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TSSA Amey August Newsletter

21 August 2017

It’s been a busy summer of change for our members and reps. Here’s a summary of what’s going on.

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Voluntary Overtime must be included in Holiday Pay!

Amey have repeatedly stonewalled efforts to negotiate a reasonable holiday pay policy. A series of Employment Tribunals ruled that the Working Time Regulations require overtime to be included in statutory holiday pay. Amey hid behind vague legal definitions of “voluntary” and “non-guaranteed” overtime, refusing to include any payment for overtime shifts in holiday pay calculations. An Employment Appeal Tribunal Judge recently ruled that all types of overtime, including voluntary, must be included when calculating a worker's statutory holiday pay entitlement, apart from overtime that is only worked on a genuinely occasional and infrequent basis. If you believe you may have a claim, call the Members’ Helpdesk or contact your rep. For more details:

· ACAS guidance on the EAT judgement: http://bit.ly/ACAShpot

· Our letter to Amey Rail HR calling for a negotiated policy paying no less than members’ statutory rights: http://bit.ly/AmeyHolidayPay

Have your say on your pay and conditions!

Amey have approached us for early talks ahead of the March 2018 pay anniversary. As a member-led organising union we intend to submit a claim for improvements to your terms and conditions that has been produced and supported by members before negotiating with management. We will be asking all members in Amey to get involved by completing an online survey to give our reps a mandate to negotiate improvements. Now is the time to think about improvements to your pay and conditions. Look out for details in the coming weeks.

Health, safety and welfare at work

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, workers are becoming increasingly aware of, and concerned about, potential hazards. TSSA members in Amey have the right to elect Health and Safety Reps who have statutory rights to carry out regular workplace inspections and help ensure that any health, safety and welfare issues are dealt with appropriately.

If you don’t already have a safety rep, download a form at http://bit.ly/TSSAamey and nominate a colleague.

For guidance, information and the law, see http://bit.ly/safetyrepresources

Our union will provide full training and support for elected reps. If you have any concerns about your working conditions, contact your rep or the Helpdesk to arrange an inspection.

Don’t forget that the worksafe procedure always applies:

If it’s not safe, don’t do it! Report close calls and near misses!

H&S Reps inspect York office after consultation falls short

Amey’s York Hudson House lease was due to expire in June. Failing to honour commitments to consultation and meaningful involvement in finding suitable premises, the company unilaterally decided to move teams to a considerably smaller office within an Amey-owned building.

Local staff and management were thrown into a crisis when the failure to plan or work with us in advance led to the lease expiring before suitable accommodation was available. This led to frantic proposals that office-based staff work from home until a building was ready. We finally persuaded the company to apply a degree of common-sense, extending the lease to conduct works consultation with our members before a move took place.

Working with affected members and management, local rep Dave Merrett identified several potential health, safety and welfare issues with the proposed office. We combined practical training for health and safety reps with a joint workplace inspection to talk to staff about their concerns and identify any hazards associated with the building. The reps will be meeting with management to discuss the inspection report, which identified issues ranging from cramped work areas to confusing fire alarm tests, damaged fire doors, expired first aid equipment and unclear evacuation routes.

CEFA Reorganisation

The reorganisation of Amey CEFA has largely concluded. Reps challenged proposals and claims that the restructure would lead to significant cost savings but recognised that their involvement did lead to some improvements through the consultation, such as an agreement to no compulsory redundancies resulting from the reorganisation and the right to appeal if staff were not treated fairly.

Members concerned that the move away from route-based teams will result in increased travel time should not be working longer hours without agreement and appropriate overtime rates of pay. Management acknowledge this, recognising that any significant increase in travel time would not be in anyone’s interest as this will result in a reduction of productive time on site.

Our reps did not support the changes but recognise that meaningful consultation had taken place, leading to some improvements compared to original proposals. We agreed to formally review the new structure in the coming months so please share any concerns or experiences with reps.

Handheld for Detailed Examinations

After several ups and downs, the final consultation meeting on the introduction of handheld devices for detailed examinations has taken place. Management did not accept our position that examiners should be able to choose not to use the device if they prefer not to but did agree that the device was not to be used in situations where it would result in safety risks to our members. Use of the device in confined spaces and at height is prohibited. Staff must be in a position of safety before using the device. During the trial we raised many concerns, most of which are resolved. The project team worked closely with our reps to give assurances that the device does not track location and will not be used to manage individual performance. Three documents are being made available to users; a local work instruction (amended to remove references to individual performance monitoring, with assurances that it will not be used to track user location), a user manual, and an agreed risk assessment (including many risks and controls raised by members through our reps). The risk assessment will be updated as risks and controls are identified while the device is in use. The company intend that use of the device will result in more productive time on site. To support this, we need to see progress on the provision of adequate welfare facilities.

Amey recommend yoga at work to reduce HHD health risks!

We are concerned that the regular long-term use of handheld devices may impact on members’ health. Unlike desk-based display screen equipment (DSE), which has been in widespread use long enough for reliable medical opinion and regulation to be developed, we believe that long term risks are unknown. Amey have agreed to issue ergonomic guidance to users, who are encouraged to spend several minutes on a variety of recommended stretches and yoga positions to stay healthy while using the device.

Election of all Amey reps

Between September and February, we’ll be running elections for all TSSA Amey Reps. We want to see more members than ever before taking an active role in the union to help improve dignity at work. To find out more, visit http://bit.ly/TSSAamey or speak to one of our reps. Do you have a colleague who you trust or see as a natural leader? Ask them to consider accepting your nomination to be a TSSA rep. We’ll provide training and support.

 

 

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