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TUPE transfer Balfour Beatty Rail to Babcok Rail RT24 contract further consultations

4 August 2014

There have been two more meetings with Balfour Beatty and Babcock Rail but there still remain some outstanding issues requiring clarification.

 

We used the opportunity to raise some further questions with the incoming employer – set out below are the responses:

1) The transfers will still take place at 00.01 on 29th July 2014.

2) Some employees staying with Balfour Beatty will be asked if they would consider moving to Babcock Rail on a secondment for twelve weeks after the date of transfer. This would be on a purely voluntary basis and their employment status would remain with Balfour Beatty.

3) There remains a major issue in respect of non protected and no indefeasible right (pension) status employees who will not be allowed to join the Babcock Rail Section of the Railways Pension Scheme (RPS). TSSA is obtaining legal advice on this because we do not believe providing a defined contribution (DC) scheme is equivalent to the current defined benefit (DB) scheme arrangements. Babcock confirmed they would continue with BRASS matching contributions for those that currently contribute and at the levels of current matching.

4) Those currently in the Balfour Beatty Defined Contribution Scheme will be auto enrolled into the Babcock Rail Defined Contribution Scheme on the 29th July and individuals will be able to withdraw from the scheme if they wish.

5) Balfour Beatty and Babcock Rail are still currently discussing the logistics of the changeover of vehicles. There is potential, where the depot is not big enough to house both the Balfour Beatty and Babcock Rail vans, to hire a location for the exchange, St Marys football ground in Southampton has been suggested. In regard to fuel cards Babcock stated that they would issue fuel cards for those who currently have them. All employees transferring who have company mobile phones will be issued new phones, but it has now been agreed that they will retain their existing numbers.

6) Babcock Rail is still discussing with Network Rail and Balfour Beatty regarding work locations. An agreement has been reached to remain at Eastleigh for twelve months after the transfer.

7) Babcock has training schools and facilities in Scotland and the North of England and will use them for the time being, but will consider their options for a new centre some time into the operation of the new contract.

8) Balfour Beatty advised us what will happen regarding current employees transferring who participate in the share save scheme. Those in the SIP scheme transferring out of Balfour Beatty will get two options: either sell the shares or transfer them into a share certificate. Those in the SAYE scheme transferring from Balfour Beatty can continue to save for up to six months, save to maturity (this will need to be done by direct debit) or close the scheme and have their savings back with interest.

9) Balfour Beatty said they are still trying to resolve all vacancies’ issues before the date of the transfer, especially where this involves long standing Higher Grade Pay cover and arrears of pay. However, Network Rail has not responded with their authorisation to fill positions. Balfour Beatty is pursuing this with NR. Please note those who have not had their issue resolved should put in a grievance.

10) The plan is still to sell the Small Plant organisation to Torrent Trackside before the transfer of the RT24 contract.

11) All employees transferring who have a Senital Card will not require a med screening for the purpose of this transfer.

12) With the possible new pay cycles Babcock Rail will offer interest free loans of up to two weeks’ pay.

13) Babcock Rail stated their preference was to have more employees transfer over and that the structure may not be what they would have preferred to have transferred in.

14) Babcock will provide us with information regarding employees they provide with child vouchers.

15) It was confirmed that of those employed in the ETE Department at Three Bridges six employees had been identified as transferring to Babcock Rail at Eastleigh.

16) It was also confirmed that two S&T employees who come under Ashford for supervision and management will transfer to Babcock Rail.

Any members with any further questions should contact the TSSA helpdesk or their representatives for advice. TSSA will also inform you of further consultation meetings due to take place.

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