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Avanti Coronavirus Update

30 June 2020

TSSA representatives continue to be in discussions with Avanti management regarding a stepping up of services following the easing of lockdown by the government.

Much of the regulations and guidelines for this return to ‘the new normal’ are governed by high-level talks at the Railway Industry Coronavirus Forum (RICF) and it would be appropriate to detail some of the most important, all of which have been agreed by Avanti.

• There is no change to the current social distancing measures. Where possible staff should continue to work from home. The 2m distancing rule still applies to all railway staff - as agreed at the RICF last Thursday.

• Any task that requires or has the potential for the 2m rule to be breached should be fully risk assessed. Risk assessment must be consulted on with the local TSSA H&S rep.

• If no risk assessment has been carried out, then that activity should NOT be undertaken until the assessment has been produced and consulted with TSSA representatives.

• Activities that require a mask and/or visor to be worn, should be for a minimal length of time only.

• TSSA will not accept ticket or reservation checks being undertaken on trains.

• Tickets should not be issued at barriers, gatelines or other areas away from ticket offices.

• Tickets should only be issued from ticket offices from behind transparent screens.

• TSSA is pressing the company to install permanent floor to ceiling screens to protect ticket office staff better going forward.

Also - members should be aware that they may refuse to start work or continue working in circumstances where they believe their health and safety has been or may be compromised.

It is important to note that Avanti have said that staffing will be determined by footfall and requirement rather than an arbitrary return to full rostering and this should also be consulted at a local level.

Redeployment of Staff

TSSA has welcomed the fact that stood down catering staff are being redeployed to supplement station staff. However, TSSA's position is that these staff can only be deployed on stations once all station staff are back working normally. That means working to normal rosters, with any usual overtime or rest day working being carried on.

The catering staff are available to assist station staff only - they must not substitute for station staff. Any risk assessments relating to station activities must be consulted with station reps first before any consultation with catering reps. This position has also been agreed with Avanti.

TSSA also needs more local H&S reps, so please contact Lou George (georgel@tssa.org.uk) or Steve Coe (coes@tssa.org.uk) to find out more.  

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