Our ref: HSR/2/29
Head Office Circular: NP/79/21
11th March 2021
To: The Secretary
NETWORK RAIL – VEHICLE SPEED WARING SYSTEM (VSWS)
In response to RMT’s concerns, Network Rail’s Chief Health and Safety Officer wrote to me on 24th February. Although the company has agreed to retain speeding matters within the principles of Fair Culture, it is however providing revised guidance and simplifying the Fair Culture procedure for driving offences.
Network Rail is proposing that “significant speeding events, those either over the speed limit by 20mph or over 15mph in a 20mph zone, that would result in drivers being taken to Court by the Police for their exceedance will in Network Rail, result in a fair and transparent disciplinary investigation, rather than a safety investigation and be designated as a reckless contravention. Repeat exceedances following retraining may be subject to misconduct and will also follow a disciplinary investigation approach.”
Considering this response, your National Executive Committee noted and adopted the following resolution at its meeting on 9th March 2021:
That we note the report on file and the correspondence from the company and that Network Rail are proposing the reintroduction of VSWS. We further note that the correspondence from the company states that they agree to retain speeding matters within the principles of Fair Culture, they go on to state that some speeding offences will go straight to a disciplinary investigation. It is our view that the company intend to use this to dismiss our members. This Union supports the VSWS programme as it currently exists, however we do not support the use of cameras in vehicles or the removal of speeding offences from Fair Culture nor the proposed disciplinary process for speeding.
Accordingly, the General Secretary is instructed to write to Network Rail informing them of our position and should they seek to impose this revised system at the end of March as set out in their letter, we will be in dispute. The General Secretary is further instructed to prepare a ballot matrix of all our Network Rail Members.
Members to be informed by text and email.
Relevant Branches, Regional Councils and Reps to be advised.
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.