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East Midlands Trains – TUPE Consultation to Abellio has begun!

20 June 2019

Your staff reps attended a special Company Council meeting yesterday to begin the formal process of TUPE, Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations 2006 to Abellio.

We met with senior members of Abellio, who confirmed the new name for the franchise will be, East Midlands Railway (EMR). The new franchise will start on 18th August 2019 for 8-years, with a possible 2-year extension there-after. It was confirmed that EMR will be 100% owned by Abellio.

Simon Pready, Bid Director, shared details of the bid with your reps. This included what they have committed to during the franchise. The main commitment is growth with significant investment in rolling stock, stations and facilities, and staff.

The Abellio team answered most, if not all, of the questions that your reps asked on your behalf, and these will be circulated separately by way of FAQs, as there are too many to mention in my circular. The main points are:

  • Pensions - The Railway Pension Scheme (RPS) will transfer to East Midlands Railway section. It will continue to be an open scheme. No changes to benefits or contribution rates. Brass will continue as is now.
  • Payroll – There will be no change to pay dates.
  • Staff Travel – New travel passes will be issued to all staff and reciprocal arrangements will apply across the group, to include, ScotRail, Mersey Rail and Greater Anglia.
  • Derby Head Office and The Academy – The Academy will stay. Currently there are no plans to re-locate HQ, options to remain in Derby are being looked at. As part of the TUPE consultation, the receiving employer, EMR, must advise us what, if any, measures they are intending to make post transfer. The main areas/changes which are intended, and of which concern us the most, are:
  • Payroll, delay/repay functions and roles
    Abellio have a shared Service Centre in Glasgow that deal with payroll and delay/repay services, and they have indicated that they intend to move these functions/roles from Derby to Glasgow.
    TSSA made it clear we would not accept a situation of compulsory redundancies. Further details and proposals of Abellio’s intentions are yet to be seen, but we have asked them for full details as soon as possible so we can share them with affected members.
    • Neville Hill
    It is intended that fleet maintenance will be carried out by the train manufacturer in the future. High speed trains will cease, and the contract with Hitachi for Azuma’s will end with the current EMT franchise.
    This is not good news for Neville Hill and its staff, our members. We have been assured that discussions are taking place with LNER, Hitachi and others with regards to potential TUPE transfers for Engineering staff. Of course, more thorough details are required, and we have asked Abellio to provide these to us asap. Once we have them, consultation will take place. Once again, we made it crystal clear that we will not accept compulsory redundancie

Further consultation meetings are planned before the transfer. I would strongly encourage you to interact with your Company Council staff reps and pass on any questions you may have to them so they can raise these on your behalf at the next meeting.

Your Company Council Reps are:
John Gilchrist – St Pancras
Kevin Williams – Nottingham
David Rowbotham – Sheffield
Robert Stewart – Neville Hill
If you know of any colleagues that are not TSSA members, especially those in the affected areas/functions as mentioned above, please encourage them to join so they get adequately represented and protected.


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