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TSSA talks to save Scotland's rail Control jobs underway

25 January 2016

TSSA in talks with Scotrail to avert strike action over safety critical Control centre near Glasgow

TSSA has begun talks with Scotrail Alliance in Glasgow this morning in the hope of heading off the threat to the jobs of safety critical staff at Scotland's rail Control centres.

Management are seeking to redeploy at least seven Control staff, most from the Cowlair Control Centre near Glasgow.

But already overstretched Control staff say there is no slack left in their system and are prepared to take strike action to highlight their fear that passenger and industry safety standards will be diminished if their job numbers are reduced.

Rail workers across Scotland will be balloted to strike if the cuts go ahead.

General Secretary Manuel Cortes will lead this week's negotiations with Scotrail's MD Phil Verster to ensure management hear the union's concerns about the increased risk to safety these cuts will entail.

"This is not a pay issue but entirely a safety issue," said Cortes. TSSA members in Control are the real industry experts in keeping railways running safely and when they tell me these job losses will end in a rail disaster I believe them.

"They are already working flat out and the Forth Road Bridge closure exposed just how overstretched they are in this high stress environment and with no slack whats ever in in the system to cover sickens, absence or maternity leave with train services in Scotland already running on the good will of our members.

"Rail control staff cannot work fatigued or at the point of burn out so we can only conclude that the ScotRail Alliance are prioritising streamlining their spending at the expense of passenger safety and we are doing all we can to ensure that these unthought through, unnecessary jobs do not happen.

"I am of course hopeful we will reach an agreement with Scotrail Alliance to keep our controls properly staffed and Scotland's rail passengers travelling safely. In the meantime, we will continue making arrangements for industrial action." 

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