Our Ref: BR6/4/4
7th May 2020
FAIR CULTURE INVESTIGATIONS & DISCIPLINARY PROCESS – NETWORK RAIL
Further to my email of 11th February 2020 concerning the above matter and where I detailed the issues, two Avoidance of Dispute meetings were held with Network Rail on the 6th and 9th of April. A report from the Lead Officer has been considered by your National Executive Committee. Disappointingly the outcome of the Avoidance of Dispute process was for the company to uphold their earlier decision to issue a disciplinary sanction to one of your colleagues – despite conceding a number of points raised by Representatives.
Disciplinary action now appears to be the default outcome of the Fair Culture process – despite the supposed progressive rather than punitive justification for its implementation. This is unacceptable to RMT.
Despite the decision to uphold their earlier unfair decision, Network Rail has stated it is prepared to look into the use of improved technology at the location where the incident occurred and from which the disciplinary action resulted. This is a tacit admission that there was an inherent design or camera positioning fault causing a “blind spot”.
Your colleague was issued a Final Written Warning despite a clean service record of more than 30 years, and the outcome of the incident having been comparably severe as a near exact same case in September 2017 at the same crossing, where the Signaller then received a development action plan.
There is a possibility that other Signallers could find themselves in a similar situation. Despite all evidence to the contrary, the Fair Culture process outcome deemed the member’s action ‘Reckless Contravention’ and not a ‘Slip/Lapse’.
Your National Executive Committee has considered the matter and I have been instructed to ballot all Signallers and Shift Signalling Manager members at East Midlands Control Centre. I am now making the necessary preparations and urge members to ensure that their contact and employment details are current and accurate. This may be done via the website’s e-services accessible from www.rmt.org.uk or calling the Helpline on 0800 376 3706.
I trust this keeps you fully advised on the matter and I will, of course, keep you informed of any further developments.