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LNER: 2019 Pay Claim

7 December 2018

Pay discussions for 2019 started much earlier than usual, with the Company stating it was keen to ensure an agreement was in place well before the anniversary date following the excessive delays in the last two-year agreement reached in 2017. The Company therefore made an offer in the second meeting held recently and have now confirmed this in writing.

The offer is for a two-year agreement covering 2019/20 and includes commitments to hold further discussions on the issues of attendance, new technology, and multi-skilling. Whilst the first covers all staff, the others affect Travel Centres and Stations, but we do not have the full details of the proposals. This is nothing new, as there was a similar commitment in the previous pay settlement to discuss attendance which was never acted upon, and plans for new technology and multi-skilling in Travel Centres and Stations have been known about for many years now. What is significant however, is that for the first time the Company is committing to extra pay for these changes and has given a commitment there will be no job losses as a result. The full detail of the offer is as follows:

Year One: An increase of 3.0% or RPI on basic pay and associated allowances effective from Sunday 31st March 2019, or a minimum payment of £600 (whichever of these being the greater).

Year Two: An increase equivalent to RPI on basic pay and associated allowances effective from Sunday 29th March 2020. We will also offer a minimum payment in Year Two, which will be calculated in accordance with the methodology in year one, the amount being dependent upon RPI at that time.

In both years our RPI reference period is February, with all increases in pay remaining subject to the pension cap.

Included within our offer, is a commitment to mobile technology, with all employees engaging fully in this area and using the mobile telephones issued to them as part of their everyday role.

We have also proposed a joint commitment to meaningful discussions in the following areas:

Attendance

To establish a joint working group to review current absence trends with a view to identifying causes of absence and exploring opportunities which will lead to improved attendance at work, the scope of this working group will be jointly agreed however the identified objectives include:

· improvements in employee attendance delivering a decreased absence trend.

· exploring the potential of and introducing employee wellbeing initiatives.

· encouraging personal responsibility for health and wellbeing including initiatives such as on-line return to work declarations.

· addressing statutory issues of non-compliance within the current policy.

Grade Specific Projects

To engage in meaningful discussions with trade union partners with a view to reaching agreement in the following areas:

Travel Centre

To discuss and agree additional pay enhancements for travel centre grades, paid in April 2020 subject to the successful introduction of;

· multi skilled travel consultant positions including front of house floor walking activities

· mobile ticket retailing technology

Station and Travel Centre

To develop a specific working group to review resourcing options in small stations and travel centres, including consideration of the benefits of a multi skilling allowance payable to employees achieving cross functional station and travel centre competence. The working group will;

· explore and discuss the benefits of multi skilling by station and travel centre location

· explore the long term and phased introduction of a multi skilled model in identified locations

We have confirmed within our discussions that no reduction in station and travel centre roles will arise from these grade specific projects.

The offer commits us to meaningful discussions but is not dependant on us reaching any particular outcome or agreement on the above elements. Therefore, the inflation proof increases to pay are guaranteed, and against a background of clear Government statements about using the much less favourable CPI (Consumer Price Index) as a reference point for pay discussion in the rail sector, we have secured an offer that retains the link to RPI that has always been our base reference point. We have also secured minimum payments to give a pay-boost to the lowest paid staff, and should inflation fall significantly over the next few months then everyone would benefit from the minimum 3% increase in year one.

Your negotiating team is still considering the impact of the proposals before deciding how to proceed. But as always you, the members affected, will have the final say on the pay offer and the outcome of any grade specific discussions. We are currently updating our membership records and would ask you to ensure we have your current details and email address to enable us to hold an electronic referendum on the offer and any subsequent proposals in the future. You can do this via the MyTSSA facility on the TSSA website, by email to membership@tssa.org.uk, or by calling the helpdesk on 0800 328 2673.

If you require any further information on the contents of this article, please contact one of your staff reps in the first instance. Please also discuss the contents of this article with your colleagues and encourage any non-members to join. The more members we have, the stronger we are. Membership application forms can be obtained from your TSSA reps or you can join on-line here.

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