Our Ref: BR2/0146
9th August 2018
ACTION ON SATURDAY 11TH AUGUST 2018 SUSPENDED – MEMBERS INSTRUCTED TO WORK NORMALLY
ROLE OF THE GUARD & EXTENSION OF DOO – SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY
Following recent discussions with the company, a draft framework has been received. Your Lead Officer and company council considered the company’s offer and whilst movement has been made, there are still concerns around the framework. The Unions National Executive Committee believes that it is important to enter into further discussions around this framework to see if an agreement can be reached and a resolution found to this dispute.
The NEC instructed me to write to South western Railway stating that they have considered this matter and would consider suspending the upcoming action on Saturday 11th August 2018 only on the following basis:-
• That SWR enter into talks with RMT over the latest framework offer by Monday 13th August 2018.
• If any employee has not seen notices stating this action has been suspended, they will not be subject to any form of remedial action for subsequently not booking on for duty.
• That the union receives a response to this letter by 1600 today, to allow action to be suspended.
Furthermore, I informed SWR that if our negotiating team are satisfied that talks are meaningful and constructive, the Unions National Executive Committee will guarantee that the action called on 18th August 2018 will be suspended. In order for this guarantee to take place the RMT negotiating team will need to respond to my Executive Committee by 10:00 on Thursday 16th August 2018. This will allow a further two weeks of talks and for the company to produce an offer that can be reviewed by the union and for any further action to be suspended.
SWR has responded by the above deadline and has agreed to meet our representatives on Monday 13th August 2018. Therefore, the NEC has suspended the action called for Saturday 11th August 2018 and you and your colleagues are instructed to work normally.
At the moment, however, the strike action planned for Saturday 18th August and the 48 Hour strike due to commence on Friday 31st August will remain on, but, the NEC will reconsider the matter if progress is made.
I will of course keep you advised of any developments which arise in the ACAS discussions, but, in the meantime, I'd like to again thank you all for the principled stand you are taking to defend the safety critical role of the guard. There is no question that the solidarity you have shown has forced the company into further talks.