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Southern Railway - TSSA advice to members in Engineering Depots who are not themselves involved in industrial action

3 July 2015

The TSSA is aware that our sister Union RMT intends to undertake industrial action as a result of a breakdown in industrial relations in Engineering Grades, please note the following advice to our members in Engineering Depots.

As TSSA has not balloted for strike action, members are advised to work normally. However, TSSA urges members not to act in a way that would undermine the RMT action (see specific advice further below)

RMT has now announced that their members are instructed to undertake the following action and not to book on for any shifts that commence between:-
•    16:59 on Sunday 12th July 2015 and 16:59 on Friday 17th July 2015.
In addition, RMT members are instructed not to work any overtime, between:-
•    17:00 on Friday 10th July 2015 and 16:59 on Sunday 12th July 2015.

Advice to members of TSSA in Engineering Grades

TSSA members not involved in the dispute are strongly advised to carry out their normal duties and should not volunteer to work extended hours arising directly out of or in consequence of the dispute.

Members are advised not to agree to undertake any duties that could not be regarded as part of their job description and/or have not in the past been undertaken by them in their current post. Members should not at any time during the dispute act in breach of their Contracts of Employment, and should carry out their normal duties in line with that stated above. The above paragraph does not apply to regular rostered overtime and applies only to additional duties occasioned by the dispute.

Members should not agree to undertake any additional duties where there is any doubt as to their individual competence, in respect of safety matters. Members will appreciate the danger of liability in the event of an accident or other breach of safety.

Tell us what is happening

It is very strongly stressed that in the event that Management seek the agreement of, or instruct, staff with the appropriate background, to undertake duties normally performed by members of other unions, the circumstances should be reported immediately to the TSSA. This advice applies to circumstances whether or not the individual’s judgement is that they are competent to undertake the duties in question.

We would reiterate that our members should only work their usual roster, including any regular rostered overtime, and should not volunteer to work any additional hours arising out of the dispute.

Respect for picket lines

TSSA may not lawfully encourage members to take part in secondary industrial action. Members may, however, choose as a matter of individual conscience, not to cross a union picket line.

Members who so choose should be aware that such action is likely to put them in breach of contract, and may result in their employer taking disciplinary action against them (including dismissal).

TSSA will provide advice, support and representation to any member facing disciplinary action in such circumstances.

If you have any questions or feel that you are being asked to do work that you consider to be outside your normal duties, please contact our helpdesk 0800 328 2673 for further advice and assistance.

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