Reintroduction of Onboard Revenue Northern Trains Ltd

Our ref: HSR/1/3
Head Office Circular: NP/30/21
22nd January 2021
To: The Secretary

Dear Colleague,


Further to Head Office Circular NP/4/21, dated 5th January 2021, a response has been received from NTL asserting that, via the risk assessment and control measures in place, NTL’s onboard duties are being conducted in a safe and protective manner for all colleagues.

Your National Executive Committee agreed the following resolution at its meeting on 21st January:

We note the response from NTL; however we disagree.

Firstly they state “all eligible colleagues have supported on- board duties.” This isn’t true as many reps have received questions and concerns over the safety issues especially around the lack of social distancing and non face coverings amongst passengers.

Secondly NTL state about previous endorsements from Health and Safety Reps in regards to risk assessment reviews. However these were in regards to when the infection rates were much lower and before the new variants which have a much higher transmission rate. We are now also in a much stricter level of lockdown than at anytime since the reintroduction of revenue.

We also have strong belief that some managers have been undermining the current agreed process over FFP2 masks, by wrongly telling Conductors if they don’t fit then they have to resume full revenue duties.

Noting that in NTL’s response they note risk assessments “have a number of prescribed controls including, and importantly, the ability for Conductors and Revenue Officers to apply individual discretion and halt revenue duties if they feel unsafe during times of heavy loadings.”

It is our strong belief that social distancing cannot be maintained whilst carrying on board revenue selling, until we have an agreed revised risk assessment which takes into account the new strains. Therefore we advise that members should invoke the work safe procedure agreed by NTL and not partake in on board revenue duties if they feel unsafe.

We therefore instruct the General Secretary to send the work safe procedure via email t0 Northern Trains Conductors. In order to offer protection to our members, he is also to send out the following via text and email to Northern Conductors. This is covered under the last agreed risk assessments.

 “Customers refusing to wear face coverings or social distancing” “If staff feel unsafe they should not engage, and should withdraw from the situation. Report to control and contact TSO/ BTP as necessary”

 FFP2 masks “If a suitable respirator is not able to be supplied to the colleague and they still want one, they should be instructed to wear a standard issue surgical mask and be restricted from duties where social distancing cannot be maintained.”

Further noting our previous decision that we would be in dispute if NTL did not comply with our request. The General Secretary is instructed to inform NTL that we are in dispute over this matter and that a meeting is arranged with The Lead Officer and relevant Conductor Company Council Reps and NTL. Following this a meeting is arranged with the NTL Company Council Reps, AGS and NEC in attendance.

I am acting in accordance with these instructions.

Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary