TSSA brands Network Rail 'chaotic and incompetent' in dispute over 10,000 job cuts

Network Rail engineers in high vis and hard hats at Warrington Bank Quay station

TSSA today lambasted Network Rail's "chaotic and incompetent" management of their voluntary severance programme.

The Times is reporting than "more than 10,000 jobs" will be lost in our rail industry. TSSA is involved in an industrial dispute with Network Rail over their proposed implementation of job cuts which have so far seen management grade staff within the company targeted for severance.

TSSA also claims that Network Rail has breached the principles of an industry wide Special Voluntary Severance Scheme in multiple areas, including failing to agree criteria for acceptance of applications to the scheme, with the trade union, and the lack of an appeals process.

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, said: 

"Network Rail's handling of the industry wide Special Voluntary Severance Scheme (SVSS) has been chaotic and incompetent from the start. They’ve written to their staff looking for volunteers to go – and talked to the press – without first identifying which parts of their business can afford to lose staff, or where they need to keep them. That’s no way to run a business.

"If they carry on like this Network Rail is likely to end up having to recruit expensive contractors to fill the gaps in staffing which their incompetence will create – a waste of public money.

"Failure to agree criteria for acceptance/rejection of applications to the SVSS with our union means that their processes are ripe for discrimination. We’ve tried to negotiate these criteria in good faith, but Network Rail have refused to listen.

"All we’re asking is that Network Rail identify their future business plans and share them with us so that our members will know whether they should apply for voluntary severance or not, bring in agreed consistent, clear and fair criteria for acceptance of applications to the SVSS and guarantee that there will be no additional workload for those who remain.

"Our members know they deserve better than how Network Rail is treating them and that’s why we’re in an industrial dispute. Unless this issue is resolved quickly. we’ll have no choice but to ballot our members for industrial action."

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