Network Rail General Grades, Bands 5 to 8 and Controller pay talks

Network Rail engineers in high vis doing overhead wires and improvement works at Leeds station

Following the conclusion of Modernising Maintenance consultation, the Joint Council discussions on pay for all general grades, Bands 5-8(and equivalent) and Controllers, resumed on Friday (14th October.)

Progress was made in some areas - for example Network Rail seemed confident that they would achieve all reductions via voluntary severance. As a consequence, they suggested that they could well be in a position to offer a no compulsory redundancy agreement until January 2025.

We were hoping for at least some movement on the pay offer itself, but unfortunately this was not forthcoming. Instead, Network Rail pressed the unions on looking at further reforms and suggest efficiencies savings of our own. This is concerning as it suggests there are plans for further changes and cuts.

Members are reminded that this dispute is not just about pay. We are looking for job security for all and no changes to your terms, conditions and working practices without our agreement.

The outcome of the Modernising Maintenance consultation is as follows.

Voluntary severance (VS) will be offered to a number of roles. Staff wishing to take voluntary severance will be asked to submit an expression of interest. Their application will then go through a Peoples Process to see if they can be let go or need to be retained.

The role of Working Supervisor will be removed completely. Any Working Supervisor applying for VS will automatically be accepted. Those that do not wish to leave will be redeployed and will retain their current T&C’s and rate of pay.

We have throughout the dispute pushed Network Rail to offer a no compulsory redundancy agreement. In respect of Maintenance this has been offered. Any member of staff who is displaced will be offered a redeployment opportunity. As such no one will be made compulsory redundant. This was initially offered until December 2023. However, following the conclusion of the Modernising Maintenance consultations, pay talks for General Grades, Bands 5 to 8 and Controllers resumed on Friday 14th October 22. It was suggested that a no compulsory redundancy agreement could be offered until January 2025 and will be offered to a wider audience. We await further clarity on this point.

Any member of staff displaced by this process will be offered redeployment in line with current PTR&R arrangements.

Staff who are selected for VS will receive redundancy payments in line with the company’s people process used for Bands 1-4. 

The process has also identified the need for a new role of Roster Clerk (Maintenance/Works Delivery). We had concerns around the initial job description for this role. We have submitted a counter proposal to the Job Description and believe this has been accepted.

The next stage of the Modernising Maintenance process will involve consultations at a Regional and Route level. These will not take place until December 2022, to allow for the wider dispute negotiations to progress and hopefully reach conclusion.

To facilitate these consultations and make sure TSSA members are fully represented we will need members to come forward to act as reps. This could be just for the consultation period but could also lead to taking up the role on a more permanent basis.

If you are willing to get involved with consultations, or would like to find out more please contact either;

Chris Hargrave, TSSA Organiser, 

Owen Forrest, Maintenance Co-Ordinator, 

Richard Magner, Maintenance Co-Ordinator,

Steve Weston, Maintenance Co-Ordinator, 

Anyone taking up this position will be fully supported and briefed to ensure they are prepared to take on the role.

General Grades, Bands 5 to 8 and Controller Pay Talks are due to continue on Tuesday, 18 October. We will keep you informed of progress.

In solidarity.

Your TSSA Organising Team