Our Ref: BR2/0001/SWR
15th July 2019
RATES OF PAY AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE 2019 – SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY
Further to my previous letter with regards to the above matter. I can report that I have received correspondence from South Western Railway advising that they are switching to a new system which will manage pension benefits and pensionable pay information. The new system will eventually be rolled out across the majority of employers throughout the rail industry; however, SWR will be the first employer to move to the new system. This will mean that that there will be a three pay-cycle testing period for the system (September to December 2019). In order to facilitate the testing period, SWR has advised me that they will not be able to upload any significant changes to pay and pensionable pay from August 2019 to January 2020.
This is very frustrating as your union still remains in negotiations with South Western Railway over the 2018 pay award. The union’s negotiating team has also advised me that it is unlikely that an agreement will be reached before the company’s cut-off date (i.e. the start of August), as management are still unprepared to table further improvements to their 3.5% offer. Additionally, should the 2018 pay negotiations reach a satisfactory conclusion; then the implementation of the new system would prevent members from obtaining the 2019 pay award before Christmas.
After careful consideration, the National Executive Committee feels that it would be unfair on our members to make them wait until January 2020 to receive the 2018 pay award. Acting on the wishes of the National Executive Committee, I written to the company asking them consider continuing with the 2018 pay negotiations and implementing the 3.5% increase to members pay and allowances before the start of the testing period; on the proviso that any agreed further enhancements to this pay award would be backdated accordingly into the January 2020 pay run. I have also expressed our concerns to the company with regards to members potentially not receiving the 2019 pay award before Christmas.
I trust this keeps you fully advised on the matter and I will, of course, keep you informed on any further developments.