Our ref: HSR/1/1
Head Office Circular: NP/194/22
16th September 2022
To: The Secretary
NETWORK RAIL DRUG & ALCOHOL STANDARD WORKING GROUP
Network Rail wrote to me in July 2022 stating its view that consultation was now concluded and changes would be initiated following publication of the updated D&A standard in September 2022.
RMT’s Lead Reps are of a view that this should not be concluded via written correspondence and another meeting should be requested. The company has not adequately addressed all the issues RMT has raised and in particularly the issue where one could potentially fail a D&A test, end up in the disciplinary process, the decision end up being “no case to answer” or to overturn a dismissal at appeal for a breach of the D&A policy, and the individual could have their sentinel card suspended and subsequently dismissed for not being able to perform their duties (“some other substantial reason”).
Further, in August 2022 the company wrote to me sharing an overview of the enhanced process it has established at corporate buildings whilst continuing to protect the dignity and anonymity of employees undergoing a D&A test. This process is being vetted by the Data Protection and Security Information teams respectively.
Also in August, the company wrote to me giving reassurances that the safe return to alcohol breath testing has been comprehensively assessed.; its Occupational Health providers’ clinics have all undergone a COVID-secure risk assessment and the spaces support the return to alcohol breath testing.
At its meeting on 13th September your National Executive Committee noted and adopted the following report from its Health and Safety sub-committee:
We note the responses from lead reps.
We also note documents received from NWR on their Corporate Office DA Testing and report from the lead rep requesting that a meeting be arranged to discuss matters.
We instruct the General Secretary to arrange a meeting with NWR to discuss – and at this meeting to discuss their documents “Corporate Office DA testing” and “breathalyser recommencing” also.
I am acting in line with these instructions. Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.