To All Arriva Rail North Conductors, Conductor Instructors and Train Drivers
5th December 2018
DISGRACEFUL – OBNOXIOUS – OUTRAGEOUS
MANAGEMENT REACH NEW LOW IN NEGOTIATIONS
ROLE OF THE GUARD & EXTENSION OF DOO – ARRIVA RAIL NORTH
Further to previous correspondence on this matter I was hoping to be in a position to finally give you good news but regrettably Arriva Rail North Management has reached a new low in its contempt for you, their employees, your negotiators and indeed ACAS themselves.
The way your Lead Officer and representatives were treated at ACAS yesterday was frankly disgraceful. They attended in good faith and were hopeful that management, having attained a funding package to underpin a second person on trains, would sit down and discuss our fundamental demand of a safety critical Conductor on every train.
Can you imagine the anger your representatives felt when kept in a separate room from management under the impression that proposals were being drawn up only to find that a communication was being sent to you in the middle of the ‘so called’ negotiations.
I don’t think I have ever known a management to show such contempt for this Union and your representatives – an absolutely disgraceful, obnoxious and outrageous attitude that is beyond contempt.
And the spin in their communication to you is pathetic, as you know we asked three very simple and very specific questions, namely;
• There is an absolute 100% guarantee that no trains will run without the second member of staff on board.
• That the second member of staff will be clearly designated as safety critical to the running of all services.
• That the second member of staff will retain the full suite of safety and operational competencies of the guard, including a direct role at the platform/train interface and train despatch.
If you read management’s briefing –I make no apology for repeating that was sent out in the middle of negotiations at ACAS – you will see that it does not give any such assurances at all.
Finally at the close of play, having been ignored all day, your representatives met face to face with management. The Lead Officer informed the Deputy Managing Director the reason for the ACAS talks being held was the hope of finding and achieving a resolution to our trade dispute. The Lead Officer informed ARN that they not given us anything concrete to place before your National Executive Committee. ARN continued in its negative and contemptuous attitude concluding his negotiations by saying “you have more than enough to work from.” Unbelievable.
I have written to TfN today relating our concerns about the negotiations and will advise you of their comments once received.
I am saddened and disgusted that your negotiators have been treated in such a manner and will place the report I have received from the Lead Officer before the National Executive Committee.
So obviously the strikes remain on and I ask you to continue with the magnificent support you have shown throughout this dispute. The strength and solidarity you have shown is amazing and you quite rightly deserve to be congratulated not only by the RMT but by the Trade Union movement as a whole you are a credit to all.