Customer Experience - Station & Travel Centre Grades
Proposal for Change - April 2017
This paper sets out the Company’s revised proposals for change across our Station and
Travel Centre grades and supersedes all previous proposals.
This précis provides an overview of the Company’s vision for the future of our Station and Travel Centre teams and the phased approach to the overall change programme. The précis also sets out the methodology the business will adopt to move to the new structure, through the use of voluntary redundancy and vacancy management.
This précis will set out clear parameters for how we will work with our trade unions to ensure that the implementation of change is planned, ensuring business resilience and employee welfare are paramount.
A series of meetings will be scheduled to work collaboratively with our trade union representatives to build our future station and travel centre organisation.
We want to move to an operational context where the business model for each station and travel centre environment is responsive to the unique characteristics of each location. The business model for each location will take into account whether the station is VTEC or Network Rail, passenger volumes, contracts and other unique local dynamics. Each station business model will endeavour to operate in an agile, flexible and efficient manner to enable expedient response to changes in customer activity, diagramming and disruption.
The uniqueness of our station locations needs to be respected rather than overlooked by the imposition of a standardised business model that cannot acknowledge local factors. The vision for each station location is therefore reflective of the potential in each location to operate using future ready ways of working and technology. This approach responds to a recognition that past standardisation approaches have resulted in inefficiency and a lack of coherence across station locations.
Our Station and Travel Centres will be efficient, and fit for the future, working towards a multi skilled approach to resource; with valuable roles providing amazing customer experience, enabling improved efficiency and greater flexibility and agility across our business.
Phase One: Efficient and Fit for Today
Recognising that the ideal business model for each location will be achieved through an incremental process rather than structural transformation, this stage of change will set out an approach to reconciling the implementation of various change projects, with the desire to realise trade union aspiration to honour and accept all voluntary redundancy applications (detailed in Appendix A).
In preparation for understanding how this reconciliation can be best achieved, Appendix C sets out the current anticipated impact upon establishment numbers by grade within each station location alongside a reconciliation of the impact of change projects and the business’ capacity to accept redundancy applications (Appendix B). Each change project has been devised to progress incrementally our journey towards a multi skilled and agile workforce.
Each project plan has been collated to understand the aggregate impact of all change projects within each station location. This station by station assessment will then enable a robust and comprehensive approach to understanding our business resilience tolerance parameters by role and location. This will then enable us to ensure that in accepting voluntary redundancy applications, in their current locations will not impede the viability of our business operations.
In this phase we will be reviewing work activities and establishments by location to understand where redundancy applications may be accepted to achieve a reduction in headcount applying the following methodology;
1. In order to identify priorities across station & travel centre roles, all roles will be confirmed as ‘Red’, ‘Amber’ or ‘Green’ according to their critical impact upon the organisation. The rating of these roles will factor in to account the impact of implementing all change projects.
a. Red roles will represent roles that must be back filled in all circumstances to maintain station viability.
b. Amber roles represent roles that require decisions or activity that has not yet been implemented before they can be released without the requirement for back fill.
c. Green roles will represent a low risk role that is ready for removal immediately or within the near future with no impact from not back filling the role. A schedule for release will be agreed and these roles will be the first to be released.
2. Red roles require posts released under redundancy to be backfilled and therefore
individuals’ within ‘red’ roles will only be released within the redundancy scheme where their vacancy is manoeuvred through targeted selection within the location to an alternative ‘green’ role within the given station or travel.
Vacancy management involves the purposeful movement of vacancies from a location where accepting a VR application will not realise headcount reduction (because it has to be back filled) to a location where it can be (because the role does not require back fill to maintain operational viability.)
Closing the VR Scheme
In order to support early consideration of voluntary redundancy applications the current scheme will be closed to receipt of formal applications as soon as practical following the opening of consultation.
The VR scheme must be closed in order to cap the numbers associated with the headcount reduction. An approach to honour the union aspirations to accept all VR’s will dictate the number of reductions that will be applied across the route. At the current VR application ratio, we have already exceeded the ceiling for reductions anticipated against the change projects. Therefore, to ensure that VR de-selection is not required, the scheme must urgently be closed by agreement.
Reconciling VR and Vacancy Management
In order to ensure that we integrate the approach to releasing for VR and maintaining business resilience, vacancy management schedules will be individually managed for each station location. This process will be accountable for guaranteeing that no business critical role is released for VR until a fully trained person is operationally effective in role to replace them. It is anticipated that local representatives will be fully included in agreeing release dates for voluntary redundancy to help secure operational resilience as a priority.
1. Station Gate Line Review
Associated FTE change -9.6 (including + 2FTE at Kings Cross)
During the second half of 2016 we held a series of meetings relating to our Stations and
Travel Centres précis for change.
In the period that has followed a number of activities have taken place:
• We have reflected on the feedback received from Stations Functional Forum
• Completed the enhanced gateline trial at Kings Cross
• Re-reviewed our current gateline operation
Following this activity the company is proposing to progress the withdrawal of gatelines from the following locations;
It is proposed that all other gatelines will be maintained and in line with the Committed
Obligation below the hours of operation will be extend:
From 1 July 2017, the Franchise Operator shall increase weekday gateline operating hours to 06:00 to 20:00 at King's Cross, Newcastle and all Stations with automatic ticket gates.
This will mean a proposed increase in the establishment of the gateline at Kings Cross by an
FTE of 2.
The introduction of gatelines was designed to allow the business to protect revenue efficiently across a number of our stations. The business case for this was produced before
the gateline was installed at Kings Cross and this introduction changed the dynamics of our gating operation. In addition the company has introduced a team of 30 Revenue Protection Officers who support the protection of revenue on our trains and at our stations.
2. Cash Office Review & Automation
Associated FTE change 0 (Travel Consultants -2, Shift Leaders +2)
Following a review of the current work practices in cash offices it is proposed that 1 shift leader should be introduced at both Edinburgh and Kings Cross and reduce the Travel Consultant establishment at those locations by the same number.
3. Despatch Review including Time & Motion Studies
Associated FTE change 0
This workstream was established with a representative from each region analysing whether the current rosters and establishments are correct for the current number of services.
Historically the rostering of people at our stations has been designed in a three team structure providing an early, a late and a RDR/Spare ratio. The rosters have been ‘tweaked’ and honed over a number of years and have also been subject to flexible working agreements and part time working. As a result the rosters might potentially be inefficient and there may be savings to be made through more effective rosters.
The results are that rosters have been reviewed using a ‘bottom up’ approach based on the train service demand to establish if there were efficiencies which could be sought through a negotiated roster change and to identify the risks in this strategy.
This workstream has concluded that the current dispatch rosters across our stations are fit for purpose and no change is currently proposed.
4. Seat Reservations
Associated FTE change -2
It is planned that an electronic seat reservation system will be introduced onto our existing fleet which will reduce the need for the manual activity of reserving train services. This will impact roles that are predominantly focussed on this activity.
5. CIP & First Class Lounges
Associated FTE change 0
A review of all CIP and First Class Lounges has taken place and no change is proposed based on this work. It is proposed to further explore the proposition offered in each of our lounges.
6. Luggage Assistance / Luggage Check In
Associated FTE change -6.4
Review of current luggage check in arrangements to withdraw off peak provision of Anglo Scots service. Edinburgh and London Kings Cross teams have a dedicated luggage check in team. The team are permanent employees and work a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, early and late shift. This is supplemented to include a Monday to Thursday check in team during peak timings, which includes: Easter, Summer and the festive period. It is proposed that
the dedicated resource at Edinburgh and London Kings Cross are withdrawn but the seasonal roles continue.
7. Roster Review
Associated FTE change 20.5
A full review of all station and travel centre rosters is underway and an indicative number has been established subject to further analysis and consultation. There will be a focus on temporary contracts and vacancies as part of this process. This review is to help us ensure that all locations are staffed efficiently and appropriately.
8. Transactional Review
Associated FTE change -27.1
A full transactional review across all our Travel Centres has been undertaken, the last transactional review was undertaken in 2010. The same methodology was used as 2010 to give us a consistent view on the change in Travel Centre activities. The output has provided an understanding of changes in customer buying habits and has allowed us to accordingly review the required resource to demand. The analysis shows a reduction in transactions across each of our Travel Centres, 10 Travel Centres with a reduction in transactions of over
Phase Two: Working Together & Changing the Way We Work
Phase two of our stations and travel centre changes will involve the movement towards a multi skilled organisation, with roles enabling greater flexibility and agility across station and travel centre functions. Rather than focusing on small change projects, projects will focus on changes that will really drive the customer experience.
In this phase we will start to think about some of our core activities, reserving and despatching trains and selling tickets, we will review technological solutions as well as considering how we identify and maximise potential revenue streams in order to generate efficiencies within our operation, all against our key principle of taking everyone to amazing.
Further reductions are envisaged to arise as a result of this phase however at this stage we are unable to estimate this accurately without first considering the detail of our future projects; namely our new Azuma fleet as well as other technological solutions across our retail functions.
Collective Consultation Process
The company will follow a process of collective consultation with Stations and Travel Centre Council representatives as outlined within Procedural Agreement One: General Collective Bargaining.
The consultation process will provide the opportunity to understand the company proposals in relation to the establishment reduction proposed, and to enable the representatives to contribute and provide feedback to proposals to achieve this. The consultation process is
primarily to agree the reduction in establishment arising from the implementation of the change projects.
Consultation meetings will be chaired by Claire Ansley (General Manager, North).
During the consultation process input may be required from local representatives and managers relating to location specific detail. Where local representative input is required this will be through release for staff side meetings or meetings agreed through the Joint Council consultation meetings.
In advance of formal consultation the company have provided the RMT Executive with a number of assurances relevant to this change programme;
• No compulsory redundancies will arise from this change programme;
• The company will adhere to current P,T,R&R Arrangements inclusive of salary protection.
Over and above these reassurances, we also wish to provide reassurance that the change program will:
• prioritise business resilience in each station location;
• ensure that employee welfare is paramount;
Phase One establishment reductions are proposed to be implemented with effect from 1st September 2017. However each location will need a localised plan for vacancy management and VR release schedules. These will reflect implementation of projects to enable release as well as vacancy manoeuvring measures locally.