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First Transpennine improves pay offer

25 August 2011

First Transpennine has improved their pay offer.

First Transpennine has today offered 3.5% from 1 April 2011, with a further 1.5% increase being paid from 11 September 2011. The company will then increase rates of pay by the same percentage as the February inflation figure (Retail Prices Index) for each of the following three years, taking them to the end of the franchise.

TSSA’s negotiators believe this is the best possible deal that can be achieved. They will now seek members’ views in a referendum ballot, recommending that members accept the offer.

Members will be aware that First Transpennine previously made an offer to TSSA and the other trade unions to increase salaries by 2.2% from 1 April. The offer was rejected by the union’s negotiators on the basis that the offer represented a significant cut in pay in real terms.

Since the offer was made, TSSA began the process of balloting to seek a mandate from members to take industrial action, but this has now been cancelled.

RMT and ASLEF had already completed their respective ballots. RMT has suspended threatened strike action for conductors and station staff while the offer is put to their members.

ASLEF and RMT went ahead with a strike involving their train driver members on Wednesday 24 August 2011. A further strike scheduled for Friday 26 August 2011 has been called off to allow further talks to take place, although industrial action in the form of an overtime ban is understood to still be continuing. TSSA is not involved in taking industrial action, and the union's advice to members is as follows:

• work normally – do not breach your contract of employment
• work your normal contractual/rostered hours of work, including any contractual/rostered overtime
do not volunteer to work any overtime offered by the employer as a result of or arising from the above industrial action
do not undertake any work activities if there are any doubts about safety arising as a result of the above industrial action
do not undertake any additional work if there is any doubt as to your individual competence
• contact the TSSA Helpdesk (freephone 0800 3282673) if further guidance and advice is needed.

TSSA urges its members not to act in a way that would undermine any ASLEF/RMT industrial action.

TSSA members are strongly advised to carry out their normal duties and they should not volunteer to work extended hours arising directly out of or in consequence of the dispute. Members are advised not to agree to undertake any duties that could not be regarded as part of their job description and/or have not in the past been undertaken by them in their current post. TSSA members should only work their usual roster, including any regular rostered overtime, and should not volunteer to work any additional hours arising out of the dispute. Members should not at any time act in breach of their contracts of employment.

Members are strongly advised not to undertake safety critical duties and activities unless they are fully trained, knowledgeable and familiar with those duties. Members should not agree to undertake any additional duties where there is any doubt as to their individual competence, especially in respect of safety matters. Members will appreciate the danger of legal liability in the event of an accident or other breach of safety.

It is very strongly stressed that in the event that management seek the agreement of, or instruct, staff with the appropriate background to undertake duties normally performed by members of ASLEF/RMT, the circumstances should be reported immediately to the TSSA Helpdesk. This advice applies to circumstances whether or not the individual’s judgement is that they are competent to undertake the duties in question.

TSSA may not lawfully encourage members to take part in secondary industrial action. Members may, however, choose as a matter of individual conscience, not to cross another union’s picket line. Members who so choose should be aware that such action is likely to put them in breach of contract, and may result in their employer taking disciplinary action against them (including dismissal). TSSA will provide advice, support and representation to any member facing disciplinary action in such circumstances.

If you have any questions or feel that you are being asked to do work that you consider to be outside of your normal duties, please contact the TSSA Helpdesk for further advice and assistance. The Helpdesk freephone number is: 0800 3282673.

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