Our ref: HSR/1/3
Head Office Circular: NP/58/21
16th February 2021
To: The Secretary
TRAIN OPERATING COMPANIES’ REVENUE PROTECTION DUTIES
Following analysis of a survey amongst our members required to undertake ticket examinations and revenue protection duties, your NEC noted and adopted the following report of its Rail Industry Coronavirus Advisory Forum/ Rail Industry Recovery Group Sub Committee at its meeting on 15th February:
That we note the resolutions from Birmingham Rail, Burton on Trent and Plymouth No.1 branches and the report from our lead officers on Cross Country trains and LNER. In addition we have considered the results of the survey amongst our members required to undertake ticket examinations and revenue protection duties under the current heightened lockdown restrictions. The survey has provided first hand evidence from key workers of the fears that they have of being required to undertake an activity which can mean them coming into close proximity with passengers during the current lockdown restrictions. It raises key questions of why the majority of TOC’s and governments do not see these tasks as essential but in England the DfT and 7 TOC’s do.
We note in Wales and Scotland and that the majority of TOC’s such activity has been suspended in current lockdown period. We also note that during the first lockdown in March 2020 these activities were suspended across all TOC’s and countries. The key requirement of maintaining social distance in protecting both our members and passengers can not be adhered to in confined spaces such as on board trains when revenue protection and ticket examinations duties are being required to be undertaken.
Turning to the survey, 70 percent of our members are clearly stating that they have worries for their safety and believe that these activities should be suspended during the current lockdown.
In view of the results of our survey and branch resolutions we instruct the General Secretary to write to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps asking that he utilises the arrangements contained in the ERMA/EMA to order the TOC’s to suspend these activities until the cessation of the current lockdown and support similar restrictions in the future. We seek a response by Monday 22nd February 2021 in order to give the NEC the opportunity to consider whether the union should issue our own instruction to our members for their own protection.
In the meantime we reiterate our current advice that members should invoke the worksafe procedure if they feel they are being put in harms way. Further the union makes it quite clear that we will not tolerate our members being put under pressure or being disciplined for refusing to undertake these duties during these restrictions.
For members’ information, RMT’s Serious and Imminent Danger booklet can be viewed at:
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.