We are experiencing the biggest cost of living crisis in a generation; at the same time the railway is going through radical change. This is a significant challenge faced by TSSA members and the industry as a whole.
TSSA has put this challenge to your employers, to ensure our members are no longer left behind. Most companies have received pay claims for TSSA members for 2022, and in addition, we have written to your company to make clear what TSSA members’ expectations are.
On 8th April 2022 Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary, sent letters to all TOCs that fall under the Department for Transport and Network Rail seeking the following assurances:
- pay increases negotiated between my union and your company in 2022 will be no less than the appropriate RPI measure of inflation;
- there will be no changes to the terms and conditions of TSSA members during 2022 without the agreement of their union; and
- there will be no compulsory redundancies involving members of TSSA in 2022.
Companies have not agreed to provide these assurances, so TSSA is now in dispute.
What does ‘in dispute’ mean?
When an employer and union cannot agree on an issue, this can amount to an ‘industrial dispute’. By clarifying with the companies that we are in dispute, as they have not made the assurances we have asked for, this means we have the option to ballot members and access dispute resolution processes in our agreements with the company. It does not automatically mean our members are going to go out on strike! The decision to take action is always in the hands of members, when/if we ballot for industrial action.
What happens next?
Your reps are holding meetings to determine what our next steps are, including balloting for industrial action. You can input into these discussions by speaking to your TSSA Rep.
Strategies that achieve for members
TSSA reps are some of the best negotiators and strategists in the UK. They listen to members and don’t just accept what is said to them by their employers. In local reps meetings and our Regional Rail Reform Committee meetings over the next week, your TSSA reps are assessing the best options for members and determining how best to make TSSA members’ voices heard.
Your entire pay claims are broader than the issues in this dispute. Your TSSA reps will continue to meet with the company over your pay claims, the assurances Manuel has asked for and any change processes, so we can resolve this dispute and other claims your reps have put to the company. Participating in negotiations and consultation is part of our strategy for success. When we are in the room, we have options. When we don't show up, we undermine our ability to influence outcomes for the good of TSSA members. When talks fail, we listen to members as to what you want to do. We plan more than one pathway for success.
Members are our power. Getting involved will show our strength. Here's what you can do now:
- Tell your reps how the cost of living crisis in impacting you, and share your thoughts on rail reform and potential industrial action
- Update your details on MyTSSA – so when the time comes to have a say, you receive all relevant communications and of course, ballot papers.
- Attend upcoming member meetings (ask your rep for details on your next meeting)
- Ask your colleagues to join TSSA - it's easy to do online
Keep up to date by checking the TSSA website and making sure you read News on the Go, emailed to all members on Friday afternoons. If you don’t get it, update your email address today. If you aren't sure how to get in touch with you rep, contact the TSSA Helpdesk.