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Invensysrail: Pensions on-going Dispute

8 April 2013

Whilst the Pension consultation exercise has been extended till 11 April this was only one of your 4 aims so there is still more work needed, we have over 170 responses to our survey so far and your feedback is still vital so we’d appreciate you encouraging colleagues who haven’t seen the survey to complete it


Progress made so far

TSSA has had responses from both the company and Siemens, Siemens are still not prepared to join the same negotiating table and whilst a company council meeting took place on 4 April the Full time officials from TSSA and Unite were refused access to this meeting and asked to leave despite requesting in advance to attend. Invensys has said that they wish to hold a separate meeting to discuss the ‘legal issues’ which the Full time officers of each union may be invited to on Tuesday 9 April. We are of course prepared to meet them in whatever forum is available but it does bring into question the structure of the company council constitution when the recognised trade unions are unable to seek to resolve a legitimate trade dispute through an official internal employee forum such as the company council, it seems apparent that the company do not wish to change their tack and wish to steam roll through their proposals.

Your company council reps are clearly working extremely hard to raise your concerns and resolve the issues that you are raising but it is apparent that the company has no desire to meaningfully consult on their proposals and seem unwilling to change their proposals or even answer the multitude of questions that remain unanswered. Either way this may mean that a co-ordinated approach from Trade Union members is needed to exert further pressure on Invensys and Siemens to provide any improvement to the current terms being offered.

The company has allowed for an extension of the consultation exercise till 11 April but we do not feel this is an adequate enough period of time to properly explore a resolution. It is clear that the pressure that has been brought to bear on Invensys has forced them to reconsider their position but we need to increase our resolve to see a satisfactory outcome to these issues. It is also very clear that the company council cannot do this alone and need a strong trade union membership behind them willing to stand up for what is rightfully theirs.

What the recent past has taught us

The issues with the pay talks and the fact that the company essentially ignored your opinions until Trade Union members threatened strike action clearly shows that you can make a difference and the hard work and efforts of the company council reps was crucial in us achieving that but it is clear that in the long term what is needed is as Employee council that is made up of Trade union representatives that have the training, back up and support of the relevant trade unions to have the necessary teeth to challenge the company when they seek to ride rough shod over your concerns.

Whilst there was a Company council meeting held on 4 April the initial feedback is that the company still isn’t providing any further answers or solutions to resolve the issues that you have raised. They appear to be ignoring your concerns and need to be made to listen and provide alternative solutions. We will of course give feedback on the meeting that takes place on Tuesday 9 April assuming that the company allows us access and keep you posted as the situation develops.

Our Dispute/Aims:

It is clear with everything that is happening that we are in dispute with the company and as time progresses we receive more feedback from you through your reps and our survey. The dispute is now about more than just the pensions and is now also about how the company engage and listen to YOU ALL as employees. Therefore the company council structure must be brought back as a full trade union body so that the company cannot seek to divide and conquer as they have done so in the past. Our Dispute is now about achieving:

· Improvement to the company council structure for ALL so that it is a Trade union body

· Extension of the consultation exercise to allow meaningful consultation/negotiation

· Include representatives from Siemens in those talks

· Secure a better pensions offering than is currently being proposed ideally with no reduction in Pensions benefits

· Clarify Siemens’ plans for Railway Pensions and deficit recovery plan

What you must do

In the meantime there are clearly things that you can do to assist everyone affected by this process, including yourselves:

· keep encouraging colleagues to fill in the survey

· Build our collective strength and ensure that everyone has a strong voice by encouraging non-members to join an appropriate trade union.

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