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Fair pay for bands 1-4

8 June 2018

Since 2011 Network Rail has undervalued Band 1-4 pay against the cost of living and our colleagues in Band 5-8 posts.

Since Mark Carne became our Chief Executive in Jan 2014 Band 1-4 staff have seen our pay devalued each and every year. Mark will leave Network Rail with a recognition from many for his passion for safety and progressive change. However Mark will also be remembered as a Chief Executive who did nothing to reward the hard work and passion for the railway that Band 1-4 employees demonstrate each and every year. This has got to change.

Network Rail Bands 1 to 4 pay graph

At our last pay negotiation meeting on 6th June, your volunteer reps pressed for further improvements to all areas of the pay offer made by Graham Hopkins on behalf of Network Rail.

On the plus side…

Joint reviews
We do not want talks for the sake of talks. Therefore, we have gained a commitment to jointly agree wording which sets out the parameters of each review by 11th June. We will share this with you as soon as we have agreed the detail.
We gained a commitment that the outcome of the reviews would be published by December 2018 in order that recommendations can be properly implemented for 2019.
We also gained a commitment to begin early engagement around 2019 pay in January to enable a far better level of discussion on some of these detailed and complex issues within the negotiations.

Duration of the pay offer
Your volunteer Reps stated quite clearly that we could not accept a below RPI offer and continued operation of the discredited performance matrix for 2 years. Besides which, we must take into consideration the outcome of the reviews we have successfully negotiated on performance pay and grading systems.

The Company agreed that this was a logical position and have now made a 1 year offer.

A definite downside….
The Network Rail negotiating team took a very negative view on improving the main elements of the offer. They would not budge on the size of the pay pot nor on upward movement of paybands to ensure actual pay rises for those within the upper zones.

London Allowances
We made a strong case to review and substantially improve London allowances based on economic data showing rapidly rising rents and living costs in the capital submitted within our pay claim. However, Graham and his team argued that this was not the case, and declined our claim.

Travel facilities
We revisited the question of home to work travel, as whilst our bosses at the DfT have implemented a policy of minimum RPI increases in regulated fares, the people expected to deliver the infrastructure of the railway are effectively being asked to subsidise the TOCs. Meanwhile, the private sector operators (who pay NR for access to the national infrastructure) are able to offer free or heavily discounted travel to their employees.
Graham outlined the Company position that they are unable to meet this request but indicated that they may be prepared to look again next year.
We certainly do not believe that this something that can continued unchallenged into the future.

Final Company Offer

2% overall pay budget, to be allocated based on your pay zone and performance rating for 2018/19
Maintain the same performance multipliers for performance related pay.
Extend private medical insurance cover for band 4 employees, in line with the existing band 3 cover (employee cover only funded by Network Rail, with the option to upgrade to include family cover at employees' own cost)*
• If taken as an allowance without accepting the medical insurance this is worth £445pa as a taxable and non-pensionable allowance.

Joint reviews with TSSA on:
Band 1-4 pay systems, grading structure, recruitment and selection.
Application of 'family friendly' policies
Application of performance management process
Introduction of overtime
Band 4 and Band 5 pay analysis

Our Position

Improvements on the original pay offer have been achieved and there are some positive noises from the Company about exploring how we rectify some of the clear failings of Network Rail’s performance pay and grading systems. And of course, long overdue talks over the introduction of a proper overtime policy for managers.
But, in essence, Network Rail’s pay offer for 2018 represents a continuation of the divergence of pay between Band 5-8’s and Band 1-4’s. The pay offer is yet again less than cost of living rise. And the farce of the biggest railway employer in the UK being unable to provide decent travel facilities for staff just goes on and on.
So, despite the real positives achieved by the TSSA Reps involved in the negotiations, we just cannot recommend this offer to you.
Your team of TSSA Representatives are committed to break this negative cycle and need your support and engagement to achieve this.
We will be asking you to take part in a referendum to decide if you want to endorse this offer or join a campaign for a fair pay structure that rewards dedication and experience and is fair to all.

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