Our Ref B/14/3
8th July 2020
TO ALL RMT MEMBERS AT FIRST SOUTH WEST
FURLOUGH ARRANGEMENTS – CORONAVIRUS – FIRST SOUTH WEST
Further to previous correspondence I write to advise members that the union’s NEC has recently considered a further report from our lead officer as well as legal advice from our legal department over the company’s Furlough proposals.
As you know we have always contended that pay during a period of furlough should be paid at average not basic pay. We have raised this issue with the company including at national level and have also asked affected members to complete L2 forms to pursue unlawful deduction of wages claims.
Further discussions recently took place but the company will not concede this point and have stated that unless agreement is reached then there is a risk members will not be paid at all. In order to get the funding to furlough staff the government now require either individual consent or a collective agreement where there is a recognised trade union.
Obviously our priority is the protection of members and to ensure you continue to be paid during this extraordinarily difficult period of time. With this in mind our National Executive Committee, having considered the views of your lead officer and reps, has decided to accept the company’s latest document in order to ensure members continue to receive a wage.
Now that a collective agreement exists on this issue, the claims for unlawful deduction wages will inevitably fail so we cannot proceed further with the legal claims. Those members who applied for legal assistance from the union will be informed of this directly and I thank them for following the union’s call on this issue.
I will keep members fully informed of any further developments.