Our Ref: BR2/2/2

28th September 2016

Dear Colleague,


I wrote to you on the 1st September advising you that the strike action had been cancelled as a result of the progress being made in talks. These talks are continuing and the National Executive Committee will be meeting with your representatives in November to assess progress.

GTR want to close ticket offices, or cut them to morning peak hours only, at 83 stations from Kings Lynn to Bognor Regis They also wish to bring in a new multi-functional role of Station Host who will be working alone at many stations, from early morning to the end of service at night, dealing with additional duties at the same time. In addition they plan to cut 130 jobs with part-time posts replacing full-time posts.

This will mean a worse service to the public and earlier this year we held a very successful public campaign against GTR’s proposals with over 30,000 members of the public objecting by postcard or online.

This plan is just the first of three or more stages of GTR’s plans for station staff.  The second stage will be cuts to ticket offices at the big stations. Then stage 3 will be cuts at the little stations.
They also intend to cut dispatch staff at many stations, when their new trains come in. They have already asked Thameslink drivers to do self-dispatch, without platform staff involved, on the new 700 trains. So platform staff will be facing job cuts.

Following the successful ballot for industrial action by you and your colleagues management saw sense and have agreed that the Station Host idea will be trialled over a six month period at 8 pilot stations. The stations are Enfield Chase, Sandy, City Thameslink, Cricklewood, Balham, Queens Road (Peckham), Battersea Park, and Chichester. In this trial management and your representatives will look at concerns that station staff have around personal safety, cash handling etc, as well as testing the impact on passenger service. The results from each station will be considered separately.

GTR and the unions will set up a Joint Working Party that includes your Company Council representatives.  Before the trials start, the Union and management must agree how the final decision will be made on the success or otherwise of the pilot.

There will be a full health and safety risk assessment at all of the pilot stations. These risk assessments will cover the full range of safety related matters, paying particular attention to issues concerning lone working and cash handling outside of the ticket office environment. The assessments will be undertaken jointly by our Company Council representatives, local Health and Safety representatives and GTR Management.

The Joint Working Party (JWP) will also address considerations such as health restrictions, ability to get to and from work with new roster and shift patterns.

In another important concession, GTR has committed to keeping staff in ticket offices, and ticket offices open at these stations during the period of the trial.

GTR has also conceded that where staff are working alone in the role of station host on a pilot station, cash transactions will be limited to situations where the ticket type cannot be sold from a self-service machine. In these situations, the station host will be able to sell the ticket and immediately deposit cash to a safe location (such as the ticket office) or sell the ticket from within the ticket office.

We have also gained a guarantee that no ticket office will close completely during the trial, the right of station hosts to use the security of the ticket office during cash transactions and help with travel to and from work for station staff at the pilot stations

GTR will also ensure that any affected employee is accommodated where they cannot undertake the Station Host role.

If you work at a pilot station, your Company Council representative will visit your station during the trial to see how you are getting on. You can contact them or RMT if you have more questions about the trial and how it will affect you.

We need to stay vigilant, strong and united to resist GTR’s plans. These plans have not gone away.

I will of course keep you informed of developments.

Yours sincerely,


Mick Cash
General Secretary