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First Great Western: Attempt to divide and conquer!

14 August 2014

The Company adds insult to injury and has partially applied this yearÂ’s pay offer.


Pay 2014

Since we wrote to you last we have been made aware that one of our sister trade unions has accepted this year’s pay offer and that their members have already received increased salaries!

We were shocked and disgusted by this development and we challenged the Company on this blatant act to disregard our single table union negotiations. Their response was insulting to say the least the substance of which was “we did it last year” which we never informed of at the time!

We would like to remind you all that the final offer of 2.7% falls short of your aspirations as confirmed by this year’s pay survey. This is in addition to the fact that the Company conducted themselves very poorly throughout this year’s pay negotiations even attempting to “trade” some of your hard won terms and conditions!

You overwhelmingly indicated to us that you reject this year’s pay offer and that you would be prepared to take some form of action to demonstrate your strength of feeling. Mindful of this stance we wrote to the Company and requested a meeting with them which they refused. Following this Steve Coe TSSA Assistant General Secretary contacted Mark Hopwood to request an urgent meeting and was informed that he would have to wait for 6 weeks!

Enough is enough now this Company needs to be clearly shown that you will not condone the manner in which they treat you and your elected reps. Time and time again they break the collective bargaining machinery and make little if no attempts to resolve issues through the forums available such as the “avoidance of disputes” process. Steve Coe has responded to Mark Hopwood requesting an interim urgent phone conversation to air and hopefully start to address this year’s pay negotiations and our other grievances. However if this olive branch is not successful then we may need to call upon your mandate. We acknowledge that members may feel disconcerted by this potential eventuality however all diplomatic channels are being exhausted and are failing due to FGW’s belligerence. Your reps would love to talk to you about these latest developments and engage with you regarding what you might be prepared to do as a result so please take a few minutes to have a discussion with them.

Continued threats

We have recently been provided two further reorganisation proposals which cause us some concern in that the Company is seeking to further weaken the clerical grade by removing a post and introducing a management position on the back of it. We are also worried that some members are at threat of redundancy and we still do not have a common displacement process on the table.

It is for the reasons outlined above that we must continue to seek to increase our strength, please pass this circular on to any colleague that you are aware of who is not in a union and encourage them to join online at:

Please also consider taking on an active role in TSSA, there are a number of different vacancies and roles available which your reps and the regional team can provide information on. Being a TSSA rep is a very rewarding role for which you will receive full support and you will also be legally entitled to paid release to carry out your duties and required training.

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