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Virgin Trains East Coast: 2017 Pay Settlement Update

27 October 2017

Consultation with TSSA members on the Company's pay offer ended earlier today, with an overwhelming majority of members supporting the negotiating team's recommendation to accept the offer.

We have been advised by the Company that if accepted, the increase and any back-pay due will be paid in December salaries. This is dependent on the Unions confirming their acceptance before the cut-off date in November. We understand Unite have also recommended the offer and are currently consulting their members. However, RMT are urging their members to reject the offer and are holding a referendum over the next few weeks.

As previously reported, all three Union’s negotiating teams agreed to recommend acceptance of the offer in their respective internal consultation processes at the joint pay meeting of 17 October. This collective agreement to recommend acceptance was instrumental in securing the final concessions from the Company, including the minimum payment for the lowest paid staff of £600. It was accepted by all Unions that following months of very difficult discussions, this was the best settlement achievable through negotiation at this time.

It is therefore very regrettable that we are now put in the position of having to correct misleading information currently in circulation stating that: all Unions did not agree to recommend the offer; that no detail was provided on the conditions attached to the offer; and regarding the material differences between a fixed and rolling sick pay reference period. The facts are very different from what is being portrayed: all three Union negotiating teams did agree to recommend the offer in their respective internal consultation processes; written details of the conditions attached to the pay offer were circulated and agreed by all three Unions at the meeting; and the principle of moving to a rolling sick pay reference period was discussed during previous meetings and had not been identified by any Union as a deal-breaking issue due to the fact its impact is negligible and it is common practice in the industry.

It is understandable that TSSA members reading this misleading information are asking questions. We cannot comment on the internal processes of another Union. But we can reassure you that TSSA always has your best interests at heart, will honestly and openly report back to you on progress, ensure that the members affected make the decisions on important issues, and we will always endeavour to act with the utmost integrity.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in our members’ social media discussion forum, the original referendum, and the consultation exercise which closed today. The discussion has always been conducted with good humour and respect for others. You are a credit to your Union, and testament to our efforts to promote greater inclusivity and member participation. We will now advise the Company of the outcome of our member consultation, and seek clarification on the next steps in the event the offer is rejected by any Union. We will of course keep you updated of any developments.

If you have moved home or changed your contact and/or work details, you must ensure you advise us of these changes. This will ensure you receive important information and advice from TSSA. Please contact our Helpdesk on 0800 328 2673 to update or change your personal details, or log in to My TSSA via the website. If you require any further information on the contents of this circular, please contact one of your staff reps in the first instance. Please also discuss the contents of this circular with your colleagues, and encourage any non-members to join. The more members we have, the stronger we are. Membership application forms can be obtained from your TSSA reps or you can join on-line here.

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