Network Rail: Special Voluntary Severance Scheme – where's your plan?

Network Rail, in a desperate attempt to cut costs, is intending to do away with many of your jobs without even having put forward a single proposal of what new organisation they intend to put in place.

They have not proposed what their future structure may be, the impact of job losses on the workloads of those of you who remain with the company or its effects on the safety of our rail infrastructure, nor even what criteria will be used to determine if an application for voluntary severance would be accepted or declined.

We are left wondering, where’s the plan?

The Rail Industry Recovery Group (RIRG) Framework Agreement provides for the provision of an industry-wide Special Voluntary Severance Scheme (SVSS) – with a common opening and closing date and selection criteria - across the companies included within the Framework Agreement and it also states that there will be full adherence to the bargaining arrangements within each employer.

The purpose of the SVSS is to mitigate compulsory job losses!

Under the auspices of the Framework Agreement, your TSSA Executive Committee gave our General Secretary, Manuel Cortes the authority to fully engage in this process within certain parameters. It's clear that Network Rail want to step outside these parameters and act against the spirit and sensibilities of the agreement and the rest of the RIRG.

The reality is that Network Rail have no idea what new organisation they want. In addition, it's our view that Network Rail is in breach of both the letter and spirit of the RIRG Framework Agreement.

Our Union will not tolerate such reckless behaviour. Network Rail are gambling with your jobs. We are now in dispute with Network Rail and have called for an urgent meeting under the disputes resolution procedures to discuss the differences between the company and our union. To resolve the current dispute all Network Rail need to do is to fall into line with the rest of our rail industry and agree a rational approach to the so called rail reform agenda.

We want to resolve this issue, but our union demands a coherent plan from Network Rail, one that does not breach the RIRG Framework Agreement and one that is fair to those of you who are potentially leaving the industry and those of you who are staying. So Network Rail, it's over to you. Convene a meeting under the disputes procedure without further delay so we can draw a line under this dispute.

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