Our Ref BR2/4/4
31st May 2018
TO ALL RMT REPRESENTATIVES AT SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY
DISCIPLINARIES DURING INDUSTRIAL ACTION - SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY
I am writing to all South Western Representatives in relation to SWR’s abuse of the disciplinary procedures whereby they have dismissed two members and failed to carry out processes clearly laid out in our longstanding agreements. We also have serious concerns about the accuracy and validity of disciplinary minutes which in these cases appear not to be an accurate record of proceedings. Punishments are becoming ever more disproportionate and SWR have failed to address to concerns we have raised over these abuses.
Due to our concerns over the accuracy of hearing minutes, legal advice has been sought over the possibility of recording Fact Finding and Disciplinary Hearings. The advice we have received is that the recording of hearings must be mutually agreed with the Hearing Officer. To assist reps we have produced a pro forma (attached) which we recommend reps take to all future disciplinary and investigatory meetings asking permission to record proceedings. To be clear, it is not possible to refuse to take part in a meeting if this request is refused however it should be noted for the record in the minutes.
Any refusal to this request from management should be formally noted for the record in the minutes and also the enclosed pro forma should be completed to confirm the decision either way. You should also send an email to the Hearing Manager confirming the refusal and asking that this is placed on file so that there is a clear record.
As regards the wider issue of our two dismissed members, an urgent meeting is being arranged with local representatives at Bournemouth, Company Council representatives, the Regional Organiser, Senior Assistant General Secretary and the National Executive Committee to discuss the way forward. The NEC has also just decided to conduct a ballot of all our Commercial Guards members at Bournemouth and Weymouth for strike action and industrial action short of a strike in defence of our members. Furthermore I have requested a Director’s Review at Managing Director level with First Group to discuss these cases and the shambolic way it has been handled with the aim of overturning the decisions made by SWR.
I will keep members fully informed of developments.