The joint trade unions (ASLEF, RMT, TSSA & Unite) met this morning with the new Scottish Government Minister for Transport, Graeme Dey, to discuss ongoing issues around pay & rest day working arrangements.
Taking a line from Scotrail, the Minister believes that trade unions should be grateful none of our members were put on furlough or made redundant, but seems ignorant that you have been at work ensuring services for key workers during the pandemic.
The Scottish Government are keen to condemn the Tories for the public sector pay freeze down South, but they are in lock step when it comes to a pay freeze for Scotrail workers while rewarding Abellio millions under the EMA’s.
The fact is that industrial relations between the Trade Unions and Scotrail have plummeted to the lowest level in living memory as Abellio seem hell bent on wrecking the railway as they slink out the door.
We have asked the Minister to take control of the situation as while the trade unions remain ready, willing and able to agree a pay increase which secures the jobs and terms and conditions of our members we have lost all confidence in the ability of Abellio to negotiate in good faith.
The Minister asked the Trade Unions whether we would be willing to take a similar approach to the RIRG on negotiating an "Enabling Framework Agreement", but was less clear on what the Scottish Government plans for the future of passenger rail services in Scotland are. While we did not reach any agreements on this point, the trade unions remain willing to engage with the Scottish Government on any proposals which could impact on our members livelihoods.
The trade unions and Minister have agreed to take some time out to consider our respective points and to reconvene the discussion over the coming weeks. We will keep our members up to date with any developments.
In the meantime, the joint Trade Unions will make an approach to the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) for support in lobbying the Scottish Government to demand that transport workers are given the same treatment as other public sector workers with regard to pay, terms & conditions and job security.