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South West Trains Customer Service Centre Reorganisation

31 December 2012

As part of the consultation process TSSA and Company Council representatives recently met with South West Trains to discuss the reorganisation of the Customer Service Centre (CSC).


TSSA had many concerns on the proposals and put forward some very valid and comprehensive questions and arguments. TSSA believe that the structure of the CSC should be designed to not only to meet the needs of the company, but also to provide a good service for the public.

In particular, TSSA raised strong objections to the removal of the CO3 and CO4 Customer Relations posts in the new organisation on the basis they were an important part of the department and vital to providing a good quality of service. Management disagreed saying they did not consider the work and responsibilities warranted the current (higher) grades that in their proposal would be accommodated by paying an allowance to the CO2 grade staff when carrying out this work. TSSA advised the company we were not prepared to agree a proposal that had allowances paid to individuals in place of positions of the relevant grade. SWT argued that for the CSC to exist it needed to bring in these changes and also said the Southampton CSC was the only centre of its kind currently run by a TOC. Unfortunately, SWT were not prepared to change their proposals, but accepted the proposals were not setting a precedent. The meeting established voluntary redundancy would be offered to those displaced staff working in the CSC and that this would be non-obligatory for either party. At the meeting identification was agreed for those posts where applicable and pools for closed listing were also agreed. It was also agreed displaced employees would retain their rate of pay. In the New Year, Local Reps will have a meeting with management to reach agreement on what levels of work attracts what shift allowance payments.

Some success: While during the consultation process TSSA and the staff representatives did not achieve significant change to the proposal, however we achieved important safeguards for a closed listing process and established shift allowances would increase in line with annual pay awards. Also importantly, we were able to have recorded formally our strong belief that the service provided should be done on the basis of the current grading level.

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