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WMT October update: pay negotiations and timetable stress

15 October 2019

Details of Management Grades pay talks, workplace stress, and sickness reporting


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Pay talks latest

Following the General Grades’ Pay deal reported in our previous newsletter (, TSSA Management reps have met the company to discuss our claim for the long-overdue 1 July pay anniversary. Despite reps sharing the claim with WMT last November, management would not meet our reps until general grades’ pay talks had concluded.

While your reps anticipate that they will recommend most elements of the two-year offer, we have unresolved concerns about the protection of established pay differentials between Driver Managers and Driver Grades. Once clarified, all members will be invited to vote for or against a deal in an online referendum with details of the offer and your reps’ recommendation. Your reps appreciate your patience while steps are taken to ensure the best deal for members, with pay backdated to 1 July.

We understand that a company communication contained an error that stated TSSA had agreed to recommend the offer. This is not the case and we have clarified the position with HR.

Timetable changes getting to you?

Your Reps are increasingly concerned at the impact of the May timetable on members’ health, safety and welfare. While our reps seeking additional support and resources for members, they hear that some members feel compelled to work excessive hours and work continuously without proper breaks.

Members are reminded of their legal right to an uninterrupted 20 minute rest break if they are expected to work more than six hours, or compensatory rest where appropriate. For more information, see our reps bulletin at Your employer has a legal duty of care to avoid injury to your mental

or physical health, including through risks arising from fatigue. Report concerns about any negative health impacts to your TSSA rep and appropriate managers. Be aware that TSSA members who suffer personal injury (physical or mental) as a result of negligence have free of charge access to our Solicitors. For information, see

Remember: If it’s not safe, don’t do it!

“First Call”

Members have reported that “First Call” is being introduced in some areas without training or agreement for all staff. The General Grades pay deal included a commitment that staff would report initial sickness to First Call. The Management Grades pay offer (see opposite) sets out a similar position, with support for the implementation.

Throughout talks, HR have assured reps that First Call can only be used if it replaces established sickness reporting for all staff in all grades. We are seeking assurances that members will only be required to report sickness absence once relevant managers and supervisors have been adequately trained.

Can you help?

We are working to ensure that we have elected TSSA reps to support members in all recognised grades across WMT. If you are interested in getting involved as an industrial, health and safety, learning, or equality representative, speak to one of our reps or contact the Members’ Helpdesk for details.

Please share this newsletter with colleagues and ensure there’s a copy on your union noticeboard.

Please encourage colleagues not in a recognised union to join TSSA now:

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