Our Ref: BR4/8/2
13th February 2020
TO ALL RMT S&T MEMBERS AT READING AND PAR DEPOTS
IMPOSITION OF ROSTERS, PAR AND READING S&T – NETWORK RAIL
I write to advise you that Avoidance of Dispute meetings were held with Network Rail at Route Level in the Western area over rosters affecting members working in the Par and Reading S&T teams. Despite our representatives believing progress had been made in the discussions, management actions following the meeting were in direct conflict with what was jointly reached at the conclusion of the talks.
Management acted to impose rosters which members feel are very clearly:
- Non-compliant with national agreements and understandings
- Potentially unsafe and likely to cause additional fatigue and fitness for work problems for the members involved
- In breach of the agreed process
- Represent a breakdown in industrial relations at the two depots
Your representatives have therefore recommended that members at both depots be balloted for industrial action in protest at management’s actions and this request has been endorsed by the union’s National Executive Committee.
It is obviously wrong for management to impose rosters at any time but to do so after some progress was made in discussions and then to ignore the whole Avoidance of Dispute process that has just taken place is totally unacceptable. I have advised Network Rail this week that a dispute situation now exists between our organisations and the ballot will commence at an early date.
It is clear from the reports that we have received that affected members do not believe this is a minor matter as if management are allowed to get away with imposing rosters unchallenged, then they will be encouraged to impose other changes to terms and conditions and working arrangements. Additionally, success for management at these two depots will inevitably lead to such attacks elsewhere. That is why such actions need to be stopped in their tracks.
Preparations are underway to hold the ballot and at this stage it is important for members to ensure we have your correct workplace information and contact details ahead of the ballot. This can be updated via our website or by contacting the helpline on 0800 376 3706 and by email to firstname.lastname@example.org