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First Great Western: Station Staff Clerical members demonstrate their solidarity!

1 May 2013

Thank you to all those Station Staff Clerical members who took the time to complete the recent referendum ballot on Harmonisation Phase 2. Your commitment and willingness to take action quickly brought the Company back to the table for further discussion and a potential resolution.

The indicative ballot

The results speak for themselves in that nearly fifty per cent of you indicated overwhelmingly (97%) that you rejected the Company actions, 86% are willing to undertake action short of industrial and 66% of the members would go so far as taking full blown industrial action.

The meetings

Since the ballot closed we have met with the Company on several occasions and believe that we have negotiated a revised proposal for Harmonisation Phase 2 which is more in line with your aspirations. In essence the Company has agreed to a more simplified proposal which seeks to align current staff to the grade structure which was agreed at Phase 1 and ring fences those FGW staff who sit outside of this. It is important to stress that although both parties are in agreement the final proposal will still need to be authorised by the Secretary of State given the current status of the franchise.

Next steps

We have indicated to the Company that this proposal is an acceptable way forward and have confirmed that when a final proposal is tabled we will seek your views on it. We have also scheduled a further meeting to discuss the proposal along with the outstanding issue of Security Searches. It is fair to say that although this proposal is acceptable that there are a number of issues which will remain unresolved which we have committed to discuss further with the Company such as a simplified grading structure.

Pay 2013

On a separate note we can confirm that the Company has arranged for the Trade Unions to meet with members of their Executive Team to discuss this year’s pay negotiations on 24 May 2013.

Survey

The recent pay survey was also successful both in terms of the turnout and results. Some of the highlights which we can share with you indicate that (unsurprisingly) you prioritise pay shortly followed by improvements in terms and conditions. In addition over half of you confirmed that you believe that there are real issues with unequal pay in the workplace. So it was reassuring to see that you support our aspiration to review pay and grading structures with a view to promoting transparency and fairness.

Next steps

We suspect that this year’s pay negotiations might be quite challenging given the status of the franchise and the economic and political climate but commit that your reps will do their best to secure the best deal that they can. We will of course provide you with an update as soon as we can.

As ever we would urge you to please talk to your colleagues about the importance of being in TSSA to strengthen your collective voice and encourage them to join online at www.tssa.org.uk/join.

Please also consider undertaking a reps position, contact us on the details above for more information.

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