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TSSA respond to ScotRail spreading fake news to CCTV members

22 August 2017

TSSA has responded angrily to an email sent out by ScotRail Alliance which attempts to disseminate "fake news" about job losses and our negotiations amongst our members at the company CCTV centres in Dunfermline and Paisley.

The email was sent out to staff by the company in the wake of dispute resolutions talks last Thursday which failed to end our dispute over the company's proposition to axe 22 CCTV operators.

Ballot papers on industrial action, including strike action have been sent out to members in both East and West Coast control centres today (Tuesday)

Said TSSA Scotland Organiser Liz Warren Corney,

"ScotRail Alliance's email to our members claiming it was somehow the union negotiators fault that talks to resolve the dispute they created by proposing 22 CCTV monitor jobs are axed is as fake as fake news gets. We attended talks last Thursday in good faith to resolve the dispute. But ScotRail refused to withdraw their job cuts proposal and, as they pointed out in their own letter, they arrived at the talks in in search of volunteers for redundancy'.

"Clearly that's not how you do resolution. That's how you do escalation. They had no intention of holding back on job cuts which is why our ballot will continue. TSSA does not accept any CCTV monitor positions should be axed, rationalised, streamlined or whatever management speak is for getting rid of jobs. We are committed to a safe railway, staffed by sufficient not overstretched and over-worked staff. TSSA is willing to discuss the reorganisation of the CCTV centres but not with a loaded gun on the table. We asked ScotRail several times on Thursday to take their threat of 22 job cuts off the table so we could talk meaningfully about their plans for a reorganisation. Sadly, each time they refused to do so.

"They have simply decided the number they want to cut and have attempted to present us with a fait accompli. The entire process looks like it’s being led by bean counters. They worked out how much money they need to save and how many jobs they would cut to deliver this. Frankly, they are playing fast and loose with passenger and staff safety".

"Over the years they have increased the workload of the CCTV department (for example asking them to count bicycles on the station (!) and to answer the help points, without increasing the staffing in the department. Cutting jobs now is just the final insult. Should they have a change of heart, we remain willing and able to talk anytime, anywhere. TSSA members have the right to trades union representation. The company should respect those rights and speak to them through recognised channels, not send out sneaky emails and harass further their own very anxious staff. This idiotic move by ScotRail's top brass will galvanise our members anger and make it more difficult to find a resolution".

Said TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes,

"Spreading fake news amongst our members about negotiations is a new low. This bad practice breaches the Scottish Government's own code of best industrial relations practice. I have asked TSSA's Scotland Team to draw this breach to the attention of the Minister for Tranport, Humza Yousaf. We will also be making sure he is fully briefed on the increased risk these proposals will place on the safety standards of rail in Scotland. And I urge ScotRail to stop dabbling in fake propaganda and start looking after passengers and staff. They should get back to the negotiating table at once or face the consequences of the industrial action they have provoked."

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