Our Ref: HSR/1/3
Head Office Circular: NP/165/20
6th July 2020
To: The Secretary
ALL REGIONAL COUNCILS
LOCAL LOCKDOWN – LEICESTER EMR
Members may be aware of recent reports of a local spike in Covid-19 cases in the Leicester area. Our Lead Officer for East Midlands Railway has contacted the company to discuss how they intend to react to this change, particularly as it comes at a time when the Government have commenced a rush to ease lockdown restrictions elsewhere in the country.
We have sought an urgent meeting to revisit the company’s Covid-19 risk assessments which underpin safe operations and working practices in line with the RICF 2 principles.
We are seeking to ensure the Covid-19 risk assessments include dynamic provisions should a local lockdown occur, specifically that in that circumstance train stopping patterns at stations within the lockdown area will revert to RICF 1 timetable, that provision to temporarily alter depot for those who live outside the lockdown area but work inside it, and the opposite and also to temporarily alter crewing arrangements to prevent train crew from outside the lockdown area unnecessarily travelling in to undertake jobs and the opposite.
A further report was then submitted stating that the company has confirmed that no reduction in existing safety measures or method of working will be introduced in relation to the above matter; that police are being drafted in from Birmingham and from London to assist in preventing a rush of unnecessary travel out of the Leicester Lockdown area to visit pubs and shops; individual risk assessments are being undertaken for our 18 BAME members who work at Leicester station. The company has declined to reduce stopping patterns through Leicester. The company’s response will be considered by our representatives at our company council meeting of the 8th of July 2020.
These two reports were submitted to the National Executive Committee who, at their meeting on 3rd July 2020, noted and adopted the following report of their Health and Safety Sub-committee:
We note the Regional Organiser’s report. There should be no dilution of the RMT’s health and safety stance in respect of social distancing and requirements for Personal Protective Equipment that is in force around the country, The General Secretary is instructed to raise this matter with the RICF to ask how operations and working patterns will be managed in and when entering Leicester, The General Secretary is further instructed to write to all members in the Leicester area (Network Rail, EMR, Cross Country, taxis and buses) to reiterate the RMT’s position.
Branches and Regional Councils to be informed.
Members to be informed by email and text.
I am acting in accordance with these instructions. Please make the contents of this Circular available to all appropriate members.