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Invensysrail: Pensions Dispute

12 April 2013

Company refuse trade union involvement at any meetings relating to the share transfer to Siemen’s or to your pensions, it is clear that whilst your Company Council representatives work hard on your behalf that the Company Council forum doesn’t work for you or the company. We have written to the company asking for a continuation of the consultation exercise and for the Trade unions to be involved in this. Please still encourage your colleagues to complete our survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/InvPen

 

Update

Since the company refused the Trade union officials from attending the Company council meeting on 4 April they had set up a meeting on 9 April inviting representatives from the Company council to attend a meeting with the company and representatives of Invensys’ legal team, your representatives were advised by letter that: “As the consultation process is being carried out between the Company and the Company Council, it would not be appropriate for trade union representatives to attend the meeting (except in their capacity as legal advisers to the company Council)” they had also sent an email advising that the Trade unions would be invited to this meeting.

Your Full time officer therefore offered to attend this meeting knowing that the Company Council being a staff body could not possibly have the resources to provide legal representation themselves. Upon boarding the train to London to attend the meeting he received a call advising that it had been postponed!

This meeting was rescheduled for 11 April but the company made it very clear that the Trade union officials were not welcome under any circumstances. It is apparent that the company did not offer this meeting in good faith and are playing games with YOUR Livelihoods as your representatives were unable to attend if they had no ‘legal’ representation! We have written to the company asking for a further extension to the consultation exercise involving all relevant parties but at time of issuing this circular have yet to receive a response.

In essence Invensys are providing no avenues for the recognised trade unions or your Company council representatives to resolve this matter through meaningful talks and are giving lip service to your legitimate concerns.

Legal advice

TSSA met with our legal representatives on 10 April who have identified deficiencies in the way that the company have conducted this consultation exercise and how these changes could cause contractual issues if they go ahead. Whilst we will explore any legal options we need to wait to see what the company will do next and would far prefer a negotiated settlement.

Transfer to Siemen’s

We are highly concerned about how you will all be affected by the transfer to Siemen’s, not just because we are worried that the Company Council structures won’t fully protect you but since the share sale was announced Invensys have proposed inferior contract changes, they plan to close the Invensys Pensions Scheme and Invensys stakeholder pension scheme even though in theory there is nothing to stop Siemen’s co-running these or re-opening up the Railway Pensions scheme (RPS) to those affected. Meanwhile long term the future of the Railway pension scheme is uncertain as Siemen’s current RPS schemes only have active members within them because they are forced to by law, given that they are keen for Invensys to close its final salary scheme and will only be offering a significantly poorer alternative we can only assume what they will do next? Invensys hope to divide you but you must be United!

United front

We will exhaust all possibilities that the company may yet see sense; if the company don’t offer us a way of having a direct dialogue with them then we are forced to go into dispute with them. We need to know that you will support your hard working company council representatives especially those who understand the importance of being trade union members. All of you need to encourage as many people as possible to be in a position to vote and have a real voice on their future by joining a trade union; the company won’t provide you with this opportunity. All of you need to be prepared to take part in some form of ballot and vote for industrial action but we recognise that the company have provided you with very little information and so you may want to ask why you should do this, we hope to be able to run workplace meetings to go over any questions that you may have and have a proper dialogue about why you should do this. It is probable that the company will seek to stop these and prevent them from happening but we need you to assist us in running those meetings by attending and ensuring that we have a united voice as everyone who is affected by this transfer to Siemens’ has something to loose not just in the short term but in the long term too so let’s make the stand now before it is too late. You can help by:

· assisting your TSSA Company council representatives organise and build attendance at a meeting in your locality

· keep encouraging colleagues to fill in the survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/InvPen

· Build our collective strength by encouraging non-members to join an appropriate trade union. www.tssa.org.uk/join

Further details of meetings will be sent out once they are known.

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