Our Ref: BR2/1500

26th July 2017

Dear Colleague,


I write in relation to the above matter and further to a number of meetings that have been held concerning the re-structuring agreement of On-Board Services IEP. As you are aware, your Company Council Representatives have been in discussion with the company over a potential Re-Structuring Agreement and Great Western Railway has provided a draft agreement. However, after further consideration and consultation with your representatives the National Executive Committee has rejected these proposals.

Whilst the introduction of new trains will no doubt necessitate a change in working practices and discussions with the company are more than welcomed, it is imperative that we achieve a fair deal for all of our on-board service members. During the several meetings held the NEC has determined that there must be a guiding set of principles to be included in any restructuring packages. Any agreement must move toward closer harmonisation with other on-train grades and not represent a deterioration of existing terms and conditions. Additionally, any agreement cannot encroach on other roles or create additional divisions within existing grades. Any proposals that are reached should be offered on a collective basis and not one as an option for individual members. The process must be as open as possible, with proper consultation from local representatives and member’s throughout.

The NEC also believes that the following points need to be followed, these are as follows:-

•    We will not accept a two-tier workforce.
•    A deterioration of rest periods from 12 to 10 hours.
•    A deterioration of rostering priority from that provided in the 1999 agreement.
•    Any remuneration offered to be separate to the annual pay award.
•    No infringement on Collective Bargaining Arrangements. However, we are happy to deal with proposals for changes to our CBA under a separate process.
•    Minimum number of rest days not to be inferior to other on-train grades.
•    No deterioration of our Stood off Arrangements or other company wide terms and conditions of employment, including flexible working arrangements.
•    RMT National Policy is that where a service is run with non-gangway stock a guard should be provided in each portion.

These above guidelines and principles must form the basis of any negotiated restructuring package for our on-board service grades members to avoid any confusion. Once further consultation has taken place and the above guidelines are followed a further meeting will be held with our NEC, Reps and Lead Officer to discuss how the process is going and to provide any updates on the restructuring talks.

I trust this keeps you fully advised and I will update you further once I have received further information.

Yours sincerely
Mick Cash
General Secretary