Our Ref: BR2/14/2

20 December 2017

Dear colleague


You may be aware that discussions have been ongoing for some time over harmonisation of pay and conditions for you and your driver colleagues, with your union being active participants in such talks as they have progressed through the Drivers’ Divisional Council.

During the discussions, management tabled a set of proposals which, in the view of our Relief Regional Organiser who attended, was not a harmonisation package but was instead a restructuring of LTV and West Drivers within the franchise with HSS drivers being ring fenced so that none of the proposals will apply to them. The only Harmonisation would be on the basic rate of pay for all three groups of drivers.

Our Relief Regional Organiser also highlighted other matters which arose in the proposals, such as SDO, ASDO, monitor CCTV and DOO for West drivers being trained to operate DOO on services that have guards at the moment. While management – and another union present – said that this would only be within the present agreed geographical boundaries, there remained a danger of potential loss of Guards’ jobs.

Additionally, discussions were held on proposals surrounding a new grade of depot driver, with the company looking for this grade to pull points, operate shunter duties, refuel trains, oil trains and tank trains. Your union objected to such discussions on the basis that the duties of other grades should be referred to the full Company Council.

PTR&R and Sunday working will now be addressed in two separate talks so as not to get HSS drivers involved although the discussions must be complete by April 2018, with December 2020 being the target to complete pay harmonisation.

Your National Executive Committee has noted these developments and report from the Regional Organiser and has instructed me to convene a meeting of GWR driver representatives and officers, along with the NEC, in order to consider the company’s proposals and the progress made in the harmonisation process.

I am currently making the necessary arrangements to hold this meeting and will provide you with an update following the discussions.

Yours sincerely
Mick Cash
General Secretary