Breakdown in Industrial Relations – Babcock Rail

Breakdown in Industrial Relations – Babcock Rail

6 July 2015


Newport Maindee

Our Ref: BR4/14/2

6th July 2015

Dear Colleague,

Breakdown in Industrial Relations – Babcock Rail, Newport Maindee

I write further to my letter dated 2nd June 2015 in relation to the above matter. As I previously stated there was a very clear breakdown in industrial relation between your union and the company due to the following issues; the way in which the company handled your transfer from Newport Maindee depot to Bristol, particularly the failure to meaningfully consult regarding the proposed closure as well as the introduction of new job descriptions without prior consultation and breaches of the recognised rostering agreements. I informed the company that we were in a dispute situation and commenced preparations for a strike ballot.

Your union always remains available for talks and clearly the threat of strike action focused the minds of the company as they agreed to discuss the matter further. Significant progress was made at these talks and your representatives fought your corner hard. Agreement has therefore been reached in principal in relation to the three disputed issues as follows;

•    Failure to meaningfully consult regarding the closure of Newport Maindee Depot; Network Rail have advised that Babcock and Network Rail staff will vacate the Maindee depot on 31st July 2015 and will move to a suitable alternative site within the Newport Area. If a suitable site has not been found by 31st July 2015 then temporary site cabin accommodation will be provided in Newport as a temporary measure.  Also, all protected employees who transferred into Babcock shall retain their terms and conditions.

•    Introduction of new job descriptions with no consultation;
The company acknowledged that no agreement had ever been reached regarding new job descriptions and the status quo shall therefore prevail.

•    Breaches of the recognised rostering agreements;
Previously there had been no fixed rosters and members were rosted daily which clearly breached the restructuring agreements and principals of rostering. The agreement reached was the implementation of a 13 week fixed roster. The roster blocks will; be identified on the basis of a rostering period of 13 weeks, the roster will be issued prior to the commencement of the roster blocks and these will equalise on the basis of the 140 hour per 4 weeks or 455 hours per 13 weeks. Balanced and Variable turns may be rostered in the cycle ranging from a total week free from duty to a maximum of 48 hours in any week.

I am sure that you will agree that this marks significant progress on behalf of your union. Bearing these developments in mind the ballot for industrial action has now been suspended pending the feedback on the satisfactory implementation of the agreements reached in principal at this meeting.

I shall write again with any further developments,

Yours sincerely
Mick Cash
General Secretary

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