GWR: Silence Broken on Pay!

After two years of pay freezes and real terms pay cuts of almost 4%, months of agonising waiting, GWR cancelling pay meetings and uncertainty on job security and pay, today Great Western Railways has broken its silence on your Pay at our first Pay meeting of 2022! (Unfortunately, it is not good news!)

Essentially, the mandate given by the Department for Transport (DFT) expects you to only receive a pay rise with heavy strings attached, in essence they are saying that there is no money in the budget to offer a pay rise so you must agree to workforce change!

The Workforce Change they propose (all be it, light on details) is:

  • Pensions Reform – so in effect an impact on your deferred pay
  • Modernising Retail – or Ticket Office staff taking a hit to fund pay for all
  • Multi Skilling of Stations grades – which would enable the reduction in headcount in those grades to fund pay for all
  • 7 day railway – which looks like it would cost more not less

We had expected some form of pay offer today and whilst our aspirations are something above the Real level of inflation, namely February’s Retail Prices Index (RPI) of 8.1%. To leave the meeting today without a headline figure offered after almost 5 months of radio silence is a slap in the face to all of you who worked throughout the pandemic, have taken on real terms pay cut over the last two years of almost 4% all while inflation sores past 11% and your cost of living rises exponentially. We made it clear that this wasn’t; acceptable and that we would seek a mandate from our representatives to ballot for industrial action.

Meanwhile in the Accounting years 2020 to 2021 all of the Directors pay increased by £126,000 (or more than 18%!) from £685,000 in 2020 to £811,000 in 2021, while you received a real terms pay cut! It looks like only 4 directors were paid direct by GWR (the others were paid by Group) and we know that one left in June 2021 and the highest paid director dropped their pay by £10,000 to £282,000 (or this could have been as a result of a Director leaving perhaps?) so on average the Directors who received additional money received an average pay increase of somewhere between £34,000-45,333 each if not more! More than many of you receive in a full year!

You can access the accounts on line yourself by clicking here

Mark Hopwood attended Company council for a business update in advance of the pay talks (but left before the pay talks started). So I put the above information to him and he advised that part of the figures could be in relation to share options that can only be released 3-4 years after they have been earned. However, I doubt any TSSA members are able to have the choice of releasing share options of such high value when it suits them!

Your Company Council Reps have had enough of being patient and heard enough to understand that the assurances that we were expecting would not be fulfilled in terms of:

  • Pay increases negotiated between TSSA and your company in 2022 for the benefit of our members will be no less than the appropriate RPI measure of inflation.
  • There will be no changes to the terms and conditions of TSSA members within your company during 2022 without the agreement of TSSA.
  • There will be no compulsory redundancies within the company involving members of TSSA in 2022.

Therefore, the pay offer is not acceptable to TSSA members, we will now arrange a meeting of a wider group of TSSA reps this evening with a view to asking for their mandate to ballot you all for industrial action. Whilst we remain open to talks, they must be meaningful, and they must be prepared to offer tangible figures of pay on the table for us to consider!

In the meantime, please understand that:

  • you don’t have to tell anyone you are a member of a Trade Union; you are not required to tell your employer if you are or are not a member.
  • The more members we have the stronger your overall voice so please encourage your colleagues to join MyTSSA.
  • If your reps agree for us to ballot for industrial action then it is important that you ensure your contact details, Mobile phone, email, home address are up to date and correct along with your work information such as job title, grade, workplace. You can update these online if you have created an account by logging to MyTSSA or by emailing our membership team on or phone our members helpdesk on 0800 328 2673
  • Considering standing to be a Trade union rep, or workplace contact if interested please email Alan Valentine who can liaise to see whether there might be an appropriate vacancy for your job role and grade, click here to email Alan

TSSA is a membership run organisation working on behalf and for its members. Joining it is about standing up for your rights and ensuring that you have a say in the workplace rather than just accepting what your employer tells you, let's stand strong and aim to win together!

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Our Rail Our Future

Our dispute with Network Rail and all DfT train operating companies over pay, job security and terms and conditions is settled. Find out more about our campaign.

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