Rates of Pay & Conditions of Service 2017 – Virgin Trains East Coast


Dear Colleague,

Rates of Pay & Conditions of Service 2017 – Virgin Trains East Coast

You will by now have received an internal communication from Claire Ansley, Customer Experience Director and John Doughty, Engineering Director – a communication that couldn’t be more insulting or patronising if they tried.

They state:-
‘Thank you for your hard work over the past few weeks. We’ve recently seen quite a bit of disruption to the fleet, including defective level crossings and overhead line damage, and our teams rose to the challenge admirably. Our customers expect a great deal from us during times of disruption – and it is great to see you reassuring them when it happens, and looking better than ever in our fantastic new uniforms!’

‘Thank you for all the hard work and what you do day in, day out.’

So how do VTEC reward you? By telling you they are going to impose their pay offer despite you rejecting it in a referendum by 1066 vote to 60. This goes against all the principles of negotiation and is a complete insult to you and your colleagues who rejected the offer. They also very conveniently throw in a sentence that advised you that the productivity conditions are attached. Well those productivity conditions are a major part of the offer that you rejected and are no doubt one of the main reasons you did so. This is not a fantastic award as they are trying to make out – you are paying for it by having to sell your hard earned terms and conditions. VTEC are giving with one hand and taking with the other.

Isn’t it great that they thank you for all ‘the hard work you do day in, day out’ and then impose the pay increase – unbelievable. They think you should bend over backwards because you have ‘fantastic new uniforms!’ – what planet are these people on. You wear a uniform to advertise their company as much as anything and you are supposed to be thankful – unbelievable. They again patronise you by reminding you Christmas is an expensive time and wouldn’t you like some extra money to spend over the festive period – unbelievable.

VTEC should adequately reward you and listen and abide by the massive rejection of their inadequate offer in the referendum and make reasonable improvements that reward you for your hard work. What they shouldn’t be doing is rewarding the directors and shareholders at your expense.

Pay is clearly an issue that is covered by your collective bargaining procedures and you, as a member of the RMT, quite rightly expect the union to negotiate your pay and not have the company dictate what is and isn’t acceptable to you. Therefore, it is hoped that you will not accept the offer and advise management that the matter is still being pursued and negotiated by your Union. After all VTEC are also party to these negotiations and should not railroad through a pay increase, but as importantly changes to your terms and conditions, without agreement.  

The National Executive Committee has considered the company’s imposition of the pay offer and how they have ignored your democratic rejection in the referendum. The Executive Committee has decided that there is no option to ballot you for industrial action for both strike action and action short of a strike. This is being done with the utmost urgency and they recommend you vote ‘YES’ to both questions and show management you will not be browbeaten, patronised or ignored.

I will let you have full details of the balloting timetable as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,


Mick Cash
General Secretary