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TUPE Transfer: First ScotRail staff to Abellio (daytime services) and to Serco (Caledonian Sleeper service)

13 February 2015

See below for details of the TUPE Transfer that affects all First ScotRail employees since the Scottish Government awarded the ScotRail franchise to Abellio and the ScotRail Caledonian Sleeper to Serco.

Staff Transfer to Abellio (daytime services)

TSSA representatives met with Abellio recently to discuss the TUPE Transfer and the measures that will be introduced, scheduled to take place on 1st April 2015.
“Measure(s)” is the word used to describe the processes that will be used by the new company in the running of ScotRail going forward. All present terms and conditions will remain the same at date of transfer.

Among the measures shared with TSSA by Abellio were:

Abellio intend to use the existing payroll system (SAP) and provider currently operated by First ScotRail, so there will be no immediate alteration as to how employees are paid and the payment of salaries and benefits should not be affected by the transfer. Abellio will ensure that there is no disruption to payroll transactions. 

Abellio intend to continue existing pension arrangements and, in accordance with the rules of the Railways Pension Scheme (RPS), the Company will become the designated employer of the Defined Benefit section of the RPS operated for the ScotRail franchise. Accordingly, their intention is that current pension arrangements will continue, including the existing salary sacrifice scheme and the freeze on BRASS matching contributions that has been in place for the FSR Section members since 18 March 2002.

Abellio have confirmed that it is their intention to continue existing ATOC Rail Staff Travel facility concessions for both "safeguarded" employees (i.e. those employees whose continuous employment within the rail industry commenced prior to 1 April 1996) and non-safeguarded employees. In addition, Abellio has already supported the re-issue of the ScotRail Smartcards that will continue to be valid after 1st April 2015. These Smartcards will continue to provide free leisure and residential travel for all ScotRail staff and their dependents and, in a reciprocal arrangement made with Serco, these Smartcards can also be used for free travel on the Caledonian Sleeper services, subject to the restrictions already in place. However, any travel concessions offered by First in respect of First Group services only will no longer apply.

Management Structure: Part of the senior management structure, will have a change in reporting lines. Where a current role no longer reports to the Managing Director, all Terms and Conditions remain the same. Apart from these senior levels, the vast majority of employees will continue to report to their current line manager. Abellio have stated that there will be some new management and support structures and roles required to deliver the new franchise commitments and to make sure the new organisation operates efficiently. 

Abellio will be seeking a working partnership with Network Rail and will be exploring whether and how Abellio could make some further organisation structure changes as part of an ‘Alliance’.  As a consequence, there could be further organisation changes moving from their initial proposed senior team to one that operates seamlessly with Network Rail. These proposals are still under development with Network Rail and will be fully consulted with those staff affected once they have been finalised.

Abellio have informed TSSA that they will take over the lease arrangements for the First and Ground Floors at Atrium Court, Glasgow, where the main ScotRail head office is located.  In order to accommodate head office staff and facilities based on the 2nd Floor at Atrium Court, plus some additional head office roles, and to facilitate closer working with Network Rail in advance of the Alliance mentioned above, there are plans to move around 115 staff from Atrium Court and co-locate in the new Network Rail office at 151 St Vincent Street, Glasgow. There are no plans to make any other immediate changes to office locations.

For the new franchise, Transport Scotland specified the need to acquire a new electric train as part of the Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP).  Abellio are in the process of ordering a new train and this new fleet will start to be introduced in late 2017 as they come off the production line, with eventually a total of 70 new units in service by the end of 2019.

In addition Abellio’s plans also contain the introduction of a refurbished fleet of High Speed Trains for Scotland’s intercity routes, but these will not be introduced until 2018.  They will fully consult with those engineering staff affected but also with those who will be required to operate the new trains in service.
 

Abellio and Serco:
The Caledonian Sleeper Service, becomes a new business entity to be operated by Serco. Abellio have been requested by Serco to provide certain services where those staff would ordinarily transfer to Serco or their supplier, this includes: engineering maintenance and vehicle inspection at Inverness; bed-making and cleaning at Inverness and Fort William; National Reservation System and rostering support based in Glasgow.  In special arrangements that it is proposed Abellio enter into, they will accept those staff under a TUPE transfer and continue to provide those services to Caledonian Sleeper under contract.

Abellio intend to issue a new uniform for employees early in the franchise in order to replace the current FSR uniform. Abellio intend to seek feedback and employee involvement in order to finalise design and garment requirements for the uniform issue.
 

Abellio Road Shows

Abellio have informed TSSA that they will hold road show type events across the ScotRail network. TSSA would encourage all members to attend as it is an opportunity to question your new employers on the issues and concerns that you may have on the new franchise going forward.
 

Staff Transfer to Serco (Caledonian Sleeper service)

TSSA representatives met with Serco also to discuss the TUPE Transfer and the measures that will be introduced scheduled to take place on 31st March 2015.

Among the measures shared with TSSA by Serco were:

A Service Review will look at the resources required to run the contract at its most efficient and it is possible that the review may highlight savings from working practices or headcount. If this proves to be the case a thorough consultation process will take place with the employees in the scope of the transfer. 

Payroll will transfer to Serco Caledonian Sleeper Services Limited and the current payment cycle will continue.  Given the change, the PAYE reference will change and payslips will be sent to home addresses.  

Transport Scotland has made an agreement with RPMI Ltd to create a Caledonian Sleeper section of the RPS. Serco CS will be the designated employer for this RPS section which will be open to all Franchise Employees.

On transfer to Serco CS, staff will continue to receive the same staff travel benefits, as those granted by the ScotRail franchise, however certain First Group benefits will no longer apply, such as preferential rates on First Buses.

Serco intend to continue existing ATOC Rail Staff Travel facility concessions for both "safeguarded" employees (i.e. those employees whose continuous employment within the rail industry commenced prior to 1 April 1996) and non-safeguarded employees. Smartcards, which will continue to be valid after 1st April 2015, can also be used for travel on the Caledonian Sleeper services, subject to the restrictions already in place.  Serco will continue to provide leisure and residential travel for all Caledonian Sleeper and Abellio staff and their dependents on ScotRail services in a reciprocal arrangement made with Abellio, However, any travel concessions offered by First in respect of First Group services only will no longer apply.

Serco are proposing to change job titles for the following and further job title changes may take place in time.

Operations Team Manager to Guest Service Delivery Manager

Sleeper Team Leader to Guest Service Manager

Sleeper Host to Guest Services Host

Serco CS have secured a designer brand uniform which will replace current uniform

There will be no staff location changes at the point of transfer.

It is acknowledged that there are a number of roles which should transfer to Serco or their suppliers, this includes: engineering maintenance and vehicle inspection at Inverness; bed-making and cleaning at Inverness and Fort William; National Reservation System and rostering support based in Glasgow.  In special arrangements being made with Abellio, they have confirmed that they will accept those staff under a TUPE transfer, remain with the Scotrail franchise and will continue to provide those services under contract to Serco Caledonian Sleeper Ltd or their supplier, Alstom.

Serco’s partner, GBRF, will manage and supply the Drivers for the Serco CS Franchise

The organisation will aim to replicate existing contractual terms but where they are unable to do so they will strive to offer a suitable alternative, so that upon transfer, employees are on no less favourable contractual terms and conditions.

Serco key policies and procedures will apply to all employees post transfer. This includes the Serco Code of Conduct and Serco Problem Solving at Work (disciplinary, grievance and performance management).
 

What Happens Next?

Your TSSA representatives will continue to meet with either Abellio or Serco when necessary to help protect your employment rights and to ensure your concerns are heard and acted upon.

If you have any concerns over the TUPE transfer or the measure involved please contact the following TSSA Company Council reps:

Name

Email

Telephone

Stevie Lawrence

step8359@hotmail.co.uk

07860 936 834

Peter Connel

peter.connel@firstgroup.com

07912 595 544

Alex Stevenson

Alex.Stevenson@firstgroup.com

07860 936 834

Danny Farren

 

 

 

07807 321 036

Gerry Higgins

gerryjhiggins@hotmail.co

07939 811 116

Ewan Ward

 

wardewan35@yahoo.co.uk

07584 649 558

 

Bobby Paterson

Robert.Patersonjr@FirstGroup.com

07841 269 209

Derek Strain

derekstrain@virginmedia.com

07772 431 773

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