Role of the Guard & Extension of DOO – Arriva Rail North

To All Arriva Rail North Conductor, Conductor Instructor & Train Driver Members


Our Ref: BR2/0146


22nd January 2019




Dear Colleague


Role of the Guard & Extension of DOO – Arriva Rail North


Further to my recent correspondence I am writing in response to Arriva Rail North’s latest PR attempt which is to write to stakeholders (Shareholders!!) peddling further half-truths. It’s not what they say so much it’s what they don’t say.


The first paragraph itself sets the tone where it states ‘In December we announced the latest efforts we are taking to resolve the RMT dispute and end the damage the RMT is causing to the economy of the North.’ Let us be clear it is not the RMT causing damage to the economy of the North but Arriva Rail in their rush to increase profits at the expense of their Customers. Their latest efforts were to set up the so-called Independent Enquiry and circumvent the agreed long standing Machinery of Negotiation and enforce binding arbitration.


I explained in detail in my correspondence of 20th December last year the reasons why the Union could not agree to this cynical attempt by management to muddy the waters and deflect criticism for their failure to ensure a second person on every train with safety critical responsibilities.


Arriva Rail North also states in their communication that the DfT and Transport for the North have confirmed a second person will be retained on Northern Services. Yes on Northern Services, not all trains. But how many services? - 30% 50% 75% - well your guess is as good as mine as Arriva Rail North are certainly not guaranteeing a second person on ALL trains.


Not only do we know this from negotiations but it has also come from the horse’s mouth – David Brown the Managing Director. In a response to a Guard he states ‘We cannot guarantee a second person on every single train as, by its definition, DCO means that a train could run without that second person’. How much clearer can you get?


Arriva Rail North can resolve this dispute without resorting to gimmicks, miss-information, and trying to bring in third parties to relieve them of their responsibilities. Get back round the table and agree to what the public, elderly, travellers with disabilities and other venerable customers want and deserve – a Guard on every train.


The stand you have taken is truly amazing. The solidary and loyalty to the union and each other is second to none and you should be rightly proud – the whole trade union movement salutes you.


It is not what Arriva Rail North says – it is what it doesn’t say and will not say – the retention of a Guard with safety critical responsibilities on every train. Playing with words is not the way to negotiate.


Best wishes,


Yours sincerely,


Mick Cash

General Secretary