Our Ref: BR1/14/2
6th January 2021
LATEST UPDATE ON TALKS
MEMBERS TO BE BALLOTED FOR STRIKE ACTION AND ACTION SHORT
BREAKDOWN IN INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS – ATALIAN SERVEST (LNER CONTRACT)
Further to my previous correspondence and where I had informed you that the company had suggested meetings were to be held with our union representatives ‘until all the issues have been discussed and mutually resolved.’ Our Lead Officer and representatives have met with the company to discuss the issues at the heart of this dispute. Disappointingly the company are being deliberately evasive and are not taking our issues seriously.
In November the union informed the company that there has now been a complete breakdown in industrial relations and that a dispute situation now exists between the union and the company. The hope was that outlining the very issues at the heart of our concerns would enable the company to focus their efforts on resolving these important issues. However, the company have done the complete opposite and their attitude towards you and your colleagues has been appalling. The company have shown no regard to the welfare and concerns many of you have and at every opportunity Atalian Servest has either ignored or shrugged off our concerns.
The issues that many of you are concerned about and the issues that the union has advised the company that they must resolve are as follows:
Continuing Pay Irregularities
Signing In/Out from Duty
Minutes required from TUPE consultation meetings held in 2019
Terms and Conditions of Employment
Contracts of Employment
Rostered Hours on the Contract
Proposed changes to Contracts/Hours without agreement
Changes to Rosters without agreement
Circumventing the agreed Negotiating Procedure
Whilst discussions have taken place on the above issues, the company has simply obstructed talks and rather then addressing their mistakes have tried to shift the blame onto others. An update of the talks is as follows:
Continuing Pay Irregularities
With pay day being the 9th of each month, our representatives proposed that all payslips are produced and set out a week in advance, this will allow for any errors or irregularities to be raised, addressed and resolved before payments have been made. The issue of the Atalian Servest’s Help Desk was also raised with our representatives stating that this desk should be operational and fully operated so any queries relating to pay can be addressed in a timely manner and not 3 or 4 days after having to leave a message. The irregularities being experienced at Newcastle and Kings Cross were also raised.
Atalian Servest’s response provided no resolution with management stating that they are unable to commit to any changes and would take our proposal back to the company. Management also reported that they would take our concerns relating to the Help Desk back to the centre, but, offered no resolution to the issue. The company did acknowledge that some irregularities occurred in the November pay. However, management tried to down play the incident stating that the irregularities were minimal. The union reminded the company that any irregularities or errors is one error too many and there is never any justified excuse for these consistent mistakes.
There is no question that the company’s payslips are confusing and the layout makes them difficult to understand. To complicate matters further, Servest also use various codes and abbreviations, which are vague, never explained and are often impossible to decipher.
When this issue was raised with management, they simply stated that the payslips are companywide payslips and any amendments, alterations or additions would need to be agreed companywide.
Signing In/Out from Duty & Continuing Errors with Pay
A number of you and your colleagues have expressed concerns with signing in and out from duty. Our representatives raised the issue with the company and explained that there needs to be a clear and transparent policy for signing in and out of work. Often members are made to stay beyond their time to sign out from duty, even though they are not being paid for it, yet, if someone was to ‘sign out early’ then their pay would be deducted. During discussions the union proposed that each site/location should have a system in place that is ‘fit for purpose’ and allows members to sign in and out without any issues. It is no coincidence that you and your colleagues did not experience the number of pay issues you’re experiencing now, when employed by ISS, where a different signing in and out process was utilised.
Despite making these clear points management simply shrugged off any concerns and stated that Timegate is a time reporting system that is utilised and in operation across the company. Management failed to address our concerns that the system was unable to handle a large number of individuals signing in and out at locations such as Kings Cross and Newcastle.
Minutes Required from the TUPE Consultation Meetings held in 2019
Our representatives have continuously requested the minutes from the meeting, as without them our reps do not have any record of what was agreed concerning the transfer. The company still have not provided these minutes and offered no explanation as to why this was the case.
Terms and Conditions of Employment
Contracts of Employment & Rostered Hours on the Contract
The union raised the issue that staff need to have copies of their contracts of employment and that we required confirmation on the ‘core’ rostered hours of members employed on the LNER contract.
The company acknowledged that contracts of employment were not included when the transfer took place. The union is still waiting on confirmation from the company on the ‘core’ rostered hours.
Proposed changes to Contracts/Hours without agreement & Changes to Rosters without agreement & Circumventing the agreed Negotiating Procedure
During discussions our representatives asked for confirmation that the company would abide by the recognised structure that enables any proposals they may have to change rosters. It was also raised that at locations such as Leeds, management were approaching members and asking them to ‘sign’ a variation of contract. It was made clear to management what our expectations are and emphasising the need for any proposed changes to existing agreements, working arrangements, and rosters must be presented in a document for relevant consultations to be entered into.
Management responded by asking for further information on when these incidents took place. They also outlined their desire to work with the union. However, provided no details on how they aimed to resolve any of the issues discussed.
A number of meetings have since taken place and the company are quite simply dragging their heels. It is frustrating that despite making our position clear the company have provided no explanations or resolutions to our concerns. They are showing nothing but contempt for you and your colleagues and their lack of concern is disrespectful and disgraceful.
The Union’s National Executive Committee has considered this matter and is appalled at the conditions and poor treatment you are all facing. Taking into consideration the reports from our Lead Officer and representatives the NEC has instructed me to ballot you and your colleagues for industrial action.
The ballot for industrial action will commence on Wednesday 13th January 2021 and you will need to ensure you return your voting paper by no later than first post, on Tuesday 2nd February 2021.
To ensure a swift ballot and to have a chance to vote, I urge you to ensure your membership details are correct. If your job title, address or workplace has recently changed, please contact the RMT Helpline by Email at HYPERLINK "mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" email@example.com; alternatively you can call the RMT Freephone Helpline number on 0800 376 3706, the RMT switchboard on 0207 387 4771 and ask to speak to the Industrial Relations Department.
It has never been more vital that we come together and ensure an enormous turnout in this ballot, so I urge all members to vote overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action. We have to send a clear message to Atalian Servest that their blatant disregard for our concerns is unacceptable and we will not allow them to treat us with this clear disrespectful attitude.
I trust this keeps you fully advised on the matter and I will, of course, update you on any further developments.