Our Ref: BR2/0146
1st March 2019
ROLE OF THE GUARD & EXTENSION OF DOO – SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY
I am writing further to my previous letter and following meetings that have taken place with the company and our representatives. During the discussions the company provided new proposals and plans for operational methods with the introduction of the new 701 rolling stock.
Our negotiating team made the unions position clear that there should be no dilution of the current Role of the Guard. However, we reiterated that we have and are always open to discussing opportunities of upskilling the role further, which not only adds value to their company but to you and your colleagues and of course the travelling public.
The company has been informed that whilst discussions are taking place, it is vital the union sees progress in these negotiations and that these meetings should be held intensively to bring an end to this dispute. It is our belief that – now South Western Railway has guaranteed a Guard on every train – the key to resolving this dispute is finding a method of operation that is agreeable to all stakeholders. Therefore, I have informed the company that it would be advisable for all stakeholders to be involved and in the same room when discussions and negotiations are taking place.
Furthermore, I will be contacting our sister Union to obtain their views and position on the Automatic Braking Door Operation (ABDO) which is being fitted to the new rolling stock 701’s on the South Western Railway Network. Additionally, the union and the company have come to an agreement to ensure our Guards Company Council Representatives are released every 4 weeks, with a meeting due to take place in the last week of March.
I trust this keeps you fully advised of current developments and I will inform you of any further developments on this issue when they arise.