around safety issues, or you are unsure of how the changes will affect you, we need you to speak to your local reps so that they can engage with the agreed negotiating arrangements to ensure that no short cuts are taken.

TSSA National Management Council Representatives will be holding workplace meetings this Thursday 17 March to discuss the Phase 1 proposals and gather information and questions from staff affected in the Scotland and Wessex routes so far. This is the first opportunity to share information ahead of the Phase 1 consultation meeting. If you have colleagues who are not yet TSSA members, please remind them that by joining your union they can be the first to receive accurate information and have a say in how devolution will affect them.

Phase 1 Route Consultation Meetings

- "The Small Room" Paisley Smithhills Street Network Rail Offices - 1000 - 1100
- Room 7, Buchanan House, Glasgow - 1200 – 1400

- Room 5, Woking Headquarters 1000-1100

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