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TSSA manager members in FGW will have noticed that your union has been rather quiet of late! There is a good reason for this.

21 April 2015

Since FGW announced it was to derecognise TSSA for managers on and from 4 May, the union’s focus has naturally been on getting FGW to change its mind. Following the initial flurry of communications from the company and the union to the managers, it became clear that the company was putting out and mixed messages. It wanted to derecognise TSSA, but senior management also said they wanted to work with the union! Obviously, TSSA wanted to explore that obvious contradiction.

Dialogue has been continuing between FGW and TSSA reps and officials, both informally and at meetings of the Management Divisional Council, to see just how constructive the company was prepared to be.

Progress has indeedbeen made in some areas, as follows:

  • FGW has committed to applying to the managers whatever is finally agreed in respect of this year’s pay award for all staff in spite of the fact that pay negotiations will be completed after TSSA is derecognised for managers. FGW is potentially looking for a deal that will cover the whole of the new franchise period up until 1 April 2019.
  • The company has started discussions on a fair and transparent ‘people process’ that will apply when there is organisational change. FGW has agreed to continuing negotiations on this to finality, even though this process will conclude long after derecognition. This is especially important to TSSA given the fact that FGW is clearly going to be making massive organisational changes over the next few years that seem likely to impact on most managers.
  • FGW has responded positively to TSSA representations regarding what seem to be local and apparently unofficial ‘proposals’ for Customer Ambassadors to start undertaking on-call duties. FGW says that it is as yet unsure as to whether or not it wants Customer Ambassadors to do on-call duties, and has undertaken to review salaries to compensate should it decide that it does.
  • FGW has agreed to work together with TSSA to address the findings from last year's working hours survey of FGW managers. The survey broadly confirmed anecdotal evidence obtained by TSSA reps that some managers feel they are working excessive hours. Both FGW and TSSA agreed that a further more detailed survey is necessary to 'drill down' and fully understand the underlying issues, including workloads and work-related stress. FGW has agreed to share the results of the follow-up survey with TSSA.
  • FGW has tabled a document on flexible working for TSSA reps to consider.
  • Presentations were made to union reps regarding changes which will follow once the new franchise begins on 20 September, particularly relating to the new electric inter-city trains that will be introduced. FGW has stated that the TSSA Management Staff rep would be permitted to continue to represent managers at meetings of the Engineering Divisional Council even after TSSA is derecognised for managers.
  • A revised Learning Agreement has been signed off which, at TSSA’s insistence, specifically addresses issues relating to the training and development for managers. Moreover, TSSA manager reps will continue to be involved with Learning even after derecognition.

However, FGW has so far declined to discuss with TSSA reps their plans for what has been termed ‘job levelling’ which is clearly the precursor to ‘job evaluation’. TSSA has some serious concerns about what this will mean for managers if there is no union input. TSSA will be writing to the company seeking a change of heart on this matter.

FGW manager members will be kept informed of developments. Please feel free to pass this on to colleagues including those not in TSSA. If you know a colleague is not in membership, please ask them to join - they can do so online at:

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