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

Our Ref: BR2/0146

20th December 2017

TO ALL CONDUCTORS, CONDUCTOR INSTRUCTORS AND TRAIN DRIVERS

Dear Colleague,

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

I am writing in response to the letter some members may have received from the Managing Director of Northern in which he says there are new developments as a result of RMT meeting the Secretary of State for Transport. There is nothing of the sort. These are the facts.

1.    There is no offer on the table that you can continue in your role as a conductor and there will be a conductor on every train - either in this franchise or the next

2.    The opposite is the case. They want you and your union to accept the principle of Drive Controlled Operation (DOO).

3.    Accepting DCO will mean your Conductor role will be abolished. Your job will be downgraded and deskilled.

4.    When your job is downgraded and deskilled it will be undercut.  It will then be replaced with casual labour, undermining future job security, earnings and conditions.

5.     And of course accepting DCO  means trains will just be able to go with driver alone, increasing safety and security risks and reducing accessibility

The best guarantee for your future security is to keep the requirement that there has to be a safety critical conductor on every train. This guarantee has been given to Conductors on Transpennine Express and in Scotland and Wales. Why can’t the same guarantee be given to you? What’s the hidden agenda?

As for balloting members, you and your colleagues voted by over 83% to strike to oppose DCO,  not accept it! Why is your democratic vote not being accepted? There will also be a full referendum of all Northern RMT conductors on any final deal and I am confident that if we continue to apply the pressure, there will be an acceptable deal.

The fact the company are feel they need to go to such extraordinary lengths to mislead you shows they are beginning to feel the pressure from your action which is overwhelming supported by the public.  

It has to be said, when I met the Secretary of State to discuss a number of disputes there seemed to be contradictory messages and confusion from his side. First we were told they were not opposed to a second person on the train and it was up to the RMT and employers to reach an agreement but then after the meeting we are asked to accept DCO!

I have written to the government over a week ago seeking clarification and a further meeting and I am also seeking further discussions with the company.

STAND FIRM
SUPPORT YOUR UNION

Yours sincerely
 
Mick Cash
General Secretary