Voluntary severance comms – Letter from TSSA

NR have issued inaccurate communications regarding our Union's position. We respond robustly…

The letter

The following letter was sent to Alex Hynes and Pauline Holroyd who are leading the Avoidance of Dispute process on SVSS. 

Alex / Pauline

I am writing with regard to the communications issued by Scotland's Railway and Southern Region today regarding the SVSS offer to employees.

Similar comms were issued yesterday by a number of other Regions and Functions which TSSA challenged at our Level 2 Avoidance of Dispute meeting regarding the breakdown in industrial relations and application of SVSS by NR.

We do not accept the statement made that "It's not a redundancy scheme or a dismissal and as such isn't part of our collective bargaining process. This is understood and accepted by the trade unions."

A joint statement was agreed between NR and TSSA via the largely positive AoD process yesterday to correct the mischaracterisation of our position. This was scheduled to be issued at 12:30 today and it was agreed that Regions and Functions would not continue to issue misleading and incorrect statement regarding our Union.

However, both Scotland and Southern have issued the incorrect information to employees today, prior to the nationally agreed message being issued. This has already caused consternation amongst TSSA Reps who are quite rightly highlighting the extent to which this undermines their credibility and causes confusion amongst our members.

Network Rail have now issued contradictory communications to thousands of employees within a couple of hours.

This is not helpful when we are all working hard to resolve a national dispute at Level 2 and with the threat of industrial and legal action on the horizon.

I would ask all parts of the business that have issued incorrect communications either on CONNECT or by email, that clear amendments are posted on their relevant CONNECT page and that this is confirmed with TSSA forthwith.

Furthermore, I would ask that all NR Regions and Functions seek to check comms messages with the Industrial Relations and national HR prior to issue when your messages refer to IR matters or seek to make comment about the position of TSSA.

I hope that you agree to take these reasonable steps in the interests of promoting good industrial relations and that we can put this unfortunate situation down to misunderstanding rather than any deliberate intent.

But repetition of what has transpired is likely to be regarded as deliberate undermining of TSSA and will be responded to as such.

A copy of this letter will be issued to all TSSA Reps at Network Rail and made available to members via the TSSA website.

Best Regards

Luke Chester
TSSA Organising Director
Strategic Organising & Campaigns Team