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

Our Ref: BR2/0146

18th January 2019

Dear Colleague,

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

Firstly, I would like to congratulate and thank you all for your tremendous support during this dispute. There is no question that you are a true inspiration to the whole trade union movement.

Unfortunately, the company have continued to play cynical games and politics with you and your colleague’s future. It is disgusting that Arriva Rail North have continued to try and deceive politicians, the public, the media and more importantly you by stating that they are offering a guarantee of a second person on every service. This - as I’m sure you are aware - is nothing more than a complete fabrication, with the company providing no guarantees whatsoever. You will recall that the union wrote to Arriva Rail North on 29th November 2018, raising three clear points on the future of the Guard role, the company have failed to respond. Furthermore, when we pressed the company on these points during brief negotiations in December, they outright refused to acknowledge or discuss the points raised and prevaricated on the additional funding they have received from the DfT.

There can be no doubt that this company are treating you and your colleagues with clear and utter contempt. Their clear lack of commitment and disingenuous attitude cannot be tolerated. The National Executive Committee has giving this matter further consideration and can see no other alternative than to call further industrial action. Therefore, you and your colleagues are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:-

• 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 2nd February 2019
• 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 9th February 2019
• 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 16th February 2019

Furthermore, concerns were raised from our Wigan Branch around the earnings of ‘PUGs’. People acting as competency guards are paid time and half per Saturday they work and receive a £750 bonus on completion of every 5 days worked. Managers working as RPA’s are paid at time and receive a £350 bonus per 5 days worked. In relation to services operated by ARN during strike days, the company are operating under 25% of all booked services on Saturdays with this figure not increasing when engineering work is not taking place due to the lack of ‘PUGs’ willing to work.

Additionally, I will be writing to MPs, Local Councils and Local Councillors in all areas affected by this dispute reiterating the company’s position as indicated by the Managing Director David Brown. As you will remember, he emailed you and your colleagues last month outlining that ARN could not guarantee a second person on board their services because of the franchise specifications. This is contrary to what they are telling MPs, the public and the press. I will also be informing MPs and councillors of the crucial safety competencies guards have and why the guard is an essential member of staff, especially when it comes to tackling crime, anti-social behaviour and ensuring the railway is accessible to all members of the public.

I urge you and your colleagues to continue with your principled fight and to stand shoulder to shoulder during these strike days. We cannot allow this company to continue with their corrosive plans to dilute rail safety and put their profits before public safety and accessibility.

NO TO DOO!
UNITY IS STRENGTH!
SUPPORT YOUR UNION & COLLEAGUES!

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary