Our Ref BR6/14/1
15th January 2021
TO ALL RMT MANAGED STATION MEMBERS AT NETWORK RAIL
ROLE CLARITY CONTRACTS - BAND 5 TO 8 WORKING GROUPS - NETWORK RAIL
(MANAGED STATION STAFF)
Further to previous correspondence I write to update you on the latest situation in our dispute with Network Rail over your terms and conditions. You will recall that you and your colleagues voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action in July 2020 making it absolutely clear to Network Rail that you demand dramatic improvements to your terms and conditions which are simply not fit for purpose in the 24/7 customer facing role you do.
Shortly after the result an interim agreement was reached with Network Rail where you have been receiving an operational allowance of £175 per four week period to compensate for Sunday working while a detailed “systems thinking” review of stations is carried out. This review was scheduled to be completed in November 2020 following which the company would enter into detailed discussions with us on new terms and conditions for station staff.
At the end of last year we were notified by the company that due to a number of factors their review had been delayed and could not be concluded until January 2021. As a consequence the operational allowance was extended to cover the additional period. We raised our disappointment at the delay with the company and requested an urgent meeting of the Managed Stations Working Group to discuss this matter.
This week your lead officer has submitted a report to the union’s National Executive Committee advising that Network Rail has agreed and signed a three-month extension to our strike action mandate, to enable further discussions and the completion of its review of stations set-up and operation. In case you aren’t aware, under the law all successful ballots for industrial action are only valid for a 6 month period from the date they close. However a 3 month extension can be mutually agreed with the employer, which is what has happened in this case. During this 3 month period you will carry on receiving the operational allowance and your representatives will continue to engage with the company in the review process. However we have made it absolutely clear to Network Rail that we will need to see a definitive set of proposals formulated within the 3 month period in order to bring this issue to a conclusion.
The NEC has considered the recent update from your lead officer and has formally agreed the ballot extension. It also noted that Network Rail are considering this matter in light of prospective changes within Rail Industry with a view of greater integration of station services and operations with train operating companies. I have been instructed to ensure negotiations continue with aim of securing agreement in line with aspirations of our members as laid out during ballot. All updates will be placed in front of the NEC for its consideration.
I will keep members fully informed of any further developments