Our Ref: BR2/0146
SATURDAY STRIKE REMAINS ON
LATEST UPDATE ON ACAS TALKS
3rd August 2018
ROLE OF THE GUARD & EXTENSION OF DOO – SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY
Firstly, I would like to thank you and your colleagues for your determination, solidarity and support during the latest series of strikes.
As you are aware your Union has been meeting with South Western Railway to try and find a resolution to the DOO dispute. During the latest set of meetings the company presented the Union with a proposal for our negotiating team to consider. The proposal contained a number of points and one particular point was phrased that “each passenger train shall operate with a second person with safety critical competencies.” Unfortunately there was another point which contradicted this statement which stated that services would “be allowed to progress in passenger service to the point where a second person is able to join the train.”
The company when putting forward this proposal were aware that this was more than likely not to be an accepted position by the Union. However, SWR asked for our Union negotiating team to give some consideration to the proposals and table any suggestions or amendments to deal with service disruption where there is non-availability of the guard.
Your Union’s negotiating team after giving full consideration to the proposal advised the company that allowing trains to operate in passenger service without a second safety critical person was an extension to DOO. The company were also advised that it was not the Union’s place to ensure 100% availability. However, we would work with the company and discuss any reasonable measures to improve availability and put in place robust measures to improve on the current arrangements.
The Union proposed that both sides should look at cover arrangements and resources which would allow both sides to be satisfied that the odd delay or cancellation was an irregular event, which should not necessitate the need to seek an agreement to run trains without the second person. Both the Union and the company agreed that this was something to consider going forward.
South Western Railway advised that the proposals they had put forward remained on offer without change at this time, but, they would consider the views the Union expressed to resolve the dispute. SWR’s negotiating team advised that they would need time to talk with their company at Director level before any further discussions with the Union and felt it would be disingenuous to merely put a meeting in place without having anything further to discuss at this point.
As always, the Union’s negotiating team advised the company that we remained available for talks at any time to try and find a resolution to this dispute. We also confirmed that no cancellation of action should take place until an agreement has been reached in securing the Role of the Guard
I trust this keeps you fully advised and I will write to you all again once I have further details.