Our Ref: HSR/1/3
Head Office Circular: NP/355/21
20th September 2021
To: The Secretary
RSSB T1211 PROJECT – DEFINING THE REQUIREMENTS FOR REMOTE CONNECTIVITY TRAIN DISPATCH
I write to inform you that your National Executive Committee (NEC) met on 16th September 2021, to discuss a report from its Health and Safety Sub-committee relating to correspondence received from RSSB. This correspondence related to a research project RSSB are undertaking to develop an understanding of the practicality of enabling remote connectivity of the TRTS (Train Ready to Start) / CD (Close Doors) / RA (right Away) equipment, to ascertain whether there is an economic and risk-based case as to whether to take this forward on a national basis.
The report adopted by the NEC is as follows:
We note the documentation received in relation to the RSSB T1211 Project ‘Defining the requirement for remote connectivity train dispatch’.
We are concerned as to how remote connectivity train dispatch will impact on the safety critical process of train dispatch. That our members carrying out train dispatch duties will not be able to concentrate sufficiently on this role if it is done remotely as they could become distracted by other work. Additionally, we are concerned that the role of station grade members who carry out train dispatch duties will find that the safety critical aspect of their role will be watered down if there is a move towards remote train dispatch, potentially opening this role for contractor staff.
We note that this project comes at a time when employers are looking to review station staffing in relation to train dispatch duties and fear that the outcomes from this project - of the introduction of remote train dispatch - will give employers the ammunition they need to carry out these job cuts.
Give this we recommend that the RMT participate in this project making our concerns clear and reporting back to the NEC at regular intervals in order that we can continually review our engagement in the project.
Branches and Regional Councils 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.