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Network Rail Newsletter Friday 11 Sept 2020

11 September 2020

The latest news for TSSA members at Network Rail including updates on Route Control, Covid-19 travel allowances and Return to Workplaces

Out of Control?


Incident Officers roles removed with no contract agreed for the new jobs

On Monday, a new role, Senior Network Delivery Manager (SNDM), willreplace Incident Officers in 2 Regions, with other Regions set to follow suit. Only problem is Network Rail have 'forgotten' to introduce a contract of employment for the job!

The replacement of the nationally templated IO role was not reflected in an amendment to the template, despite the safety critical nature of the job. And different Regions were calling the new job by different titles and even had 2 different job descriptions for the same role.

Once the eagle-eyed TSSA Reps spotted the situation it was quickly escalated to the National Management Council so that we could ensure a consistent job description/title and ensure that the new role appeared on the national template for Control. We asked to negotiate a contract and hold a vote amongst the affected members over whether they agreed.

This was over 6 weeks ago. Plenty of time to get the matter resolved before the go live date and give the Company a chance to rectify the 'oversight'. And very reasonable from your Union in the circumstances.

But, the business chose to waste the first 3 weeks in inactivity and only finally met with your Reps after a rather shirty email was sent by one of our Organisers.

We have resolved the JD issue and the template but have still had no offer on pay and conditions to date. Nothing that would reflect the variety of hours and shifts being introduced for the SNDMs. Or provide for overtime payments as the TOIL arrangement in place for the IOs has not been effective with many simply racking up days and days owed.

This situation should be a huge embarrassment to Network Rail. The SNDMs are Gold Command in the Control Rooms. These are senior people who deserve a greatdeal more respect than they are being given.

At the time of writing, Network Rail have not even offered an interim solution while we sort out this total fiasco.

TSSA advice is that SNDMs do not volunteer for any overtime shift until the situation is resolved.

Your Union will be invoking the avoidance of dispute procedure to escalate the matter next week.

Route Control Managers submit collective grievance

RCMs are justifiably angry that massive unjustified pay differentials amounting to thousands of pounds exist between people undertaking the self-same role.

In addition, many RCMs are now being paid less than the Controllers they manage, workloads are uneven and line management duties are having to be undertaken on rest days.

This is another example of the chaotic way in which the business and safety critical Control function is being managed.

On the one hand Network Rail say that they want to have a consistent and transparent structure in Ops, on the other hand, they are doing the exact opposite.

Your Union is determined to hold the business to account and ensure that our members are fairly treated and that some logic is restored to Control Room Operations. This is essential for the safe and reliable operation of our railway.

Covid-19 Travel Allowances

Travel Allowances payable to key workers which enable people to get safely to and from work during the crisis are set to be removed at the end of the month.

Your Union has written to the Company pointing out the rise in new cases, local lockdowns and the major worry about another big spike.

Our position is that the additional travel allowances should be retained for the time being in order that our members can safely access their workplaces without increased risk to them, their colleagues or their families.

Return to Workplaces

An increasing number of members are reporting being placed under undue pressure to attend a physical workplace.

Please remember that an individual risk assessment needs to be carried out before you can safely return. And if you can continue to be as effective working remotely, then why the need to return to a workplace?

If you feel under pressure or are being asked to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable, please contact your TSSA Rep as soon as possible.

TSSA membership continues to rise at Network Rail

More and more Network Rail staff are choosing to join our Union. And more members than ever are coming forward as Reps.

The bigger we are, the more influence we have, so if you know a colleague who's not yet part of TSSA, please ask them if they'd like to join

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