Safety Consequences of Managers Working Trains during Serco Caledonian dispute

Our Ref: HSR/1/3
Head Office Circular: NP/368/21
30th September 2021
To: The Secretary

Dear Colleague,


I write to inform you that your National Executive Committee met on 23rd September 2021 to consider a report from its Health and Safety Sub Committee. From when the Sub Committee met to discuss a letter from ORR (Office of Rail and Road) in which the regulator explained they were satisfied with the arrangements made by Serco Caledonian Sleeper for those undertaking safety critical roles during RMT industrial action. Also, that the incidents caused by replacement staff on RMT strike days, did not demonstrate a shortfall in safety critical competence, or failure to discharge functions in relation with rules and requirements.

The report adopted by the NEC is as follows:

We note with disappointment the contents of a letter from ORR, in which they respond to the serious h&s issues we raised with them. The ORR write that the Company recognise that “operational inconsistencies” occurred in relation to these events, but the ORR is satisfied that none of these demonstrated “a shortfall in safety critical competence or failure to discharge those functions in accordance with rules and requirements.”

In relation to this the GS is instructed to write to the ORR to note our disappointment at the contents of their letter and noting our concern that so often when it comes to incidents that take place during RMT disputes, which are linked to measures employers have put in place to break the dispute, the ORR do not act with sufficient rigor.

In connection with this, the General Secretary to:
Issue a press release
Raise the issue with the Scottish Parliamentary Group
Secure a debate in the Scottish Parliament

Branches and Regional Councils to be advised accordingly.

I am acting in accordance with this instruction and will keep you advised of developments.

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

Yours sincerely

Michael Lynch
General Secretary