ROLE OF THE GUARD & EXTENSION OF DOO – ARRIVA RAIL NORTH

MANAGEMENT TREAT YOUR NEGOTIATING TEAM – AND YOU – WITH CONTEMPT

FURTHER STRIKE ACTION CALLED.


Dear Colleague,

ROLE OF THE GUARD & EXTENSION OF DOO – ARRIVA RAIL NORTH

I am writing to you today and I am sure you will share my disgust at the way Northern management has treated your negotiators, and indeed you, with contempt.

I have received a report from the Lead Officer advising me that the RMT negotiating team entered into negotiations in good faith to discuss in the first instance our policy of a second safety critical member of staff on every train with full safety competencies and responsibilities. The negotiation team offered several options around this principle but these were totally ignored by management. Northern would not guarantee a Guard with safety critical responsibilities on every train and solely wanted to talk about any second person only retaining one safety competency, a Personal Track Safety Card (PTS).

We hoped that the planned days of discussion would help resolve this dispute but management, far from looking seriously at our proposals and negotiating genuinely, fell back on their default positon of wanting DCO where the Driver has full operationally responsibility for the train without the need for a Guard or any other employee. A totally unacceptable position.

Worse still though was the unprofessional and truly contemptuous way the RMT negotiating team was treated. The RMT negotiating team is your team, elected by you the members, so the contempt shown to them is also being shown to you, their employees. Management regularly failed to turn up on time for meetings, left early, had regular adjournments which during negotiations can happen but not to this extent, leaving your representatives in a hotel meeting room for hours at a time! I have to say that when this was reported to me by the lead officer I admitted to him that I do not remember any employer ever being so discourteous, unprofessional and, well basically, rude.

Northern Management had no intention of entering into serious negotiations on retaining a Guard on trains with safety critical responsibilities. It is now obvious that the strike action called for Saturdays has caused major disruption to services and management called for these talks in a cynical attempt to get the union to call them off. However, it was decided to take their offer of discussions in good faith and enter the talks with an open mind as it would have been discourteous to you not to explore all avenues in an attempt to reach agreement. However, management did not negotiate or budge one inch.

You can see from the above that we are no further forward and the National Executive Committee has decided that there is no option but to call further strike action. They have decided that the most effective strike action, and the action that causes management the greatest difficulty in arranging cover, are Saturdays.

Therefore, members are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:-

• 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on Saturday 25th August 2018
• 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on Saturday 1st September 2018
• 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on Saturday 8th September 2018


There is no doubt there will be lies and misinformation coming out from management in the next few days, do not believe this rubbish. They have, as I have said, treated your union, your negotiators and worst of all you in a contemptuous way.

I will be writing to you again next week with further information.

Unity is Strength
Support the Strikes
Support your Colleagues

Yours sincerely,

 

Mick Cash
General Secretary

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