Role of the Guard & Extension of DOO South Western Railways

To all SWR Guards, Commercial Guards and Train Drivers

Our Ref: BR2/0146

29th October 2019


Dear Colleague,

Role of the Guard & Extension of DOO South Western Railways

Further to my email of 23rd October, I can advise you that following further negotiations with your representatives an agreement in principle has been reached with the company on dwell time performance as follows:-

1. Driver release Guard full control of dispatch. 4 bells across SWR fleet where possible to do so. Introduction of Method of Operation to be confirmed.

2. Agreed RMT/SWR continue discussions based upon achieving improved, performance safety and customer experience throughout introduction of 701’s.

3. Productivity for based upon improved performance to agreed targets.

SWR are working on the detailed proposal with their Executive Board on these principle points and, once formulated, a further meeting will take place with our negotiating team by Friday 1st November.

The National Executive Committee believe this could end the dispute with SWR but with the warning that we must remain focused and not allow the company to try and delay matters further. This is not a done deal.

As you are aware we sought discussions with ASLE&F at national level to consider the various proposals. Regrettably, ASLE&F has declined our request for discussions around the dispute and the National Executive Committee is obviously disappointed that they have taken this decision. The NEC has instructed me to remind SWR that we are part of the bargaining unit for Drivers.

This is obviously a major step forward in this dispute and hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel – and all due to your unwavering stand.

I will write to you again as soon as there is any further progress.

Yours sincerely,


Mick Cash
General Secretary