Our Ref: HSR/2/6
4th August 2021
To: ISLAND LINE MEMBERS
ISLAND LINE SIGNAL BOX AND SIGNALLERS
I received a letter from the company setting out steps that had been taken to resolve this issue, including joint inspection by a RMT representative and ORR (Office of the Rail Regulator) of the Signal Box and correspondence from the Lead Officer setting out a list of outstanding issues.
I reproduce the letter below:
I write following your letter of 20th July which has been passed to me for attention. The concerns you raise we treat very seriously, as we have done when concerns have been raised to us directly by your Lead Officer and RMT signalling expert who we have worked with throughout this project. The level of interaction between our teams on these issues has been high in recent weeks and we have engaged collaboratively to work through issues methodically and transparently. This is evidenced by the fact that we had already arranged for your RMT representatives to attend the ORR visit to the Signal Box which took place on 20 July, the day your letter arrived. This was followed the following day, 21 July, by a letter from your Lead Officer to SWR’s Head of Operation Standards containing a list of outstanding issues. My team leading this work used this list to create an action table which then formed the agenda for a further meeting between our teams which took place on Thursday of last week, 22 July. This action table along with the update against each item has since been shared with your Lead Officer. The feedback I have received from this meeting gives me confidence that your representatives are now far more assured by SWR’s approach, noting that there are still actions that require our attention. Importantly, there is confidence that your representatives feel that they have ongoing open channels of communication to raise additional concerns and confidence that these will be taken seriously. I know that a structure is in place for the team to provide continuous updates to your representatives as these actions are worked through. I trust this responses suitably addresses your concerns.
This list of outstanding issues formed the basis of discussion at a meeting between RMT Lead Officer and the Company. And although there are still issues to be resolved, there is now more confidence that the Company will take RMT concerns seriously and a structure is in place to ensure RMT representatives will be updated as these actions are worked through.
Following receipt of the letter from the Company, your National Executive Committee (NEC) resolved as follows at its meeting on 29th July:
That we note the report from the lead officer and welcome the new approach from the company to our members safety and that of all who work on and around the Island Line.
Accordingly, we instruct the General Secretary to take up in line with the report.
Affected members and SWR branches to be advised by text and email.
I am acting in accordance with these instructions and will keep members advised of any developments.
Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.