Pay and news update

From Tracy Wines – Full Time TSSA Organiser East Midlands Railway (EMR).

Several meetings have taken place with Senior Management to discuss your pay claims and begin negotiations. Two claims were submitted, one for Fleet members and one for Customer Services members. EMR have been consistent with their responses for both sets of staff.

As you will be aware, for the last year, EMR along with other TOCs, have been operating under the DfT. The government have and continue to provide huge financial support to the TOCs and with that support they also have a say in how TOCs spend money, including any staff pay rises. The DfT have said there is no money for staff pay rises this year or indeed for last year, as you know last year’s pay negotiations are still outstanding.

The DfT have said the only way they will consider authorising any pay increase is if there is increased productivity. We asked EMR to tell us exactly what productivity they were looking for and what each element would be worth in monetary terms. What they came back with was quite a shopping list of what they wanted from you, but were only prepared to give peanuts for it. 

Your staff reps made it clear that your T&Cs are not for sale and that we shall not trade off productivity on the cheap. We have agreed to explore additional productivity linked to new technology, and we shall seek your views on the final proposal as to whether it is acceptable or not.

We asked EMR/Abellio to fund a pay rise, they said NO. We asked them to look at other ways in which they could reward their staff to show their appreciation of all that you have done throughout this pandemic as "key-workers".

We asked them to make First-Class travel available to all staff for 12-months, especially given that passenger numbers are low, they have refused. We asked them to award staff vouchers (M&S) they refused. We have asked them to give a no-compulsory redundancy guarantee for the length of the pay deal, they refused.

I would urge you all to speak with your staff reps and let them know what your thoughts are around a productivity deal, what is acceptable and what is not. Neither myself or your reps are mind readers, so if you do not speak up and tell us what you want, we will not know.

We shall of course strive to get you the best possible deal, but there will only be so much we can achieve via negotiations. At some point, you will need to decide what you are prepared to do.