Our Ref: BR2/1500
23rd July 2018
HARMONISATION, REVENUE PROTECTION GRADES – GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY
I write with regards to the above matter and to inform you that I have received the following resolution from our Paddington No 1 Branch, advising of the company’s failure to implement Revenue Protection Harmonisation.
“This RMT Paddington No.1 Branch notes the failure of GWR to implement Revenue Protection Harmonisation.
GWR Harmonisation Proposals for Revenue Protection grades (March 2014) “applicable to all those staff in those grades above except where specifically denoted” claimed to create one rate of pay for all Ticket Examiners (TEs), apart from ex-Revenue Protection Officers (RPOs) ring-fenced at £28,000 pa. In reality, this branch has discovered that GWR TEs receive differing rates of pay from £18,000 pa to £23,000 approx.
Discrepancies also exist between different versions of what the correct Harmonised TE rate of pay should be:
GWR’s Pay Agreement with RMT show ex-FGW (GWR) Ticket Examiners paid £25,330 pa;
GWR’s Harmonisation proposals for Revenue Protection grades (March 2014) state that the single rate of pay for TEs at implementation date in October 2014 is £20,994 pa (Trainee TEs start at £17,000 pa);
In June 2017, GWR employed Trainee TEs at Paddington on 12-month, fixed-term contracts at a starting salary of £18,164 rising to £21,097 on completion of probation.
During implementation of GWR Revenue Protection harmonisation, annual pay awards to offset changes in pensionable pay contributions effectively meant that GWR TEs received no real pay rises in 2014, 2015 and 2016. However, from 2017 onwards TEs should have received the same general pay award as all other GWR grades without variation. It appears now that some GWR TEs have received the general pay award, while others have not.
GWR Revenue Protection Management team believe that our TE members should be paid a single rate of pay. Those involved in GWR’s 2014 Revenue Protection Harmonisation negotiations believe that we should be paid a single rate of pay. David Crome (GWR’s Head of Onboard Services) says he believes that we should be paid a single rate of pay and stated at a recent meeting of GWR On-Trains Divisional Council that staff should chase up pay discrepancies individually with their line managers.
We disagree. Advising individual staff members to approach line managers is unlikely to resolve salary issues since most staff are not clear on their agreed rate of pay and have little confidence in GWR’s management. Furthermore, GWR’s usual approach to deal with staff on an individual, case-by-case basis will still leave our members being paid differing rates of pay since not all staff will speak up and management clearly do not know what our agreed rate of pay should be. We need to speak with one voice, as we believe we should be paid one rate of pay for doing work of equal value.
This RMT Paddington No.1 Branch calls on our NEC to thoroughly examine GWR’s Harmonisation Agreement for Revenue Protection Grades (agreed by this union in June 2014), all subsequent GWR annual Pay Awards and pay variations since October 2014, and many subsequent contracts of employment issued to Revenue Protection staff in order to put forward a collective claim to GWR for the agreed harmonised salary to be paid to all Revenue Protection staff together with all backdated monies owed. We demand that our union pursues claims for all back payments of wages owed to be repaid in full without any time limitations on our claim.
We believe that our members have been underpaid by GWR and continue to be paid varying amounts for performing the same role, which is unacceptable and may be evidence of discriminatory treatment of our members.”
Your union’s National Executive Committee has recently considered the matter and notes the resolution from our Paddington No 1 Branch and the sentiments contained within. Therefore, I have been instructed to seek an urgent report from the Lead Officer, in line with the claim set out in the above resolution, by no later than Friday 27th July 2018. Once I have received the report I will place the matter back before the Executive Committee for further consideration.
I trust this updates you on the situation and I will, of course, keep you fully advised on any further developments.