“Letter to David Brown - ARN
Our Ref: BR2/0146
6th November 2018
Role of the Guard & Extension of DOO – Arriva Rail North
I understand that you have been raising concerns that the union has not responded to your request for further discussions – discussions which you have made conditional on the union calling off industrial action.
I have checked my records and can confirm that you did send a letter dated 19th October which offered little in dealing with the issues at the heart of this dispute. You state quite rightly that the dispute covers two issues the role of the guard and extension of driver only operation. You have tried to split hairs by saying that DCO is different from DOO.
You have also accused the union of changing our minds on this issue. That is not correct the union has from day one made it quite clear that our dispute is about ensuring that every train currently run by Northern Rail continues to be operated with second safety critical conductor on board carrying out the full range of operational duties.
For the record we have achieved settlements elsewhere that have ensured no extension of DOO, and that trains currently running with a Conductor will continue to run with a safety critical Conductor undertaking a full range of operational duties.
Arriva Rail North has signed up to a contract with Transport for the North and the Department for Transport that states you intend to run at 50% of the services without that commitment. Worse than that you have indicated to my representatives during discussions that you would like to run 100% of services in that mode of operation.
You have voiced to us that your hands are tied in that you have committed to your lords and masters to deliver DCO. We have offered to meet with you and the DfT to see if that contractual commitment could be set aside to allow meaningful discussions to resolve the dispute. You have refused on the grounds that the DfT are your client and you have made a contractual commitment to them.
So here is the problem. You give the impression that our talks could be meaningful yet that cannot happen as you cannot offer the union a deal. If you are committed to delivering the contractual commitment how can we have meaningful discussions? The only way progress can be made is if you go back to your clients and seek their permission to withdraw the contractual commitment to introduce at least 50% of services in DCO mode
My question to you is will you do that?
I await your response.”