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GTR & Southern: Future GTR HQ and Support Employees Integration

18 June 2015

TSSA had a further meeting with the company to discuss the latest development of the merger of the organisation and also met with company reps to discuss the issues that have arisen from the recent local consultations and selection processes.

 

At that meeting we sought clarification on the following issues:

Ø There were still some outstanding positions to be filled within the Fleet Department and were yet to commence the bulk of the selection process. Currently 84 individuals had agreed their voluntary severance package with the company. In addition, there were 27 individuals at risk of redundancy, although a small number of those had requested voluntary redundancy. It is essential that any member in this situation should contact the TSSA for assistance as GTR state that they will make this group of people redundant on 31st July 2015 and pay their notice in lieu.

Ø TSSA indicated that it had heard from many members that they were very dissatisfied with the selection process. The main complaint being the lack of consistency across the functions. It appeared that in some functions there had been selection by interview and in others by allocating preferences on applications. There had also been a lack of clarity on decisions made at consultation meetings. Unfortunately, as predicted by the TSSA, some of those employees who were identified into positions did not reach the company’s standard and were not appointed. TSSA finds this unacceptable and again I would urge individuals that has had this happened to them to contact TSSA immediately for assistance.

Ø TSSA also raised the issue that by doing a blanket invite for voluntary redundancy this had led to disappointment in some departments where it had been declined for all. Whilst TSSA understands that the company have the right to retain skills and not leave itself in a vulnerable position for operating, we do believe that those not wishing to leave Southern should be given the opportunity to see if they have the skills to be trained into a new role, thereby allowing a person who wishes to leave the organisation the opportunity to do so and thus avoiding compulsory redundancy. TSSA has requested that the Integration Team review this matter.

Ø GTR are still insistent that those staff that are identified and successful in applying for a position will have to sign a new GTR contract. TSSA has not changed its view that this is grossly unfair and that GTR are using the reorganisation to gain harmonisation of Terms & Conditions following a TUPE transfer. TSSA asked what would happen if an individual refused to sign a new contract after having been appointed into a role and the company’s response was that it would allow for a cooling off period but that if the individual continued to refuse to sign they would see that as amounting to resigning. Again, the TSSA would ask all members in this situation to contact us immediately for advice.

Ø GTR have amended the MG4 contract to reflect existing enhancement agreements for the current grades.

Ø TSSA will after the completion of this reorganisation be monitoring the situation of equality in the rates of pay within functions, grades and work of a similar value.

Ø GTR still believe that 1.5 hours each way from home to work location is a reasonable alternative journey. TSSA is very conscious that there are currently some very unhappy employees in regard to the change of locations and we have asked that they explain to all employees concerned what the company position is on extra travel costs etc. Their current explanation is that they will provide free travel to the new locations by GTR services but, for example, Kings Cross from the Southern area if it was quicker to use the Underground from Victoria, who would pay the extra cost? TSSA’s position is to try and minimise any cost to our members and we believe it will be necessary to consider each individual case to give advice.

TSSA is still reviewing current legal advice and is asking further questions of GTR. You will, of course, be kept advised of any further developments, but I cannot reiterate enough that TSSA members should contact us immediately for help and advice as soon as possible. The date of 31st July, when redundancies will be applied, is getting closer and closer.

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