Our Ref: BR2/14/2
21st January 2020
BREACH OF THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT – CROSS COUNTRY
As you are aware, the union entered into an avoidance of disputes meeting with Cross Country to discuss the recent issues that were raised at the dispute resolution meeting. I can now advise that following the avoidance of disputes meeting an agreement was reached with cross country. The details of the agreement are as follows:-
It is proposed that the current arrangements for employees covered by the RMT (other than those that already receive more than the 33 weeks at full pay) be replaced with an enhanced entitlement of 33 weeks full pay for employees commencing maternity leave including the following additional T&C:
“An employee will not be entitled to enhanced maternity pay unless they return to work for a combined period of 9 months after the first period of maternity leave has ended. (This includes 3 months to ensure no repayment of the first enhancement of maternity pay is required and then a further 6 months qualifying period to become eligible for a second period of enhanced maternity pay). This condition applies to all further pregnancies following the first occurrence of enhanced maternity pay.”
The enhanced arrangements would apply to those employees commencing maternity leave on or after the date of resolution of this potential trade dispute.
Whilst the agreement falls short of our aspirations of 39 weeks, it is a significant improvement from the previous arrangement of 7 weeks full pay to the proposed 33 weeks full pay. This will also allow the union to seek improvements at the upcoming pay talks.
Cleaners Holiday Pay
An agreement was reached that the first 20 days will be paid to cleaners at average earnings, in accordance with the 2016 holiday pay agreement, all other leave will be paid at the hours they would have been rostered. Additionally, significant progress has been made amongst the Company Council with regards to developing a set of rostering principles for the Cleaners grade of staff. A further meeting is arranged in relation to this.
An interim measure in relation to holiday pay has been reached, with more work on this matter being required and with further meetings planned to resolve this issue.
Sunday Working – Edinburgh CSA
It is proposed to form a joint working party led by the Customer Service Director in January 2020 with a view to finding a mutually acceptable way forward that will deliver safe dispatch of train service operation and other associated activities on a Sunday at Edinburgh.
Whilst we have unfortunately not found an amicable solution to this issue, some positive dialogue has already taken place, with further meetings scheduled.
Drivers Recognition & Supervisory and Clerical Grades Recognition
The company has confirmed that the RMT union is a recognised Trade Union for Drivers, Supervisory and Clerical Grade employees.
Changes to management Grade Terms & Conditions to Undertake Guard Duties
The company has given assurances that there are no plans to change management grade terms and conditions to incorporate the undertaking of Guard duties.
The National Executive Committee considered this agreement and noting the significant progress made has recommended acceptance of the document. Acting under the instruction of the NEC I have informed the company that we are no longer in dispute and that we fully accept their proposals. I have asked that the company immediately implement any changes and ensure these proposals are implemented to the satisfaction of our members.
I would like to thank you all for your hard work and determination throughout this dispute. I trust this keeps you all fully advised and I will of course keep you updated on this issue should further matters arise.