Hull Trains Section of the Railways Pension Scheme (RPS)

My Ref: MRP 1/8/9

22nd June 2021

Circular Num: NP/219/2021

To: The Secretary All Branches & Regional Councils

Dear Colleagues,


I refer to my previous Circular, NP/184/21, 2nd June 2021, I can advise that our representatives met with management on 14th June 2021 to try and find a solution to the ongoing pension dispute. While the RMT has always and continues to be open to talks to find a settlement to the current impasse it is disappointment that management approached this meeting with almost contempt and instead of trying to find a lasting solution they issued “their final offer.”

We have made it clear from the very start to company that we are prepared to enter meaningful discussions to prevent the situation we now find ourselves in but for this to happen management must remove the threat of closing the Hull Trains section of the RPS. I need to repeat that this section of the RPS is a well-funded pension scheme, but management seemingly want to ignore the facts and are content to continue on their reckless path.

The final offer which has been made is that management are prepared to offer all employees the same level of employer Industry Wide Defined Contribution (IWDC) pension scheme which are being offered to Directors i.e. if a member contributes 10% the employer will contribute 15% into the members pension pot. This is an increase of 2.5% on management’s previous offered.

While it could be argued that an employer contribution rate of 15% is at a reasonable level for a Defined Contribution (DC) scheme the facts are that even if a member was having 25% being contributed into their pension pot, they would still not build up retirement benefits anywhere near the level you they receive from the RPS. It is also worth pointing out that because the IWDC contribution rate will be based on a member’s total salary they will be paying more in contributions for lower retirement benefits.

I can also advice you that the contempt being shown by management is not only being demonstrated by this weak offer to resolve this dispute but also their attitude towards those members who have a statutory right to receive a pension as good as they would have received before privatisation of the rail industry. Despite the legal advice which has been obtained by the RPS Trustees and the trade union side which states that Hull Trains must honour the promises which were given to those employees with an indefeasible right, management are hell bent on ignoring this statutory protection and will close the final salary scheme to them as well.

This reckless attitude is also demonstrated when it comes to members contracts of employment where again management are ignoring the legal advice and would appear to be preparing to change their employees contacts against their will and rob them of a decent pension in retirement.

I must advise you that following the latest talks with management our representatives have decided that we must step up the industrial action mandate we have received because this is not just about protecting our members pensions it is also about protecting their terms and conditions going forward which is demonstrated by management attempts to change employees’ contracts of employment. While we will challenge management through the courts if necessary, your representatives believe that unless we take full industrial action management will not move away from their irresponsible position.

The RMT National Executive Committee has considered this matter and believes that we have no other alternative than to escalate the dispute and call further strike action across a number Sundays.

Therefore, our members at Hull Trains are instructed not book on for any shifts that commence between:

• 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 4th July 2021
• 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 11th July 2021
• 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 18th July 2021
• 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 25th July 2021
• 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 1st August 2021
• 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 8th August 2021
• 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 15th August 2021
• 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 22nd August 2021
• 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 29th August 2021

Please Note: The below industrial action short of a strike, as advised in my previous correspondence, is suspended during the strike action dates above, but will commence again immediately at 0001 hours on the Monday, following the Sunday after strike action, and end again at 23.59 on each Saturday, on the eve of the Sunday action.

• Overtime ban and rest day working ban.

The Rest Day working, and Overtime ban will then commence again on

• 0001 hours on Monday 30th August 2021 until further notice

I will keep you fully advised on any further developments.

Yours sincerely

Michael Lynch
General Secretary