Network Rail – Track Worker Safety 019+

Our Ref: HSR/2/15
Head Office Circular: NP/269/16
 18th November 2016

The Secretary

Dear Colleague

Network Rail – Track Worker Safety 019+

Further to Head Office Circular, NP/257/16, 28th October 2016 a meeting has taken place at Director level with Network Rail and our senior representatives.  The National Executive Committee have considered a report of the outcomes from this meeting and have carried the following resolution:

Further to our decision NWW 27th October 2016 we note the report on file from our representatives following a meeting with the company on the 17th November 2016. We note from the report that the company have failed to guarantee that sufficient resources will be provided for compliance with the current or any new standard.

In response to our requests to assess and commit to addressing thoroughly the shortfall in resources which in the current arrangements lead to non-compliance and are likely to do so in any revised or new standard, the company has proposed a programme of Change Impact Assessments. Network Rail has already commenced this programme and will be rolling it out in the organisation immediately with a view to completing it quickly.

It is our view that this suggested CIA programme is flawed in its conception and will not address adequately the resourcing issue.  The programme would not assess the problems in each discipline, section or Delivery Unit but would merely be a snapshot and superficial exercise that would not be meaningful. Importantly, it would make no attempt to address the current lack of resources and would in fact ignore them and only address change going forward. In doing so it would deliberately ignore what we already know to be significant shortfalls in resources currently existing.

Instead of this superficial exercise, the RMT is demanding a comprehensive audit of resource requirements under the present standard and of those required for any new standard.

Therefore this NEC is of the view that we cannot endorse the participation of our Representatives in the Change Impact Assessment programme as this would give the impression that we endorse and support what we believed to be a flawed and ill-founded initiative.

The General Secretary is instructed to circulate this decision to Branches and Regional Councils and also to ensure that our Representatives are made aware that they should not participate in the Change Impact Assessment programme. The General Secretary is also instructed to inform the company of our position

Despite being made aware of our stance in this matter, that RMT will not participate in workshops or standards development work, the company have still approached representatives urging them to become involved in the process. The NEC Decision is clear, that the path the company are choosing to follow is flawed and ill-founded. Representatives should make it clear if they are approached by management to participate in this work then the request should be declined.

I am acting in accordance with this instruction. Please bring the contents of this circular to the urgent attention of relevant members.

Yours sincerely
Mick Cash
General Secretary