ROLE OF THE GUARD AND EXTENSION OF DOO – SOUTHERN (GTR)

Our Ref: BR2/0146

16th May 2017

Dear Colleague

FURTHER STRIKE ACTION CALLED

ROLE OF THE GUARD AND EXTENSION OF DOO – SOUTHERN (GTR)

As you will be aware, your union entered into further discussions with GTR on Monday to try to resolve our long running dispute over the role of the guard and the extension of DOO. Following on from these talks a new proposal has been received from the company which has now been considered by the National Executive Committee. Regrettably their proposals still fail to address the fundamental aspirations at the heart of this dispute and therefore the NEC has decided to reject them and further strike action is being called.   

The latest proposals fail to guarantee a second safety critical person on every train. By their own admission 158 trains a week are currently being operated without an OBS working on board which amounts to around 8000 services a year. They state their “target” is to operate 100% of services with an OBS but this is no guarantee whatsoever. Instead they only propose to evaluate the situation over a 6 month period fromSeptember. In addition they have watered down personal track safety (PTS) but it remains unclear how these new methods will work. All of this remains unacceptable to your union.

As regards access for disabled and vulnerable passengers, GTR have stated they will be able to access assistance but have given barely any details as to how this would be done in practice. All they mention is an assistance check at stations but fail to elaborate further. Throughout this dispute RMT has always understood the damaging effect the removal  of the second safety critical member onboard has on vulnerable and disabled passengers and their ability to access train services.

Overall this new proposal has failed to guarantee a second safety critical person on board deal with our concerns over access for vulnerable and disabled passengers. Consequently we have no alternative but to call further strike action.

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

•    00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Tuesday 30th May 2017.

I urge you all to continue your magnificent support for your union that has been so clear throughout this dispute. There is now a two week period before the next strike and we hope management will take this opportunity to table proposals that meet our aspirations for the benefit of members and the travelling public.

SUPPORT THE ACTION
UNITY IS STRENGTH
Best wishes.
 
Mick Cash
General Secretary